Hydrologic effects of mountain pine beetle in the interior pine forests of British Columbia: Key questions and current knowledge
Keywords:annual water yield, forest operations, groundwater, hydrologic recovery, low flow, modelling, peak flow, salvage harvesting, soil moisture, regeneration, water quality
AbstractThe mountain pine beetle (MPB) (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) could have a large effect on hydrologic regimes in British Columbia watersheds. Given the recent increase in size of the beetle infestation, many questions around forest management, particularly salvage harvesting, have emerged. Unfortunately, information to address these questions is limited to a handful of research studies. Although local initiatives to address knowledge gaps are under way, it is important to use the best available science to guide current management decisions related to MPB. This article highlights some of the key hydrologic questions associated with the MPB epidemic, identifies current knowledge on the effects of MPB on watershed hydrology, shows where research information is lacking, and comments on future directions for research. The effects of MPB on stream channel stability, water quality, hillslope processes, riparian function, and fisheries are not discussed. We hope this brief article will stimulate further discussion amongst hydrologists and foresters in British Columbia.
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