Variable tree growth after fire protects forests from future bark beetle outbreaks

Do severe wildfires make forests in the western United States more susceptible to future bark beetle outbreaks The answer, in a study published Monday (Nov. 7, 2016) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is no. By leading to variability in the density and size of trees that grow during recovery, large fires reduce the future vulnerability of forests to bark beetle attacks and broad-scale outbreaks.

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