Wildland Disturbance Ecology and Management Lab

Associations between wildland fire,

insects, pathogens and climate change

affect spatial landscape patterns.

Increasing global temperature
and changing precipitation type
and timing

coupled with decades–long
fire exclusion policies, habitat
fragmentation, invasive species,

reductions in active forest management
and changes in land use

have contributed to declining forest
health in western North
American conifer forests.

Managing agents of disturbance
in complex, often fragile,

forest ecosystems is a high stakes
endeavour balancing preservation
of biodiversity and forest health

with societal pressures on
commodity extraction.


The Disturbance Ecology and Management Lab at Utah State University, studies the interaction of select agents of disturbance in conifer forests over large spatial and long temporal scales. In recent years research has focused on the relationship between bark beetles, fuels and fire behavior, and forest snow avalanches in Rocky Mountain and European Forests.


Recent Publications

  • Mountain pine beetles use volatile cues to locate host limber pine and avoid non-host Great Basin bristlecone pine. ♦ CA Gray, JB Runyon, MJ Jenkins, AD Giunta ♦ PLOS ONE 2015.
  • Models to predict the moisture content of lodgepole pine foliage during the red stage of mountain pine beetle attack. ♦ WG Page, MJ Jenkins, ME Alexander ♦ Forest Science 2015.


Past Publications

  • Climate factors associated with historic spruce beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) outbreaks in Utah and Colorado. ♦ EG Hebertson, MJ Jenkins ♦ Environmental Entomology 2008.
  • Bark beetles, fuels, fires and implications for forest management in the Intermountain West. ♦ MJ Jenkins, E Hebertson, W Page, CA Jorgensen ♦ Forest Ecology and Management 2008.