Beverly Bulaon: The complex interactions of native insects and diseases of true-firs in the Southern Sierras
From Alison Paulson
Abstract: True firs in California have a complex of pest agents that are often overlooked in their ability to significantly weaken and eventually kill their hosts. Both insects and pathogens work in intricate and sometimes laboring methods to effectively kill whole trees in order to reproduce and survive. Changing climate and current stand conditions have provided more opportunities for these agents to be successful, resulting in dramatic changes over the past 30 years. The southern Sierras were especially impacted during the recent drought, and mortality is still ongoing in some locations. Mortality associated with these agents, particularly fir engraver, is expected to worsen in upcoming years.