Pine Beetle Moves In

Pine Beetle Moves In

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“Forest Birds Exhibit Variable Changes in Occurrence During a Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic” Mosher et al. The Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic in the Pacific Northwest United States caused the mortality of many Ponderosa Pine trees. These trees are important habitats for many species of birds (i.e. Chickadee, Creeper, etc.) that rely on them for nesting and diet (seeds/cones). While these bird populations decreased, other species (i.e. Woodpeckers) became more prevalent due to the increase in dead wood providing easier foraging. Examples like this epidemic show the importance of diversity in species, with more biodiversity*, there will be less of a chance for negative effects for an entire ecosystem but only a few species within it. This epidemic in particular increased the amount of dead wood in the area which increases the risk of wildfires for years after the epidemic has ended. *Vocab: Biodiversity: the amount of variation in types of species