Harvard Forest researchers say whitebark pine tree’s future may be at risk

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New research by Harvard Forest (HFR) LTER scientists suggest that widespread death of the whiteback pine tree from beetle infestations and tree disease outbreaks may be affecting seed production and hence the future of the tree--a mountain tree important to wildlife and water resources in the western United States and Canada.

In a paper published in the current issue of the Journal of Ecology, the HFR scientists led by Joshua Rapp as lead author, note that pine stands are increasingly fragmented by widespread tree death, and surviving trees may be hindered in their ability to produce seeds, leading to a diminished gene pool and less regeneration.

Read the National Science Foundation news release, Whitebark Pine Trees: Is Their Future at Risk?