Evaluating mortality dynamics during a spruce beetle epidemic in the Southern Colorado Rocky Mountains
The onset of a decade-long spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) epidemic in Southern Colorado has resulted in the death of thousands of acres of forests primarily dominated by Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii). To evaluate the ecological and economic impacts of this massive mortality event, researchers and land managers need the ability to actively track its progression, spread, and severity across large spatial extents. This study improves our understanding of this under researched spruce beetle epidemic in multiple ways. First, I mapped the progression and severity of this epidemic scale ...