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Overview

Brief Summary

Pinaceae -- Pine family

    James E. Lotan and William B. Critchfield

    Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) is a two-needled pine of the  subgenus Pinus. The species has been divided geographically into  four varieties: P. contorta var. contorta, the coastal  form known as shore pine, coast pine, or beach pine; P. contorta var.  bolanderi, a Mendocino County White Plains form in California  called Bolander pine; P. contorta var. murrayana in the  Sierra Nevada, called Sierra lodgepole pine or tamarack pine; and P.  contorta var. latifolia, the inland form often referred to as  Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine or black pine. Although the coastal form  grows mainly between sea level and 610 m (2,000 ft), the inland form is  found from 490 to 3660 m (1,600 to 12,000 ft).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

Source: Silvics of North America

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Extensive range from Alaska to northern New Mexico and Baja California, attaining best populations in the Rocky Mountains (Record and Hess 1943).

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Lodgepole pine is an ubiquitous species with a wide ecological  amplitude. It grows throughout the Rocky Mountain and Pacific coast  regions, extending north to about latitude 64° N. in the Yukon  Territory and south to about latitude 31° N. in Baja California, and  west to east from the Pacific Ocean to the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Forests dominated by lodgepole pine cover some 6 million ha (15 million  acres) in the Western United States and some 20 million ha (50 million  acres) in Canada.

     
- The native range of lodgepole pine.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

Source: Silvics of North America

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Tree, Shrub, Evergreen, Monoecious, Habit erect, Trees without or rarely having knees, Tree with bark rough or scaly, Young shoots 3-dimensional, Buds resinous, Leaves needle-like, Leaves alternate, Needle-like leaf margins finely serrulate (use magnification or slide your finger along the leaf), Leaf apex acute, Leaf apex obtuse, Leaves < 5 cm long, Leaves > 5 cm long, Leaves < 10 cm long, Leaves yellow-green above, Leaves yellow-green below, Leaves not blue-green, Needle-like leaves triangular, Needle-like leaves twisted, Needle-like leaf habit erect, Needle-like leaves per fascicle mostly 2, Needle-like leaf sheath persistent, Twigs glabrous, Twigs viscid, Twigs not viscid, Twigs without peg-like projections or large fascicles after needles fall, Berry-like cones orange, Woody seed cones < 5 cm long, Woody seed cones > 5 cm long, Seed cones bearing a scarlike umbo, Umbo with missing or very weak prickle, Umbo with obvious prickle, Bracts of seed cone included, Seeds red, Seeds brown, Seeds black, Seeds winged, Seeds unequally winged, Seed wings prominent, Seed wings equal to or broader than body.
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Stephen C. Meyers

Source: USDA NRCS PLANTS Database

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Description

Shrubs or trees to 50m; trunk to 0.9m diam., straight to contorted; crown various according to genetic race. Bark brown to gray- or red-brown, platy to furrowed. Lower branches often descending, the upper spreading or ascending. Twigs slender, orange to red-brown, aging darker brown, rough. Buds narrowly to broadly ovoid, dark red-brown, to 1.2cm, slightly resinous. Leaves 2 per fascicle, spreading or ascending, persisting 3--8 years, 2--8cm ´ 0.7--2(--3)mm, twisted, yellow-green to dark green, all surfaces with fine stomatal lines, margins finely serrulate, apex blunt to acute or narrowly acuminate; sheath 0.3--0.6(--1)cm, persistent. Pollen cones ellipsoid to cylindric, 5--15mm, orange-red. Seed cones maturing in 2 years or variably serotinous, variably persistent, spreading to reflexed, often curved, nearly symmetric or variably asymmetric, lanceoloid to ovoid before opening, broadly ovoid to nearly globose when open, 2--6cm, tan to pale red-brown, lustrous, nearly sessile or on stalks to 1cm; apophyses nearly rhombic, variously elongate, cross-keeled, often mammillate toward outer cone base and on inside above middle; umbo central, depressed-triangular, prickle barely elongate to stubby or slender and to 6mm. Seeds compressed, obovoid; body ca. 5mm, red-brown, mottled with black, or all black; wing 10--14mm. 2 n =24 (variety not indicated).
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

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Ecology

Habitat

Sierra Juarez and San Pedro Martir pine-oak forests Habitat

This taxon can be found in the Sierra Juarez and San Pedro Martir pine-oak forests. The ecoregion is located in two mountain ranges in the state of Baja California, Mexico: the Sierra de Juarez and the Sierra de San Pedro Martir. Both mountain ranges belong to the physiographical province of Baja California, and constitute the northernmost elevated peaks of the Baja Peninsula. The mountainous range that descends into a large portion of Baja California becomes more abrupt at Juarez and San Pedro Martir; the eastern slope is steeper than the western. Altitudes range between 1100-2800 meters. The granitic mountains of Juarez and San Pedro Martir have young rocky soils and are poorly developed, shallow, and low in organic matter.

Dominant trees in the ecoregion are: Pinus quadrifolia, P. jeffreyi, P. contorta, P. lambertiana, Abies concolor, and Libocedrus decurren. The herbaceous stratum is formed by Bromus sp. and Artemisia tridentata. Epiphytes and fungi are abundant throughout the forests.

Characteristic mammals of the ecoregion include: Ornate shrew (Sorex ornatus), Puma (Puma concolor), Fringed Myotis bat (Myotis thysanodes), California chipmunk (Tamias obscurus), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), Coyote (Canis latrans), San Joaquin kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) and Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis).

Numerous birds are present in the ecoregion, including the rare Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), Pinyon jay (Gymnohinus cyanocephalus), and White-breasted nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis).

A number of different reptilian taxa are found in these oak-pine forests; representative reptiles here are: the Banded rock lizard (Petrosaurus mearnsi); Common checkered whiptail (Cnemidophorus tesselatus), who is found in sparsely vegetated areas; Coast horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum), often found in locales of sandy soil, where individuals may burrow to escape surface heat; Night desert lizard (Xantusia vigilis), who is often found among bases of yucca, agaves and cacti; and the Baja California spiny lizard (Sceloporus zosteromus).

The Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla) is an anuran found within the Sierra Juarez and San Pedro Martir pine-oak forests as one of its western North America ecoregions of occurrence. The only other amphibian in the ecoregion is the Western toad (Anaxyrus boreas).

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California Montane Chaparral and Woodlands Habitat

This taxon can be found in the California montane chaparral and woodlands, a near coastal ecoregion in Central and Southern California, USA. This ecoregion is disjunctive, with a major element in Southern California and another along the Monterey County coast. The ecoregion encompasses most of the Transverse Range that includes the San Bernardino Mountains; San Gabriel Mountains; portions of the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains; Topatopa Mountains; San Jacinto Mountains; the Tehachapi, Greenhorn, Piute, and Kiavah Mountains that extend roughly northeast-southwest from the southern Sierra Nevada; and the Santa Lucia Range that parallels the coast southward from Monterey Bay to Morro Bay.

The California montane chaparral and woodland ecoregion consists of a complex mosaic of coastal sage scrub, lower chaparral dominated by chamise, upper chaparral dominated by manzanita, desert chaparral, Piñon-juniper woodland, oak woodlands, closed-cone pine forests, yellow pine forests, sugar pine-white fir forests, lodgepole pine forests, and alpine habitats. The prevalence of drought-adapted scrub species in the flora of this ecoregion helps distinguish it from similar communities in the Sierras and other portions of northern California. Many of the shared Sierra Nevadan species typically are adapted to drier habitats in that ecoregion, Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi) being a good example.

Oak species are an important component of many chaparral and forest communities throughout the ecoregion. Canyon Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, Tanbark Oak (not a true Quercus species), Engelmann Oak, Golden-cup Oak, and Scrub Oak are some examples. Mixed-conifer forests are found between 1371 to 2896 meters elevation with various combinations and dominance of incense cedar, sugar pine, and white fir, Jeffrey Pine, Ponderosa Pine, and mountain juniper. Subalpine forests consist of groves of Limber Pine (Pinus flexilis), Lodgepole Pine, and Jeffrey Pine. Very old individual trees are commonly observed in these relict subalpine forests. Within this zone are subalpine wet meadows, talus slope herbaceous communities, krumholz woodlands, and a few small aspen groves.

In addition to these general vegetation patterns, this ecoregion is noted for a variety of ecologic islands, communities with specialized conditions that are widely scattered and isolated and typically harbor endemic and relict species. Examples include two localities of Knobcone Pine (Pinus attenuata) on serpentine soils, scattered vernal pools with a number of endemic and relict species, and isolated populations of one of North America’s most diverse cypress floras, including the rare Gowen Cypress (Cupressus goveniana goveniana) restricted to two sites on acidic soils in the northern Santa Lucia Range, Monterey Cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) found only at two coastal localities near Monterey Bay, and Sargent Cypress (Callitropsis sargentii LR/LC) restricted to serpentine outcrops. Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) is also restricted to three coastal sites near Monterey Bay.

The ecoregion is also home to a few endemic or near-endemic mammalian vertebrates, such as the White-eared Pocket Mouse (Perognathus alticolus EN), a mammal known only to two disjunct mountain ranges in southern California: San Bernardino Mountains in San Bernardino County (ssp. alticolus), and the Tehachapi Mountains, in Kern, Ventura, and Los Angeles counties. The near-endemic fossorial Agile Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys agilis) is found in the southern disjunctive unit of the ecoregion, and is known only to the Los Angeles Basin and foothills of San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains in Ventura, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties north to Santa Barbara County and through the southern Sierra Nevada, including Mount Pinos, Tehachapi and San Gabriel mountains, and northern San Fernando Valley. Non-endemic mammals found in the ecoregion include Botta's Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae) and Trowbridge's Shrew (Sorex trowbridgii). Some larger vertebrate predators can be found in the ecoregion, including Puma (Puma concolor), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), Coyote (Canis latrans), and Ringtails (Bassariscus astutus).

The ecoregion boasts five endemic and near-endemic amphibians, largely Plethodontid salamanders. Some specific salamander taxa found here are the endemic Tehachapi Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps stebbinsi VU), known from isolated sites in the Caliente Creek drainage, Piute Mountains, and Kern County, California along with scattered populations in the Tehachapi Mountains to Fort Tejon, Kern County; the near-endemic Blackbelly Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps nigriventris); the Monterey Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii); the Channel Islands Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps pacificus), endemic to a narrow range restricted solely on Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel islands; and the Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris), found only in California and Baja California. A newt found here is the Coast Range Newt (Taricha torosa). Anuran taxa in the ecoregion include the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii NT); the Southern Mountain Yellow-legged Frog (Rana muscosa EN), a California endemic occurring in several disjunctive populations; and the Northern Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora).

The California montane chaparral and woodlands ecoregions contains a number of reptiles such as the Coast Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum), who ranges from Northern California to Baja California. Also found here is the Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus); the Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis); the Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata); and the Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana). The Two-striped Garter Snake (Thamnophis hammondii) is a restricted range reptile found near-coastally from Monterey County, California southward to Baja California.

The California Condor once inhabited much of the ecoregion, with the western Transverse Range acting today as a refuge for some of the last wild populations, after considerable conservation efforts, especially in the Los Padres National Forest. The Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni NT) is found in coastal areas of the ecoregion.

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Arizona Mountains Forests Habitat

This taxon is found in the Arizona Mountain Forests, which extend from the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona to south of the Mogollon Plateau into portions of southwestern Mexico and eastern Arizona, USA. The species richness in this ecoregion is moderate, with vertebrate taxa numbering 375 species. The topography consists chiefly of steep foothills and mountains, but includes some deeply dissected high plateaus. Soil types have not been well defined; however, most soils are entisols, with alfisols and inceptisols in upland areas. Stony terrain and rock outcrops occupy large areas on the mountains and foothills.

The Transition Zone in this region (1980 to 2440 m in elevation) comprises a strong Mexican fasciation, including Chihuahua Pine (Pinus leiophylla) and Apache Pine (P. engelmannii) and unique varieties of Ponderosa Pine (P. ponderosa var. arizonica). Such forests are open and park-like and contain many bird species from Mexico seldom seen in the U.S.. The Canadian Zone (above 2000 m) includes mostly Rocky Mountain species of mixed-conifer communities such as Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), Engelmann Spruce (Picea engelmanni), Subalpine Fir (Abies lasiocarpa), and Corkbark Fir (A. lasiocarpa var. arizonica). Dwarf Juniper (Juniperus communis) is an understory shrubby closely associated with spruce/fir forests. Exposed sites include Chihuahua White Pine (Pinus strobiformis), while disturbed north-facing sites consists primarily of Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) or Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides).

There are a variety of mammalian species found in this ecoregion, including the endemic Arizona Gray Squirrel (Sciurus arizonensis), an herbivore who feeds on a wide spectrum of berries, bark and other vegetable material. Non-endemic mammals occurring in the ecoregion include: the Banner-tailed Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys spectabilis NT); Desert Pocket Gopher (Geomys arenarius NT). In addition, there is great potential for restoring Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus) and Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) populations in the area because of its remoteness and juxtaposition to other ecoregions where these species were formerly prevalent.

There are few amphibians found in the Arizona mountain forests. Anuran species occurring here are: Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus); Southwestern Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus); New Mexico Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata); Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii); Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens); Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis VU); Madrean Treefrog (Hyla eximia), a montane anuran found at the northern limit of its range in this ecoregion; Boreal Chorus Frog (Anaxyrus woodhousii); Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata); and Canyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor). The Jemez Mountains Salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus NT) is an ecoregion endemic, found only in the Jemez Mountains of Los Alamos and Sandoval counties, New Mexico. Another salamander occurring in the ecoregion is the Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum).

A number of reptilian taxa occur in the Arizona mountains forests, including: Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum NT), often associated with cacti or desert scrub type vegetation; Narrow-headed Garter Snake (Thamnophis rufipunctatus), a near-endemic found chiefly in the Mogollon Rim area; Sonoran Mud Turtle (Kinosternon sonoriense NT).

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Comments: Thrives in mostly well drained soils but may be found in peat bogs, muskegs or on dry sandy sites (Tree Talk 1994).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Pinus contorta occupies a large part of the North American West with a vast latitudinal range. It consequently has a wide ecological amplitude and grows form near sea level to 3,350 m or perhaps higher and from the relatively mild but cool and rainy Pacific coast to the cold and continental interior of the northern Rocky Mountains. Precipitation consequently ranges from only 250 mm at low elevations in the interior to 5,000 mm along the northern coast. In the interior, Lodgepole Pine forms pioneer stands of great density after forest fires and can form monotypic stands of great extent, especially on infertile soils. In other sites it is associated with many western conifers, most commonly in the north with Picea glauca and mixed with Betula papyrifera or Populus tremula; at higher altitudes with Tsuga mertensiana, Picea engelmannii and Abies lasiocarpa. Further south, the species diversity increases and in California it is a component of the mixed conifer forest as well as subalpine conifer woodland and meadows with numerous conifer species. Here soils are more nutrient rich and fires are less frequent, so Pinus contorta does not attain dominance. As a component of the mixed conifer forest it can attain 50 m in height, with one metre d.b.h., and live to a considerable age. In other areas, such as large tracts of Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, Lodgepole Pine appears to be self-perpetuating as the only tree species capable of growing in a more dynamic environment characterized by frequent fires.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Soils and Topography

Lodgepole pine grows on soils that vary widely but are usually moist.  Growth is best where soil parent materials are granites, shales, and  coarse-grained lavas (24,27); other soils have developed from glacial till  of widely varying composition, Recent, Tertiary, and Oligocene alluvium  and colluvium (from such sources as quartzites and argillites), limestone  of the Belt geologic series, pumice, and volcanic ash. Lodgepole pine is  seldom found on the generally drier soils derived from limestone. In  Canada, however, extensive stands occur on calcareous glacial tills (56).  Glacial drift provides a balance of moisture and porosity on which the  species seems to thrive, as in Alberta, where it grows better on glacial  tills than on alluvial soils or lacustrine deposits. In Montana, highly  calcareous soils derived from dolomitic limestone usually do not support  lodgepole pine, subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa), and Engelmann  spruce (Picea engelmannii), although they do support Rocky  Mountain Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca). Nevertheless,  soils developed in colluvium from other types of limestone and calcareous  glacial till do support stands of lodgepole pine.

    Extensive stands of lodgepole pine (var. latifolia) occur on  soils classified as Inceptisols or Alfisols in the interior forests.  Although the species commonly grows on Andepts and does well on these  soils in some areas, the Boralfs and Ochrepts probably support better tree  development and more extensive stands. Frequently lodgepole pine soils on  Boralfs and Ochrepts have cryic soil temperature regimes. In the Blue  Mountains of Oregon lodgepole pine does well on Andepts, where it is  nearly always found on volcanic ash or alluvial material overlying  residual basaltic soils, at elevations between 910 and 2130 m (3,000 and  7,000 ft). The ash cap soils are deeper and hold more moisture than the  residual soils.

    The coastal form of lodgepole pine (var. contorta) is often  found on Histosols (peat bogs or muskegs) in southeastern Alaska, British  Columbia, and western Washington, and on dry, sandy, or gravelly sites  farther south along the coast on Inceptisols, Alfisols, and Ultisols.

    Soil properties and soil moisture often favor lodgepole pine locally  over other species. Lodgepole pine grows on wet flats and poorly drained  soils in the Cascade Range in Washington and Oregon, and the Sierra Nevada  in California. Soils with underlying hardpan support lodgepole pine to the  exclusion of such species as ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), redwood  (Sequoia sempervirens), or Douglas-fir in the Sierra Nevada,  eastern Oregon, and Mendocino County, CA. Lodgepole pine also grows on  level sites with and without high water tables in central Oregon where  frost tolerance during germination allows its establishment to the  exclusion of other species. Extensive stands are found in these areas on  well drained sites above 1600 m (5,250 ft), with patterns of occurrence  attributed to past fires.

    On infertile soils, lodgepole pine is often the only tree species that  will grow. Nevertheless, experiments have demonstrated significant growth  increase from fertilization, particularly nitrogen (15).

    Lodgepole pine thrives in a wide variety of topographic situations. It  grows well on gentle slopes and in basins, but good stands are also found  on rough and rocky terrain and on steep slopes and ridges, including bare  gravel. Northern and eastern slopes are more favorable than southern and  western aspects (3).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

Source: Silvics of North America

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Climate

Lodgepole pine grows under a wide variety of climatic conditions (52).  Temperature regimes vary greatly. Minimum temperatures range from 7°  C (45° F) on the coast to -57° C (-70° F) in the Northern  Rocky Mountains. Maximum temperatures range from 27° C (80° F)  along the coast and at high elevations to well over 38° C (100°  F) at low elevations in the interior. Average July minimums frequently are  below freezing at high elevations. Lodgepole seedlings are relatively  resistant to frost injury in some locations (16,42) and often survive in "frost-pockets"  where other species do not.

    At low elevations in the interior, lodgepole pine grows in areas  receiving only 250 mm (10 in) of mean annual precipitation, whereas it  receives more than 500 mm (200 in) along the northern coast. Many interior  sites often are low in summer rainfall. Seasonal distribution of  precipitation is significant; snowfall supplies most of the soil water  used for rapid growth in early summer. Temperatures are frequently  favorable for germination after snowmelt, and germination occurs rapidly.  Lodgepole is very intolerant of shade and generally grows best in full  sunlight.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

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Associations

Foodplant / parasite
aecium of Coleosporium asterum parasitises live Pinus contorta

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / mycorrhiza / ectomycorrhiza
fruitbody of Cortinarius malicorius is ectomycorrhizal with live root of Pinus contorta
Remarks: Other: uncertain
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
fruitbody of Dacryobolus sudans is saprobic on decayed wood of Pinus contorta

Foodplant / pathogen
Brunchorstia anamorph of Gremmeniella abietina infects and damages live twig of Pinus contorta
Other: unusual host/prey

Plant / associate
fruitbody of Hebeloma arenosa is associated with Pinus contorta

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Hylobius abietis feeds within dead stump of Pinus contorta
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / sap sucker
nymph of Leptoglossus occidentalis sucks sap of unripe seed (in 1-year old cone) of Pinus contorta
Remarks: season: 5-8
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
Cryptosporiopsis anamorph of Pezicula livida is saprobic on dead, fallen branch of Pinus contorta

Foodplant / pathogen
fruitbody of Phaeolus schweinitzii infects and damages live root of mature tree of Pinus contorta
Other: minor host/prey

Foodplant / pathogen
pycndium of Ramichloridium anamorph of Ramichloridium pini infects and damages shoot (young) of Pinus contorta

Fungus / saprobe
conidioma of Sirococcus coelomycetous anamorph of Sirococcus conigenus is saprobic on fallen cone of Pinus contorta

Foodplant / saprobe
effuse colony of Troposporella dematiaceous anamorph of Troposporella monospora is saprobic on dead needle of Pinus contorta

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Associated Forest Cover

Lodgepole pine grows both in extensive, pure stands, and in association  with many western conifers. The forest cover type Lodgepole Pine (Society  of American Foresters Type 218) (26) exists as a pure (80 percent or more)  component of basal area stocking, as a majority (50 percent or more), or  as a plurality (20 percent or more). The cover type includes all  recognized subspecies of Pinus contorta.

    Lodgepole pine is a component in 27 of the 55 SAF western forest cover  types. In the Northern Interior (Boreal) group it is represented in White  Spruce (Type 201), White Spruce-Aspen (Type 251), White Spruce-Paper Birch  (Type 202), Paper Birch (Type 252), and Black Spruce (Type 204).

    It is a component in all six high elevation cover types: Mountain  Hemlock (Type 205), Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir (Type 206), Red Fir  (Type 207), Whitebark Pine (Type 208), Bristlecone Pine (Type 209), and  California Mixed Subalpine (Type 256). At middle elevations in the  interior it is a minor component of seven other types: Interior  Douglas-Fir (Type 210), Western Larch (Type 212), Grand Fir (Type 213),  Western White Pine (Type 215), Blue Spruce (Type 216), Aspen (Type 217),  and Limber Pine (Type 219). In the North Pacific forests, it is a  component in Coastal True Fir (Type 226), Western Redcedar-Western Hemlock  (Type 227), Western Redcedar (Type 228), Douglas-Fir-Western Hemlock (Type  230), Port-Orford-Cedar (Type 231), and Redwood (Type 232). At low  elevations in the interior it is associated with Interior Ponderosa Pine  (Type 237) and in the South Pacific forests it is a component of Jeffrey  Pine (Type 247).

    Lodgepole pine, with probably the widest range of environmental  tolerance of any conifer in North America, grows in association with many  plant species (30,50,59,60). The lodgepole pine forest type is the third  most extensive commercial forest type in the Rocky Mountains.

    Lodgepole pine's successional role depends upon environmental conditions  and extent of competition from associated species. Lodgepole pine is a  minor seral species in warm, moist habitats and a dominant seral species  in cool dry habitats. It is often persistent even on cool and dry sites  and can attain edaphic climax at relatively high elevations on poor sites.  Fire regimes have played a role in this successional continuum, especially  where repeated fires have eliminated a seed source for other species (27).  Lodgepole pine may even overwhelm a site with seed stored in serotinous  cones. It has four basic successional roles (50):

    Minor Seral- A component of even-aged stands rapidly being  replaced by shade-tolerant associates in 50 to 200 years.

    Dominant Seral- The dominant cover type of even-aged stands with  a vigorous understory of shade-tolerant species that will replace  lodgepole pine in 100 to    200 years.

    Persistent- The dominant cover type of even-aged stands with  little evidence of replacement by shade-tolerant species.

    Climax- The only tree species capable of growing in a particular  environment; lodgepole pine is self-perpetuating.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

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Diseases and Parasites

Damaging Agents

The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus  ponderosae) is the most severe insect pest of lodgepole pine. The  epidemics that periodically occur in many lodgepole pine stands seriously  affect the sustained yield and regulation of managed stands.

    Adult beetles attack lodgepole pine in July or August, introducing  bluestain fungi (8). The beetles construct egg galleries in the phloem  where larvae feed and together with the fungi, girdle and kill the tree.  Larvae overwinter in the tree, complete development, and emerge as adult  beetles in the spring.

    Harvesting has been considered as a means of preventing mountain pine  beetle epidemics (19). Silvicultural practices in an integrated program  for controlling losses to mountain pine beetle have been suggested (9,18).  No mortality occurred in heavily thinned stands in Oregon where vigor  ratings were high (44).

    The mountain pine beetle has played an historic role in the dynamics of  lodgepole pine ecosystems. By periodically invading stands and creating  large amounts of fuels, which are eventually consumed by fire, creating  favorable conditions for regeneration (12,39), the beetle has increased  the probability that lodgepole pine will reoccupy the site at the expense  of other species.

    Another aggressive bark beetle that attacks lodgepole pine is the pine  engraver (Ips pini). Ips commonly develops in logging slash,  especially slash that is shaded and does not dry quickly. Prompt slash  disposal is an effective control measure. Ips also can build up in  windthrows.

    Other insects that can be damaging local pests are the lodgepole  terminal weevil (Pissodes terminalis), which can be destructive to  elongating terminal leaders; larvae of the Warren's collar weevil (Hylobius  warreni), which girdles roots and the root collar; larvae of the  weevil Magdalis gentilis, which mine branches; various sucking  insects, such as the pine needle scale (Chionaspis pinifoliae), the  black pineleaf scale (Nuculaspis californica), and the spruce  spider mite (Oligonychus ununguis); and several defoliating  insects, among which are the lodgepole sawfly (Neodiprion burkei),  the lodgepole needle miner (Coleotechnites milleri), the sugar  pine tortrix (Choristoneura lambertiana), the pine tube moth (Argyrotaenia  pinatubana), and the pandora moth (Coloradia pandora) (7).

    Dwarf mistletoe (particularly Arceuthobium americanum) is the  most widespread and serious parasite affecting lodgepole pine (11,29).  A. americanum seeds are forcibly ejected from the fruit for  distances as great as 9 m (about 30 ft). The sticky seeds adhere to the  foliage of potential host trees. The proportion of trees visibly infected  can double each 5 years between the ages of 10 and 25, with nearly a third  of the trees infected at age 25 (29).

    Rate of spread in young stands is about 0.3 to 0.5 m (1.0 to 1.5 ft) per  year, with the fastest rate in dense stands. In many areas, more than 50  percent of lodgepole pine forests are infected. Dwarf mistletoe infection  results in reduced diameter and height growth, increased mortality,  reduced wood quality, decreased seed production, and overall decreased  vigor.

    Both harvesting and fire can greatly lessen the rate of spread and rates  of infection. Effective control can be accomplished by clearcutting and  locating boundaries of the unit to minimize reinfection from surrounding  stands. Fire can effectively limit spread of dwarf mistletoe by  eliminating sources of infection and establishing vast acreages of dwarf  mistletoe-free areas.

    Lodgepole pine is subject to attack by many fungal pathogens (33). These  fungi are responsible for reduced growth and considerable cull and  mortality. They also contribute in no small measure to the large amounts  of logging residues that commonly occur when lodgepole pine is harvested.

    One of the most serious diseases in lodgepole pine is a stem canker  caused by Atropellis piniphila. Cankered stems are usually useless  for lumber or posts and poles. Stem cankers of rust fungi cause extensive  mortality, growth loss, and cull in lodgepole pine. Of these comandra  blister rust (Cronartium comandrae) isthe most serious.  The western gall rust (Peridermium harknessii) is especially  damaging; trunk cankers can cause cull in logs and can kill seedlings and  saplings. Because this rust does not require an alternate host, it can  directly reinfect pines. Other fungi attack lodgepole pine and may cause  serious losses in wood production. Examples are needle casts (such as Elytroderma  deformans and Lophodermella concolor); root rots (such as Armillaria  mellea and Heterobasidion annosum); and wood decays (such as  Phellinus pini and Peniophora pseudo-pini).

    Seed and seedling diseases are not usually damaging, although locally  several mold fungi are associated with seed losses in germination, and  rotting and damping-off can affect young seedlings.

    Because of its relatively thin bark, lodgepole pine is more susceptible  to fire than Douglas-fir and many other associates. It is less susceptible  than Engelmann spruce or subalpine fir. Mortality from beetle epidemics  often creates large amounts of jackstrawed fuel, which ignites easily from  lightning and other sources and hampers fire control efforts.

    Chinook winds following extremely cold weather occasionally cause red  belt injury, particularly in Canada and Montana. Defoliation of trees is  common and mortality can occur over large areas. Heavy snow can break or  bend trees, particularly in dense stands with narrow crowns and intense  root competition. Thinning can contribute to snow breakage, particularly  if previously dense stands are opened suddenly.

    Animals can cause considerable damage in thinned stands in some areas.  Porcupines were attracted to thinned and fertilized stands in Montana.  Pocket gophers often cover small seedlings under their entrance mounds and  "winter-casts." They also feed on or clip both roots and tops.  Gopher populations often explode as vegetation increases in open areas.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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General Ecology

Reaction to Competition

Lodgepole pine is very intolerant of  shade and competition from other plant species. Occasionally seedlings  become established under a forest canopy, but these individuals rarely do  well. In spite of its shade intolerance, lodgepole pine maintains itself  in dense stands for long periods, often for 100 years or more.

    In the absence of fire, lodgepole pine is usually succeeded by its more  tolerant associates, such as Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir.  Succession proceeds at variable rates, however, and is particularly slow  in some high elevation forests.

    Pure stands of lodgepole pine persist for varying lengths of time. In  northern Idaho and central Oregon, stands begin to break up at 80 to 100  years, while stands at higher elevations, such as in Montana, southern  Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming, last for several hundred years. Pure stands in  and around Yellowstone National Park contain 300- to 400-year-old trees,  with several groups of younger even-aged trees. These stands no doubt  originated as even-aged stands but have been breaking up for more than two  centuries.

    The ability of lodgepole pine to regenerate at the expense of other  species is due not only to cone serotiny but also to seed viability,  germinative energy, early rapid growth, and ability to survive a wide  variety of microsite and soil situations (39).

    Compared to its associates, lodgepole pine is intermediate in its needs  for water, requiring more than Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine and less  than Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir. On some sites, lodgepole pine  appears to compete well for water, however, and grows where other species  may be excluded because of lack of water (45,57); on others it appears to  be tolerant of high water tables (14,43). It is also intermediate in its  tolerance to extremes of temperature (27).

    Lodgepole pine shows good response to thinning at an early age (17).  Heavily stocked stands must be thinned before stagnation occurs. The best  age for thinning varies with site and density. Poor sites and overstocked  stands particularly must be thinned as early as age 10.

    Diameter growth acceleration is usually greatest in heavy thinnings;  cubic volume and basal area growth are usually greatest in light thinnings  (27). Although mechanical thinning, as with bulldozer strips, is a  convenient alternative, obtaining a proper response (36) is difficult.

    At older ages, growth response is strongly correlated with crown size,  vigor, and amount of release provided (27). Attempts at partial cutting of  mature and over-mature stands have resulted in little gain or even  negative net volume growth (1,28).

    Lodgepole pine can be maintained best in a vigorous, productive forest  by using a silvicultural method that regenerates even-aged stands (38).  This often may be accomplished by clearcutting and by relying upon natural  regeneration or planting. Planting provides an excellent opportunity for  initial stocking control and/or genetic improvement.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

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Rooting Habit

The root system of lodgepole pine varies  considerably in form, depending on soil type. Root growth is particularly  important during the critical first year. Root growth of 12.7 to 15.2 cm  (5 to 6 in) was reported for seedlings growing on prepared seedbeds in  Montana and Idaho (34). First-season seedlings had an average root depth  of only 9.6 cm (3.8 in) on scarified, unshaded seedbeds in the central  Rocky Mountains (47). Seedlings growing near grass competition usually do  not penetrate beyond 5 or 6 cm (about 2 in).

    Taproots and vertical sinkers are common, but where a hardpan or water  table is encountered, the taproot may die, bend, or assume a horizontal  position. Planting may affect root configuration. Taproots of seedlings  planted with "J-roots" often grow horizontally for many years  before sinkers develop.

    Because of its shallow root system, lodgepole pine is susceptible to  windfall, particularly after stands are opened by harvesting. Windfirmness  varies with stand density, soil conditions, and topography. Shallow roots  are common above hardpan or in shallow, rocky soils.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Vegetative Reproduction

Lodgepole pine can be grafted  successfully, but results vary depending upon the clone (20). Natural  sprouting has been observed on the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana.  Branches not severed often become leaders on stumps left in thinning  operations.

    Lodgepole pine cuttings are relatively easy to root. Adventitious roots  have been developed artificially from 8-year-old lodgepole pine (by  air-layering) after treatment with either indole-acetic or indole-butyric  acid (17).

    Callus tissue cultures and liquid cell suspensions have been produced  from seedling hypocotyl tissue, excised embryos, and actively growing  shoots.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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James E. Lotan

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Seedling Development

Germination under field conditions is good  if climate and seedbed are favorable. Best germination occurs in full  sunlight and on bare mineral soil or disturbed duff, free of competing  vegetation. Germination is epigeal. Temperatures fluctuating between 8°  and 26° C (47° and 78° F) favor germination. Adequate soil  moisture is required for germination and survival during the critical few  weeks following germination (34,51,55). In southwest Montana and southeast  Idaho, 75 to 90 percent of a season's total germination occurred during  the 2 weeks following snowmelt in late June (34), when the soil was  saturated and temperatures were favorable. Germination can be delayed if  cones do not open during the previous summer.

    Although lodgepole pine germinates well on most organic seedbeds, such  materials tend to dry faster than mineral soil and seedlings often die in  this seedbed. Lodgepole pine seeds have little need for stratification and  germination depends largely upon temperature (20). At optimum temperatures  and moisture, almost 100 percent of the seeds germinate rapidly.

    Both shading and competition inhibit germination and survival. Newly  germinated seedlings are relatively insensitive to temperature extremes.  Because residual overstory following partial cutting usually does not  provide the most favorable conditions for regeneration, clearcutting is  generally recommended. On some areas, however, lodgepole pine has  established itself in the shade of lightly cut or uneven-aged stands and  may persist for many years in the understory. Some of these trees  eventually may establish a crown sufficient to permit reasonable growth.

    Drought is a common cause of mortality among first-year seedlings;  losses vary with soil type and seedbed condition. Greatest losses occur on  soils with low water-holding capacity, and duff and litter. Well  decomposed organic material, incorporated in the soil, enhances seedling  survival, however. Disturbed mineral soil seedbeds generally produce the  best germination and survival (34,40,41). Shading has been demonstrated to  help under drought conditions in Wyoming (10).

    Drought losses usually decline considerably after the first growing  season. First-year seedlings are particularly vulnerable because of a  relatively shallow root system (34,47).

    Young, succulent seedlings may die because of high soil surface  temperatures (13). By 2 to 4 weeks of age, seedlings are able to withstand  soil surface temperatures higher than 60° C (140° F), which  commonly occur at high elevation sites. Freezing temperatures may kill  seedlings either directly or by frost heaving. In much of the range of  lodgepole pine, however, frosts occur regularly throughout the growing  season and seedlings from different sources vary in frost resistance (16).  The amount of frost heaving varies considerably by soil type, location,  and year of occurrence but can cause significant losses.

    Lodgepole pine seedlings are poor competitors and competition from grass  is often most detrimental. The Douglas-fir/pinegrass habitat type is one  of the most difficult sites for lodgepole pine regeneration, particularly  if the regeneration effort is delayed until a firm sod cover is  established.

    Grazing animals, particularly cattle, can cause seedling mortality by  trampling. Sheep actually seek the succulent new "candles" in  the spring and nibble needles and small branches if other feed is not  abundant.

    A common problem of regenerating lodgepole pine stands is overstocking,  which results in stagnation at early ages. Many sites are stocked with  tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of trees per hectare.

    If trees are well distributed, stocking should not exceed 1,240 to 1,980  stems per hectare (500 to 800/acre) between 5 years and 20 years of age  (17). Proper distribution and full utilization of the site, however, may  require establishment of 2,470/ha (1,000/acre) and thinning to obtain  proper spacing. There is also potential for significant genetic gains from  selection of elite trees when thinning.

    An average height of 3.6 m (12 ft) and d.b.h. of 5 cm (2 in) on fully  stocked 20-year-old stands was found on above average sites in Montana  (27). Average heights of 2.0 m (6.7 ft), 4.2 m (13.8 ft), and 7.6 m (24.9  ft) were found on low, medium, and high sites in 20-year-old stands in the  Foothills Section of Alberta (for density class 1,240 stems per hectare or  500/acre at 70 years of age) (32).

    Lodgepole pine height growth begins earlier than any of its associates  except other pines and larch (53).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Seed Production and Dissemination

Lodgepole pine produces  viable seed at an early age, commonly 5 to 10 years; germination  percentage is as high as that of seed borne by mature trees. Pollen  flowers have been observed on 2-0 seedlings in the Lucky Peak Nursery near  Boise, ID.

    Lodgepole pine is a prolific seed producer. Good crops can be expected  at 1- to 3-year intervals, with light crops intervening. The cones  withstand below freezing temperatures and are not generally affected by  cone- and seed-feeding insects. Only squirrels and coreid bugs are  significant seed predators. Seed production should not be taken for  granted, however. Complete seed crop failures have occurred at 2800 m  (9,200 ft) in northwest Wyoming for 2 to 4 years in a row (42).

    Cone production of individual dominant and codominant trees can vary  from a few hundred to a few thousand per tree (37). Cones are persistent,  and serotinous (closed) cones accumulate for decades. Annual production  may run from 173,000 to 790,000 seeds per hectare (70,000 to 320,000/acre)  with half to one-third available for annual seedfall (27). An annual  seedfall of 99,000 to 222,000 seeds per hectare (40,000 to 90,000/acre)  was found in central Montana (58). These figures might be considered  typical for interior lodgepole pine where some portion of the trees are of  the serotinous type. In Oregon, where the nonserotinous cone habit is  prevalent, seedfall ranged from about 35,000 to over 1.2 million/ha  (14,000 to 500,000/acre) (21). Most years seedfall was on the order of  hundreds of thousands per hectare. Where stored seeds are in the millions  per hectare (in closed cones), the number of seeds stored is probably 10  times that of seeds produced annually (37).

    Although the number of fully developed seeds per cone varies from as few  as 1 to 2 to as many as 50, a normal average for large cone lots in the  Rocky Mountains is from 10 to 24 seeds per cone (42). Sierra Nevada  populations range from 5 to 37 seeds per cone (20).

    The serotinous cone habit varies over wide geographic areas as well as  locally (37). Serotinous cones are not common in eastern Oregon, rare in  coastal populations, and absent in the Sierra Nevada and southern  California and Baja California populations (20). Although common in the  Rocky Mountains, this cone habit varies considerably (37). Many stands in  the Rockies have less than 50 percent serotinous-cone trees.

    Lodgepole pine has long been regarded as a fire-maintained subclimax  type. Its ability to regenerate in extremely dense stands to the exclusion  of other species can be attributed to the closed cone habit. Millions of  seeds per hectare are held in reserve for many years and are readily  available to germinate on the seedbed prepared by fire. Recent evidence  seems to indicate that fire selects strongly for the closed cone habit  (49).

    Serotinous cones do not open at maturity because of a resinous bond  between the cone scales. The bonds break with temperatures between 45°  and 60° C (113° to 140° F) (48), and cone scales are then  free to open hygroscopically. Large quantities of seeds are thus available  for regenerating a stand following fire. Closed cones at or near the soil  surface (less than 30 cm or about 12 in) are also subjected to  temperatures from insolation sufficient to open them and may provide seed  in harvested areas. Some seeds may be damaged by fire, however,  particularly in fires burning in logging slash.

    Seeds stored in serotinous cones on the tree remain viable for years.  Apparently, prolonged viability can be maintained so long as cones or  seeds are not in contact with the ground. Once cones are on the ground,  cones open. Damping-off fungi may infect the seed, rodents may feed on the  seeds, or germination may occur; for the most part, seeds are not stored  in the soil.

    Lodgepole pine has relatively small seeds for pine. Seed weights vary  considerably, ranging from 2.3 mg (0.04 grains) per seed in the Interior  of Canada to 11.4 mg (0.18 grains) per seed in the Sierra Nevada (20).  Lodgepole pine seeds average about 298,000 cleaned seeds per kilogram  (135,000/lb) for varieties contorta, 258,000/kg (117,000/lb) for  murrayana, and 207,000/kg (94,000/lb) for latifolia (54).  Density of seedfall 20 m (66 ft) from the timber edge is only 10 to 30  percent of that at the timber edge for stands in the Rocky Mountains (fig.  1) (42). Dispersal of sufficient seed to adequately restock an area often  is only about 60 m (200 ft) (23,38). Prevailing winds, thermal effects, or  scudding on the snow may disperse seeds far beyond these distances,  however.

     
Figure 1- Sound seed per hectare as a function of  distance 
from the nearest timber edge.


    The annual seedfall from nonserotinous cones helps in restocking  relatively minor disturbances in the stand, in maintaining the presence of  lodgepole pine in mixed stands, and in expanding conifers into other  vegetative types. Seldom do we find stands without some trees of the  open-coned type. The efficacy of this seed source can be seen in the dense  stands of lodgepole pine along road cuts, powerline rights-of-way, and  ditches or where disturbance occurs near lodgepole pine stands.

    Studies of seedfall have shown variation in the number of seeds released  soon after cone maturation, but most seeds (80 to 90 percent) are released  before the following growing season (27).

    Where large amounts of seed are stored in serotinous cones, a most  effective means of seed dispersal in clearcuts is from cones attached to  the slash and those knocked from the slash and scattered over the forest  floor during slash disposal. Many cones on or near the ground are opened  by normal summer soil surface temperatures (35). In Montana 83 percent of  the cones on the ground opened the first year on south slopes compared to  40 percent on north slopes. Maximum seed release from serotinous cones  near the ground takes place during the first year of exposure. In fact,  cones may open after the first few minutes of exposure to temperatures  high enough to break the resinous bonds.

    In slash, serotinous cones that are well above the ground behave like  those on a tree- they remain closed, and stored seeds remain viable for  years.

    Seeds in unopened cones and those released from the slash may also be  lost to rodents, fungi, and other destructive agents. Seeds from closed  cones are usually available only for the first growing season following  harvest, but stocking from open-cone seed sources can continue to increase  for several years.

    Slash disposal on areas where regeneration is planned from serotinous  cones must be carefully planned and executed. Seed supply will be largely  destroyed if slash to be burned is piled before cones have had a chance to  open (38). Piling slash should be delayed until sufficient cones have  opened to assure adequate stocking. Piling then scatters seeds and opened  cones and helps prepare the seedbed. Piling slash after germination can  also decrease stocking because young seedlings are trampled or buried.

    Broadcast burning may hasten release of seeds from cones not in a  position to open from high soil-surface temperatures. Some seeds will be  destroyed, however; the amount will vary with fire intensity.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Flowering and Fruiting

Male and female strobili generally are  home separately on the same tree in this monoecious species, with female  flowers most often at the apical end of main branches in the upper crown,  and male flowers on older lateral branches of the lower crown. The reddish  purple female flowers grow in whorls of two to five and are 10 to 12 mm  (0.4 to 0.5 in) long. The pale yellow to yellowish orange male flowers are  crowded clusters of catkins at the base of new shoots and are 8 to 14 mm  (0.3 to 0.6 in) long. It is not uncommon to find a dominance of maleness  or femaleness on individual trees.

    Pollen generally matures in mid-May to mid-July (table 1) (20,52). The  time at which pollen matures appears to be related to elevation and  climate.

    Table 1- Time of pollen shedding in natural stands of  lodgepole pine (20,52, modified)           
Stand location   
Elevation¹  Years observed  Date of peak shedding              m  ft          Vancouver, BC  -  -  2  Middle to late May      Northwestern Washington  150  500  10  May 12      Mendocino White Plains, California  -  -  1  June 9      Northern Cascades  1200  4,000  -  Mid-June      Northern Idaho; western Montana  -  -  10  June 13      Central and eastern Washington and Oregon  790 to 1300  2,600 to 4,250  -  June 13      Southeastern Alberta (subalpine forest)  -  -  10  June 22      Sierra Nevada, California  1820  6,000  3  June 22      Central Montana; Yellowstone region  -  -  10  June 25      Northern Utah  2190  7,200  2  July 12      Southern Idaho  2070  6,800  1  July 7      Northern Idaho; western Montana  670 to 1265  2,200 to 4,150  10  June 6      Eastside Montana; Yellowstone National Park  975 to 2060  3,200 to 6,750  10  June 17      ¹Dash indicates  data are not available.        Seed cones usually mature in August, September, or October, more than a  year after pollination. Inland forms and high elevation stands apparently  mature earlier than coastal forms or low elevation stands. Cones open in  early September in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Cone maturity is  indicated by a change in color from purple-green to light brown (54).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Growth

Growth and Yield

Growth and yield of lodgepole pine is greatly  affected by stand density (31) as well as by environmental factors  (2,6,22,46). In fact, site index curves have been developed with  corrections for effects of stand density.

    Maximum yield in the Rocky Mountains was 280 m³/ha (20,000  fbm/acre) at a density of 1,980 trees per hectare (800/acre), but only 21  m³/ha (1,500 fbm/acre) at a density of 4,450/ha (1,800/acre),  assuming 5 fbm/ft³; original figures were in board feet (27).

    In extreme cases 70-year-old stands with 247,000 trees/ha (100,000  trees/acre) averaged only 1.2 m (4 ft) in height and less than 2.5 cm (1  in) in diameter at ground level.

    Yields of 168 to 224 m³/ha (about 12,000 to 16,000 fbm/acre) can be  found in old-growth Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine. Yields of more than 336  m³/ha (about 24,000 fbm/acre) are the result of a fortuitous  combination of favorable initial stocking, good site quality, and absence  of mountain pine beetle and dwarf mistletoe.

    Relationships among age, stocking levels, and development in natural  stands were summarized for medium sites in Montana and Idaho (site index  22.9 m or 75 ft at 100 years) (table 2). Under light to moderate stocking,  live crowns are 25 to 60 percent of total height.

    Table 2- Relationships among stand age and stocking  level, and tree development and typical yield in natural stands of  lodgepole pine, summarized for medium sites in Montana and Idaho (site  index 22.9 m or 75 ft at base age of 100 years)¹           
Age   
Stocking  Average height of dominants  Average stand diameter   
Total cubic volume   
Merchantable volume            yr  trees/ha  trees/acre  m  ft  cm  in  m³/ha  ft³/acre  m³/ha  ft³/acre  fbm/acre        20    1,240     500    5.5  18    8.6    3.4    16.1     230  -            19,770  8,000    3.0  10    4.1    1.6    28.0     400  -            50    1,180     479  12.5  41  16.5   6.5  144.9  2,070  130.2  1,860    5,100        15,200  6,150    9.1  30    6.9    2.7  165.9  2,370  -  -  -        80    1,030     418  18.0  59  20.6    8.1  285.6  4,080  266.0  3,800  12,100          7,500  3,034  14.6  48    9.1    3.6  280.0  4,000  -  -  -      110       850     344  22.3  73  23.6    9.3  385.7  5,510  363.3  5,190  18,200          4,600  1,861  18.9  62  11.4    4.5  357.0  5,100  273.0  3,900    8,400      140       680     275  25.3  83  26.7  10.5  448.7  6,140  426.3  6,090  23,200          3,070  1,243  22.3  73  14.0    5.5  416.5  5,950  301.0  4,300  10,300      ¹Compiled from unpublished  yield tables furnished by D.M. Cole, USDA Forest Service, Intermountain  Research Station, Bozeman, MT. Cubic volumes are from trees 11.4 cm (4.5  in) in d.b.h. to a 7.6 cm (3 in) diameter top. Board foot volumes are  from trees larger than 16.5 cm (6.5 in) in d.b.h. to a 15.2 cm (6 in)  diameter top.        Mature sizes vary greatly between stands. In the Rocky Mountains, most  trees at 140 years of age were 18 to 33 cm (about 7 to 13 in) in d.b.h.  and 18 to 25 m (about 60 to 80 ft) in height (27).

    Trees in the Blue Mountains of Oregon average 30 cm (about 12 in) in  d.b.h. and 23 m (about 75 ft) tall at 100 years of age. Sierra Nevada  trees the same age are larger, averaging 42 cm (about 16 to 17 in) in  d.b.h. and 28 to 30 m (about 90 to 100 ft) tall. Coastal trees are smaller  but vary greatly. Mature trees range from 15 to 50 cm (about 6 to 20 in)  in d.b.h. and only 6 to 12 m (20 to 40 ft) tall. Dwarf lodgepole pines are  only about a meter (2 to 5 ft) tall and are found along the coast in  Mendocino County, CA. This small size is thought to be caused by a highly  acid hardpan.

    Growth of lodgepole pine is often so stagnant that stand culture is not  practical. Early management and control of stocking greatly affects growth  and yield of lodgepole pine stands (17). Average annual growth in  old-growth unmanaged stands in the central Rocky Mountains only was 0.4 to  0.6 m³/ha (about 25 to 40 fbm/acre) because of large numbers of small  trees and a high incidence of dwarf mistletoe (4). (Calculations assume 5  fbm/ft³; original figures were in board feet). Annual net growth may  be increased to 2.1 to 5.6 m³/ha (about 150 to 400 fbm/acre) by  controlling stand density and reducing dwarf mistletoe infection (5,25).

    Control of stand density offers the greatest opportunity for increasing  productivity of any readily available management practice.

    Culmination of total cubic volume occurs as early as 40 years in  severely stagnated stands, and between 50 and 80 years for overstocked,  but not greatly stagnated, stands. Merchantable volume culmination in  stands of the latter type occurs between 110 and 140 years, depending on  merchantability standards.

    Thinning of young overstocked and stagnating stands can restore growth  potential and redirect it into merchantable-size products. With more  complete utilization (lower merchantable d.b.h. and top diameters), most  of the yield increase possible from thinning is attained with the first  entry, a stocking control thinning (17).

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

This summary is based on a recent review of the literature on the  genetics of lodgepole pine (20). The ability of some strains of lodgepole  pine to grow well on poor sites and in cold climates has interested  European foresters for many years. Much of what is known about the genetic  diversity of the species has been learned from provenance tests, mostly in  northwestern Europe. These tests have established that much of the  variation observed in natural stands of lodgepole pine has a genetic  basis.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pinus contorta

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinus contorta

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 17
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Extensive range from Alaska to northern New Mexico and Baja California, attaining best populations in the Rocky Montains (Record and Hess 1943). Thrives in mostly well drained soils but may be found in peat bogs, muskegs or on dry sandy sites. Successfully cultivated in New Zealand and the United Kingdom (Tree Talk 1994).

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Farjon, A.

Reviewer/s
Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.

Contributor/s

Justification
Pinus contorta is widespread and abundant in many parts of its range and is therefore assessed as Least Concern. All of its constituent varieties are also assessed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The global population is thought to be stable.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Comments: The timber is well known (Tree Talk 1994).

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Major Threats
No range wide threats have been identified. Bark beetles and changes in fire frequencies may be locally problematic.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is present in many protected areas throughout its range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Uses: FIBER, Building materials/timber

Comments: Uses of the timber are local for mining timbers and railway crossties, sometimes under the name of Tamarack (Record and Hess 1943). Other common applications are corral rails, veneer, hardboards, mine timbers, orchard props, paneling, particleboard, plywood, poles, posts, pulpwood, rough construction, rustic furniture, shingles and siding (Tree Talk 1994).

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Special Uses

Lodgepole pine is not only an important timber species but is also a  major tree cover in many scenic and recreational areas and on critical  watersheds. It provides many acres of wildlife habitat and is associated  with many grazing allotments throughout its range. It is important to  local communities throughout the West.

    Lodgepole pine is used for framing, paneling, posts, corral poles,  utility poles, railroad ties, and pulpwood. As new developments such as  structural particleboard become practical, the rapid juvenile growth of  the species will be an advantage where gross cubic volume becomes  important. Even now, with properly designed machinery, it is economically  harvested, and this harvesting, properly done, can enhance watershed,  forage, wildlife habitat, and scenic and recreational values.

  • Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods.   Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965).   U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp.   http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm External link.
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Wikipedia

Pinus contorta

Pinus contorta, with the common names lodgepole pine and shore pine, and also known as twisted pine,[2] and contorta pine,[2] is a common tree in western North America.[3] Like all pines (member species of the genus Pinus), it is an evergreen conifer.

Subspecies[edit]

There are four subspecies of Pinus contorta, and one of them is sometimes considered to have two varieties.[4] The subspecies are sometimes treated at the rank of variety.[2][5][6]

Description[edit]

Depending on subspecies, Pinus contorta grows as an evergreen shrub or tree. The shrub form is krummholz and is approximately 1 to 3 m (3.3 to 9.8 ft) high. The thin and narrow-crowned tree is 40 to 50 m (130 to 160 ft) high and can achieve up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in diameter at chest height.[14] The murrayana subspecies is the tallest. The crown is rounded and the top of the tree is flattened. In dense forests, the tree has a slim, conical crown. The formation of twin trees is common in some populations in British Columbia. The elastic branches stand upright or overhang and are difficult to break. The branches are covered with short shoots that are easy to remove.[15]

The species name is contorta because of the twisted, bent pines found at coastal areas and the tree's twisted needles.[16][17][18] Pinus contorta is occasionally known under several English names: black pine, scrub pine, and coast pine.[19][20] P. contorta subsp. latifolia will hybridise with the closely related Jack pine (Pinus banksiana).

Needles and buds[edit]

The needles are 4 to 8 cm (1.6 to 3.1 in) long in fascicles of two, alternate on twigs. The female cones are 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) long with sharp-tipped scales.

The egg-shaped growth buds are reddish-brown and between 20 and 30 mm (0.79 and 1.18 in) long. They are short pointed, slightly rotated, and very resinous. Spring growth starts in beginning of April and the annual growth is completed by early July. The dark and mostly shiny needles are pointed and 4 to 8 cm (1.6 to 3.1 in) long and 0.9 to 2 mm (0.035 to 0.079 in) wide. The needle edge is weak to clearly serrated. The needles are in pairs on short shoots and rotated about the shoots' longitudinal axes. In Alberta above 2,000 m (6,600 ft), 1 to 5 needles occur per short shoot. A population with a high proportion of three-needled short shoots occurs in the Yukon. Needles live an average of four to six years, with a maximum of 13 years.[15]

Cones[edit]

The 3–7 cm cones often need exposure to high temperatures (such as from forest fires) in order to open and release their seeds, though in subsp. murrayana they open as soon as they are mature. The cones have prickles on the scales.

Ecology[edit]

P. contorta subsp. latifolia forest 23 years before (above) and 10 years after (below) the Yellowstone fires of 1988

Pinus contorta is a fire-dependent species, requiring wildfires to maintain healthy populations of diverse ages. The bark of the lodgepole pine is fairly thin, minimizing the tree's defense to fire; however, the heat of these closed-cone pine forest rejuvenating fires open the cones to release the seeds. This allows the species to regenerate and maintain its place in the forest habitat.[21]

Excessive wildfire prevention disrupts the fire ecology. The stands are usually so densely populated that the trees self-thin, or out-compete each other, leaving dead trees standing. These become a dry ladder fuel that can accelerate the fire to the crown of living trees. When the fire reaches the crowns of the trees, it can jump from tree to tree and becomes relatively unstoppable.

The natural fire regime for this species is primarily driven by climate. The fires occur most often after years of drought. Pinus contorta occurs from the upper montane to the subalpine region. These types of forests experience a lot of moisture in the form of snow in the winter due to their altitude. The density of the tree stand also prohibits the establishment of an understory. With all of that being said, the likelihood of a surface fire occurring is rare. Thus, infrequent but severe fires dominate this species.[21]

An example of the climate that plays a huge role in the fire regime of Pinus contorta is quite complex. There are three different oscillations that play a major role in droughts. These are the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO) and El Nino (ENSO). A combination of these oscillations being in effect (+) or not in effect (-) have a global effect on the water available to these forests. So when the AMO +, ENSO – and PDO -, there is going to be a drought and likely a severe subalpine fire.[22]

A cluster of pollen-bearing male cones at Mount San Antonio

Suillus tomentosus, a fungus, produces specialized structures called tuberculate ectomycorrhizae with the roots of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia). These structures have been shown to be the location of concentrations of nitrogen-fixing bacteria which contribute a significant amount of nitrogen to tree growth and allow the pines to colonize nutrient-poor sites.[23][24]

Threats[edit]

This species is attacked by Blue stain fungus (Grosmannia clavigera), distributed by the Mountain Pine Beetle from its mouth.

A recent study estimates that Pinus contorta could experience significant reductions in distribution due to climate change by the late 21st century.[25][26]

Uses[edit]

Pinus contorta subsp. murrayana
in Lassen Volcanic National Park, Cascade Range, California.

Construction[edit]

Tree plantations of Pinus contorta have been planted extensively in Norway and Sweden for forestry, such as timber uses.

Native American tipis[edit]

Lodgepole pine is named for its common use as structural poles for the Native American tipi shelter. A typical tipi is constructed using 15 to 18 pines. The long, straight, and lightweight characteristics of the species made it ideal for horse transport in nomadic Plains buffalo hunting cultures. Tribes made long journeys across the Great Plains to secure lodgepole pines that only grew in mountainous areas. In Minnesota, other species such as red pine would be used in tipis, though they were generally thicker, heavier, and more cumbersome to transport than Pinus contorta.

Pinus contorta is still used by many today for erecting tipis on American Indian reservations, at powwows, and at private homes. The trees may be harvested for tipi poles in U.S. National Forests, provided the harvester secured a permit to cut living trees for ceremonial or traditional purposes. The Bighorn Mountains, the Black Hills, and the Medicine Bow Mountains are popular tipi pole harvesting areas for Native Americans living on Plains Indians reservations in North and South Dakota, and immigrant tipi enthusiasts.

Medicinal[edit]

The indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest and of California used different parts of the plant internally and externally as a traditional medicine for various ailments.[27]

Cultivation[edit]

Pinus contorta is cultivated as an ornamental tree by the horticulture industry. Plant nurseries grow Pinus contorta subsp. contorta and Pinus contorta subsp. murrayana for use in traditional and wildlife gardens, and as smaller selections of the native plant for natural landscaping. The Shore pine's (ssp. contorta) smaller varieties and cultivars are also used in container gardening, including as large bonsai specimens .

Emblem[edit]

Lodgepole pine is the Provincial tree of Alberta, Canada.

Invasive species[edit]

Pinus contorta is a serious invasive species of wilding conifer in New Zealand, along with several other western North American pine species. It is listed on the National Pest Plant Accord and is prohibited from sale, commercial propagation, and distribution.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). Pinus contorta. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "USDA GRIN Taxonomy". 
  3. ^ Moore, Gerry; Kershner, Bruce; Craig Tufts; Daniel Mathews; Gil Nelson; Spellenberg, Richard; Thieret, John W.; Terry Purinton; Block, Andrew (2008). National Wildlife Federation Field Guide to Trees of North America. New York: Sterling. p. 91. ISBN 1-4027-3875-7. 
  4. ^ Conifer Specialist Group (1998). 'Pinus contorta var. bolanderi'. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
  5. ^ Flora of North America
  6. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species". 
  7. ^ TJM2: Pinus contorta subsp. bolanderi
  8. ^ Syn: Pinus contorta subsp. contorta var. bolanderi
  9. ^ CalFlora Database — Pinus contorta ssp. bolanderi, accessed 20 August 2013
  10. ^ CalFlora Database — Pinus contorta ssp. contorta, accessed 20 August 2013
  11. ^ CalFlora Database — Pinus contorta ssp. murrayana, accessed 20 August 2013
  12. ^ USDA Plants Profile — Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia
  13. ^ Johnson, Kershaw; MacKinnon, Pojar (1995). Plants of the Western Boreal Forest and Aspen Parkland. Edmonton AB: Lonepine Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 1-55105-058-7. 
  14. ^ "Pinus contorta". Flora of North America. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Schütt, Weisgerber; Schuck, Lang; Stimm, Roloff (2008). Lexikon der Nadelbäume. Hamburg, Germany: Nikol. pp. 365–367. ISBN 3-933203-80-5. 
  16. ^ "Plants and Trees: lodgepole pine". U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  17. ^ Farjon, Aljos (2010). A Handbook of the World's Conifers 2. Leiden, Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill NV. p. 654. ISBN 978-90-04-17718-5. 
  18. ^ "Pinus contorta var. contorta : Shore Pine". Oregon State University. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Forests of Crater Lake National Park: Lodgepole Pine (Pinus Contorta)". Crater Lake Institute. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  20. ^ "Index of Species Information: Pinus contorta var. contorta". Fire Effects Information System. U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  21. ^ a b Schoennagel, Tania; Thomas Veblen (2004). "The Interaction of Fire, Fuels and Climate across Rocky Mountain Forests". BioScience 54 (7): 661–76. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2004)054[0661:TIOFFA]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0006-3568. 
  22. ^ Kauffman, J. Boone (August 2004). "Death Rides the Forest: Perceptions of Fire, Land Use and Ecological Restoration of Western Forests" (PDF). Conservation Biology 18 (4): 878–82. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.545_1.x. Retrieved 24 February 2010. 
  23. ^ Paul, L.R.; Chapman, B.K.; Chanway, C.P. (2007). "Nitrogen Fixation Associated with Suillus tomentosus Tuberculate Ectomycorrhizae on Pinus contorta var. latifolia". Annals of Botany 99 (6): 1101–1109. doi:10.1093/aob/mcm061. PMC 3243579. PMID 17468111. 
  24. ^ Chapman, W.K.; Paul, L.R. (2012). "Evidence that Northern Pioneering Pines with Tuberculate Mycorrhizae are Unaffected by Varying Soil Nitrogen Levels" (PDF). Microbial Ecology 64: Open Access. doi:10.1007/s00248-012-0076-0. 
  25. ^ Coops, Nicholas C.; Waring, Richard H. (March 2011). "A process-based approach to estimate lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.) distribution in the Pacific Northwest under climate change". Climatic Change 105 (1–2): 313–328. doi:10.1007/s10584-010-9861-2. 
  26. ^ Rudolf, John Collins (28 February 2011). "Climate Change Takes Toll on the Lodgepole Pine". Green: A Blog About Energy and the Environment. New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2011. 
  27. ^ U of M — Ethnobotany
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Notes

Comments

Pinus contorta is fire successional over most of its range and is characterized by prolific seeding and high seed viability in disturbed habitats, often resulting in extremely slow-growing, overly dense stands. Some authors consider it to consist of 4 races; these have been given various infraspecific ranks, but perhaps they are more conventionally treated as 3 varieties.
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