In the online journal Functional Ecology, Doctoral student Scott Ferrenberg and Professor Jeff Mitton of University of Colorado, Boulder describe how they conducted field surveys to determine if mountain pine beetles can successfully attack limber pines with smooth versus rough bark.
Scott, who led the study, said he first began to suspect that bark texture might affect the survival of trees while he and Dr. Mitton, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, were walking through a stand of high-elevation limber pines. They noticed that surface resin, a residue of fighting off a beetle invasion, was common only on patches of rough bark.
Listen to Scott talk about the research here:
You can learn more about the mountain pine beetle and its affect on North American forests by watching the videos in the Ecology section of the Learn More About Climate website.
Professor Mitton was recently featured in The Climate Reality Project video as part of 24 Hours of Reality initiative. Watch the video here:
Read their first-hand account of conducting the study in the Functional Ecology article.