NSF publishes press release highlighting research on Whitebark Pine

The National Science Foundation published a press release on June 10, 2013 highlighting my research on whitebark pine. In the paper, published in the Journal of Ecology, co-authors Eliot McIntire and Elizabeth Crone, and I showed that masting in whitebark pine helps to overcome pollen limitation and increases cone production. Individual trees produce more pollen cones and seed cones in the same years, and the extra pollen means more seed cones mature, providing more food for wildlife like nutcrackers, squirrels, and grizzly bears. Whitebark pine is now threatened by an invasive pathogen, white pine blister rust, and an extreme outbreak of a native bark beetle, mountain pine beetle. Trees are dying throughout the range. Fewer trees could mean greater pollen limitation for the survivors and a breakdown in masting. Our current research explores this scenario. The NSF press release was highlighted in LTER Network News, Science 360 News, Point Blue, Science Daily, and others. The Journal of Ecology posted an interview with me on their blog.