• Effects of Defoliation by the Western False Hemlock Looper on Douglas-Fir Tree-Ring Chronologies

      Alfaro, R. I.; MacDonald, R. N.; Forestry Canada, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, British Columbia; Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia (Tree-Ring Society, 1988)
      Annual rings of Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco, which sustained 1 year of defoliation by the western false hemlock looper, Nepytia freemanii Munroe (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), showed a period of decrease in breast height ring width starting in the year that followed the damage. The magnitude of the decrease was related to the degree of defoliation: there was no ring width decrease on trees that were 0-10% defoliated; the decrease became progressively more noticeable in trees which sustained increasingly higher defoliation; and it was maximum in trees which sustained 91-100% defoliation. This period of reduction lasted 1 to 5 years and was followed by a period of above-normal growth which was related to defoliation in a similar manner: it was absent in trees 0-10% defoliated and maximum in the 91-100% tree defoliation class. Increase in defoliation caused a significant increase in index standard deviation, autocorrelation and mean sensitivity.