ESPM 134 Spring 2009 lecture: 12:30 - 2:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday
Fire, Insects and Diseases
in Wildland Ecosystems
location: 132 Mulford Hall
course control number 29337

FINAL EXAM: Tuesday May 19 2009 5-8pm

Location: 247 CORY Hall
Instructors: Tom Bruns (Microbial Ecology), Scott Stephens (Fire Ecology), Nick Mills (Forest Entomology)
click here for a copy of old ESPM 134 final exams

Table of Contents
  • Description
  • Textbook
  • Grades
  • Reading Discussion Sessions
  • Field Trips
  • Instructors
  • Syllabus
  • Readings
  • Old exams
  • Class Photo
  • Student Pitch Canker Project

    In this course we will provide insights into the importance of fire, insects and diseases through lectures, discussion sessions and field trips. In addition, we will discuss how humans are affecting wildland ecosystems through both direct (forest management) and indirect (travel, air pollution, commerce, etc.) actions that change the roles of these agents. [course info.pdf]
    top TEXTBOOK
    Edmonds et al. 2000, Forest Health and Protection. This will not be available in the bookstore right away because we neglected to put in the order (Sorry about that), but you can order the softcover version from Amazon and it’s a deal. Here is the link. We will also put one copy on two-hour reserve in the Bio Sciences Library in the Valley Life Sciences Building.

    top GRADES
    The grades will be based on one midterm exam worth (30%), a comprehensive final exam (40%), and two papers (10% each), participation in discussion (10%). The two papers can be either two fieldtrip reports, or one fieldtrip report and a term paper. Fieldtrip reports are due on the Tuesday one week after the weekend of the fieldtrip. Late reports drop in value by half a grade point (5%) each day after the due date. Participation on at least one trip is expected, but a term paper can be substituted for a fieldtrip if there is an unavoidable conflict. We strongly recommend participation in both trips. Most of the material for the tests comes directly from lectures and from the written material handed out during lectures; therefore attendance at lectures and discussions correlates strongly with grades. Outside readings will be posted on the website as PDFs.

    We have five sets of two papers that we read and discuss as a class. A set of 3 students will be responsible for leading the discussion for each paper, but all students are expected to read the material and be prepared to discuss it. The presentation of these papers by the small groups and the participation in the discussion constitutes 10% of the grade. If you have an unexcused absence on a discussion day will receive a zero for that discussion (2% of your total grade). We will also incorporate questions for the readings into the midterm and final.

    top FIELD TRIPS (and associated extra costs)
    Trip 1: March 7. Point Reyes National Seashore: Wild fire interactions in coastal ecosystems, and effects of introduced pathogens. Trip leaves at 8:00 am and returns by 5:00 pm the same day. Bring appropriate clothes (rain gear) and a lunch. [Pt. Reyes assignment]

    Trip 2: April 25-26. Blodgett Research/Demonstration Forest: interactions of disease, insects and fire in production forestry and prescribed burning. Leaves Saturday morning 8:00 AM (April 25 - itinerary) and returns Sunday (April 26) by mid to late afternoon. Bring a lunch, sleeping bags, warm cloths and rain gear. We will sleep indoors in cabins and cook together - the accomodations are plush. Estimated food cost is $18. Here is the written assignment

    Tom Bruns
    321C Koshland
    642-7987, 643-5483 (lab)
    Office hours Th 2:15-3:00, Fri 1:30-2:30
    or by appointment

    Scott Stephens
    209 Mulford Hall
    Office hours T, Th 10-11
    or by appointment

    Nick Mills
    201 Welman
    Office hours W 1-3
    or by appointment

    top SYLLABUS 2009
    day date topic [click on topic for the lecture handout] instructor lecture slides
    Tuesday 1/20 Introduction to course and plant disease Bruns lecture 1
    Thursday 1/22 Insects: Diversity, structure & function Mills
    Tuesday 1/27 Roles of insects in forest ecosystems Mills
    Thursday 1/29 Forest insect groups- cones, shoots, wood feeders Mills
    Tuesday 2/3 Misteltoes and parasitic plants Bruns lecture 5
    Thursday 2/5 Characteristics of fungi Bruns lecture 6
    Tuesday 2/10 Beneficial Microoganisms and Mycorrhizal interactions Bruns lecture 7
    Thursday 2/12 Foliar pathogens and rusts Bruns lecture 8
    Tuesday 2/17 Introduction to Fire and Fire Terminology Stephens
    Thursday 2/19 Fuels and Behavior Stephens
    Tuesday 2/24 Fire and and forest restoration Stephens lecture 11
    Thursday 2/26 Reading: Disturbance regimes Stephens, Bruns
    Tuesday 3/3 Defoliating insects Mills
    Thursday 3/5 Reading: Mt Vision (Pt. Reyes) Fire all
    Saturday 3/7 Field trip - Pt. Reyes National Seashore all
    Tuesday 3/10 Pt. Reyes Fieldtrip Review all
    Thursday 3/12 Midterm
    Tuesday 3/17 Management and changing climates Stephens lecture 16
    Thursday 3/19 Population dynamics of insects Mills
    Tuesday 3/24 Spring Break
    Thursday 3/26 Spring Break
    Tuesday 3/31 Decay fungi and root disease Bruns lecture 18
    Thursday 4/2 Reading: Insect dynamics and Forest Response
    Tuesday 4/7 Root disease II
    Armillaria and Heterobasidion taxa table
    Bruns lecture 20
    Thursday 4/9 Bark Beetles Mills
    Tuesday 4/14 Natural enemies of forest insects Mills
    Thursday 4/16 Readings: Yosemite and root disease fire interactions all
    Tuesday 4/21 Prescribed fire and fire hazard mitigation Stephens
    Thursday 4/23 Fire and fire surrogate Stephens
    Saturday 4/25 Blodgett Forest Field trip all
    Sunday 4/26 Blodgett Forest Field trip all
    Tuesday 4/28 Blodgett review all
    Thursday 4/30 Introduced pathogens Bruns lecture 27
    Tuesday 5/5 Invasive forest insects Mills
    Thursday 5/7 Readings: Insect, pathogen and fire altering introductions (Blodgett paper due) Bruns
    Tuesday 5/19 Final exam 5:00pm - 8:00pm

    top READINGS
    date topic author title
    2/26 Disturbance regimes Agee and Skinner 2005.pdf Basic principles of forest fuel reduction treatments
    Noss et al.pdf Managing fire-prone forests in the western United States
    Romme 1998.pdf Are large, infrequent disturbances qualitatively different from small, frequent disturbances?
    3/5 About the Mt. Vision (Pt. Reyes) fire Allen & Shook.pdf Introduction (everyone should read this)
    Holzman & Foger.pdf Post-Fire vegetation response in the Bishop Pine forest at Point Reyes National Seashore
    Powell.pdf Recovery of Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) following a wildfire at Inverness Ridge in central coastal California
    Bruns.pdf Community dynamics of ectomycorrhizal fungi following the vision fire
    4/2 Insect dynamics and forest response Lovett 2002.pdf Insect defoliation and nitrogen cycling in forests
    Raffa et al. 2008.pdf Cross-scale drivers of natural disturbances prone to anthropogenic amplification: the dynamics of bark beetle eruptions
    4/16 Yosemite and root disease fire interactions Slaughter & Rizzo 1999.pdf Past forest management promoted root disease in Yosemite valley [huge file: 34mb]
    Dickman.pdf Plant pathogens and long-term ecosystem changes (SKIP THE PART ON Armillaria luteobulbalina)
    4/28 Blodgett Review Stephens & Moghaddas 2005.pdf Experimental fuel treatment impacts on forest structure, potential fire behavior, and predicted tree mortality in a mixed conifer forest
    Collins, Moghaddas & Stephens 2007.pdf Initial changes in forest structure and understory plant community following fuel reduction activities in a Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest
    Blodget fire videos Kerry turns pyro White fir torch job
    5/7 Insect, pathogen and fire altering introductions D'antonio & Vitousek 1992.pdf Biological invasions by exotic grasses, the grass/fire cycle and global change
    Niemela & Mattson 1996.pdf Invasion of North American forests by European phytophagous insects
    Keeley 2006.pdf Fire Management Impacts on Invasive Plants in the Western United States

    top OLD EXAMS


    Pitch Canker Class Project

    last updated: 5/14/2009