Bark beetle-driven community and biogeochemical impacts in forest ecosystems: A review

Courtney Siegert, Natalie Clay, Kimberlyn Pace, Sneha Vissa, Richard W. Hofstetter, Oscar Leverón, John J. Riggins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bark beetles are a principal source of tree mortality in conifer forests, with beetle distribution and beetle-Associated tree mortality increasing in frequency and extent. While bark beetles are associated with large-scale outbreaks that affect landscape structure, function, and wood quality, they are also drivers of important ecological processes that modify forest ecosystems. Bark beetle activity may affect biogeochemistry and forest decomposition processes by mediating microbial and detrital communities and by facilitating the turnover of deadwood. The turnover of deadwood in bark beetle-Attacked forests has important implications for forest biogeochemical cycling, as dead wood releases CO2 into the atmosphere and carbon, nitrogen, and other nutrients into surrounding soils. However, our understanding of how initial physical, chemical, and biotic changes to bark beetle-Attacked trees affect the succession of detrital organisms and decomposition of beetle-generated deadwood remains poor. Furthermore, the relationship between woody decomposition and landscape-level changes in biogeochemical processes in forest ecosystems following bark beetle activity is not well unified. This review article bridges this divide and provides an interdisciplinary perspective on tree mortality, ecological succession, and woody decomposition mediated by bark beetles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-183
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of the Entomological Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2024


  • Scolytinae
  • carbon cycle
  • forest disturbance
  • ophiostomatoid fungi
  • subterranean termite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Bark beetle-driven community and biogeochemical impacts in forest ecosystems: A review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this