"CU Study Ties Drought To Spruce Beetles"

"Drought in the high northern Colorado mountains, tied to long-term changes in ocean-surface temperatures in the Northern Atlantic Ocean, has been linked to a massive spruce beetle outbreak, according to researchers at the University of Colorado."

"'It is simply a wakeup call that shows that alarming trends are resulting in major changes in ecological disturbances, that are probably having significant changes on vegetation structure, vegetation patterns today,' said CU geography professor Thomas Veblen, a co-author on the new study published online in the journal Ecology.

Pine beetle infestation has received more public notice in Colorado in recent years, but spruce beetles, closely related, are also affecting increasingly large expanses of coniferous forests across the western United States and have the potential to be more destructive in Colorado, Hart said."

Charlie Brennan reports for the Boulder Daily Camera October 13, 2013.

Source: Boulder Daily Camera, 10/16/2013