Management of temperate forests has the potential to increase carbon sinks and mitigate climate change. However, those opportunities may be confounded by negative climate change impacts. We therefore need a better understanding of climate change alterations to temperate forest carbon dynamics before developing mitigation strategies. The purpose of this project was to investigate the interactions of species composition, fire, management and climate change on the Copper–Pine creek valley, a temperate coniferous forest with a wide range of growing conditions.

The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) is a native insect of the pine forests of western North America, and its populations periodically erupt into large-scale outbreaks. During outbreaks, the resulting widespread tree mortality reduces forest carbon uptake and increases future emissions from the decay of killed trees.