Great Basin Naturalist


The effects of dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium douglasii) on growth and mortality of Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) were studied on 387 plots in mixed-conifer stands in three national forests in New Mexico and two in Arizona. Analyses of 8,570 trees showed that low infection ratings (dwarf mistletoe classes 1 or 2) had no significant effect on tree growth, but that losses increased markedly as infection severity increased. Average volume growth losses for trees over 10 inches in diameter were: dwarf mistletoe class 3, 10%; class 4, 25%; class 5, 45%; and class 6, 65%. Mortality of Douglas-fir in stands severely infested with dwarf mistletoe was three to four times that of healthy stands. These high losses confirm the need for silvicultural control of Douglas-fir dwarf mistletoe in the Southwest.