Bark beetle outbreaks and tree mortality patterns should be better understood to control outbreak impacts. We investigated landscape-level patterns of Norway spruce mortality caused by Ips typographus outbreaks across three periods from 1999–2012 in Tatra National Park (Poland) using high-resolution aerial orthophotos and satellite imagery. Shifts in tree mortality related to elevation, slope, and solar equinox radiation were analyzed with ANOVAs (Tukey's HSD tests). Boosted regression trees were employed to assess the forecasting effectiveness of these variables related to mortality period. Spruce mortality severity increased significantly across time in both managed and unmanaged forests. Management activities did not effectively reduce spruce mortality severity. Mortality severity increased significantly at higher elevations over time, while slope and radiation trends varied. Elevation and radiation were the best forecasters of mortality period, exhibiting moderate predictive ability. Beetle-induced spruce mortality increased significantly in Tatra National Park from 1999–2012, particularly at high elevations. Management strategies aimed at minimizing spruce mortality have been ineffective.
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Vol. 65 • No. 1