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Montana Field Guides

Lodgepole Pine - Pinus contorta

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 3

External Links






State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
See rank details.
  • Details on Status Ranking and Review
    Lodgepole Pine (Pinus contorta) Conservation Status Review
    Review Date = 05/25/2012
    View State Conservation Rank Criteria
    Population Size

    Score0 - Large: Generally >100,000 individuals.

    Range Extent

    Score0 - Widespread species within Montana (occurs in 5% or more of the state or generally occurring in 6 or more sub-basins.) as well as outside of Montana.

    Area of Occupancy

    Score0 - High: Occurs in >25 Subwatersheds (6th Code HUC’s).

    Environmental Specificity

    Score0 - Low: Species is a generalist that occurs in a variety of habitats and/or is tolerant of disturbed or degraded habitats (C -Values of 1-4).

    Trends

    Score0-1 - Stable to Minor Declines:

    Threats

    Score0-1 - Low to Medium.

    Intrinsic Vulnerability

    Score0 - Low Vulnerability: Species does not have any unusual or specific life history or biological attributes or limted reproductive potential which makes it susceptible to extirpation from stochastic events or other adverse impacts to its habitat and thus slow to recover.

    Raw Conservation Status Score

    Score 0 to 2 total points scored out of a possible 19.

 
General Description
Small, slender tree to 35 m with whorled horizontal branches forming a conical crown. Bark thin, scaly, brown or gray. Leaves yellow-green, 4–8 cm long, 2 per fascicle. Seed cones ovoid but asymmetrical, 2–6 cm long. Scales tongue-shaped with a spine tip. Seeds with a conspicuous wing. Our plants are variety latifolia (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
In MT across western two-thirds of the state, east to Phillips and Big Horn counties; AK to CA, UT, CO, and SD (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 10332

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
In mixed or nearly pure forest stands; valleys to treeline (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Aradottir, A.L. 1984. Ammonia volatilization from native grasslands and forests of SW Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 48 p.
    • Brelsford, M. 1992. Boreal owl (Aegolius funereus) and flammulated owl (Otus flammeolus) survey results for the Livingston district of the Gallatin National Forest. Unpublished report to the Gallatin National Forest by the Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena, MT. 22 pp.
    • Bruggeman, J.E. 2006. Spatio-temporal dynamics of the central bison herd in Yellowstone National Park. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 294 p.
    • Buchanan, B.A. 1972. Ecological effects of weather modification, Bridger Range area, Montana: relationship of soil, vegetation, and microclimate. Ph.D. Dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman. 130 p.
    • Burkholder, B.O. 2015. Seasonal distribution, winter habitat selection and willow utilization patterns of the Shiras Moose on the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 262 p.
    • Burkholder, B.O., N.J. DeCesare, R.A. Garrot, and S.J. Boccadori. 2017. Heterogeneity and power to detect trends in Moose browse utilization of willow communities. ALCES 53:23-29.
    • Burkle L.A., M.P. Simanonok, J.S. Durney, J.A. Myers, and R.T. Belote. 2019. Wildfires influence abundance, diversity, and intraspecific and interspecific trait variation of native bees and flowering plants across burned and unburned landscapes. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 7(252):1-14.
    • Carlson, J. 1991. Boreal owl surveys on the Jefferson Division of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Unpubl. Rep., Montana Natural Heritage Program, Helena. 33 pp.
    • Clark, D. 1991. The effect of fire on Yellowstone ecosystem seed banks. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 115 pp.
    • Conway, T.M. 1982. Response of understory vegetation to varied lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) spacing intervals in Western Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bpzeman, MT: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Craighead, A.C. 2000. Pellet and scat analysis as indicators of present and past habitats. M.Sc. Theses. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 219 p.
    • Cramer, P.C. 1992. Small mammal diversity and abundance in Douglas Fir old growth forests. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 64 p.
    • Cripps, C.L., J.E. Lindgren, and E.G. Barge. 2017. Amanita alpinicola sp. nov., associated with Pinus albicaulis, a western 5-needle pine. Mycotaxon 132: 665-676. https://doi.org/10.5248/132.665
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
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    • Harting, A.L. 1985. Relationships between activity patterns and foraging strategies of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 103 p.
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    • Holbrook, J.D., J.R. Squires, L.E. Olson, N.J. DeCesare, and R.L. Lawrence. 2017. Understanding and predicting habitat for wildlife conservation: the case of Canada Lynx at the range periphery. Ecosphere 8(9):e01939.
    • Hollenbeck, R.R. 1974. Growth rates and movements within a population of Rana pretiosa pretiosa Baird and Girard in south central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 66 p.
    • Jacobs, J.S. 1989. Temperature and light effects on seedling performance of Pinus albicaulis. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 p.
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Kosterman, M.K., J.R. Squires, J.D. Holbrook, D.H. Pletscher, and M. Hebblewhite. 2018. Forest structure provides the income for reproductive success in a southern population of Canada Lynx. Ecological Applications 28(4):1032-1043.
    • Kunkel, K. and D.H. Pletscher. 2001. Winter Hunting Patterns of Wolves in and Near Glacier National Park, Montana. The Journal of Wildlife Management 65(3):520-530.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.
    • Lovaas, A.L. 1957. Mule deer food habits and range use in the Little Belt Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 43 p.
    • Mahony, C.P. 2005. Effects of native ectomycorrhizal fungi on aspen seedlings in greenhouse studies: inoculation methods, fertilizer regimes, and plant uptake of selected elements in smelter-impacted soils. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 193 p.
    • Martin, S.A. 1985. Ecology of the Rock Creek bighorn sheep herd, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 152 p.
    • Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • McCaughey, W.W. 1990. Biotic and microsite factors affecting Pinus albicaulis establishment and survival. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 78 p.
    • Meier, G.A. 1997. The colonization of Montana roadsides by native and exotic plants. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 45 p.
    • Messer, Mathew Adam. 2003. Identifying large herbivore distribution mechanisms through application of fine-scale snow modeling. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 46 p.
    • Moore, R.L.K. 1987. Daily and seasonal activity patterns of the Pika in Southwestern Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 61 p.
    • Morgan, J.T. 1993. Summer habitat use of white-tailed deer on the Tally Lake ranger district, Flathead National Forest. Ph.D. Dissertation. Montana State University, Bozeman. pp. 103.
    • Mosher, B.A. 2011. Avian community response to a mountain beetle epidemic. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 55 p.
    • Nelson, G.P. 1986. Responses of elk to a 500 kV transmission line on the North Boulder winter range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 60 p.
    • Neuenschwander, L. F., and C. D. Armour. 1980. Succession of fuels and vegetation in mountain pine beetle-killed lodgepole pine forests. Prog. Rep., Pp. 13-14 ill K. L. McArthur, ed., Annual Research Summary, Glacier National Park, USDI National Park Service, Glacier National Park, MT. 54 pp.
    • Nyberg, H.E. 1980. Distribution, movements and habitat use of mule deer associated with the Brackett Creek winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 106 p.
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    • Perry, D.A. 1974. Ecotypic variation in Pinus contorta Dougl. var. latifolia Engelm. (lodgepole pine). Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
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    • Picton, H.D. 1959. Use of vegetative types, migration, and hunter harvest of the Sun River elk herd, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 39 p.
    • Plaggemeyer, J.B. 1995. Effects of overstory thinning on lodgepole pine understories. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 55 p.
    • Podruzny, S.R. 1999. Grizzly bear use of whitebark pine habitats in the Washburn Range. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 60 p.
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    • Reinert, J.H. 2020. Biotic and physical responses to biomimicry structures in a Rocky Mountain incised stream. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 45 p.
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    • Schleyer, B.O. 1983. Activity patterns of grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem and their reproductive behavior, predation and the use of carrion. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 130 p.
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    • Schubloom, L.A. 1995. Lichens as air quality indicators in three areas of southwestern Montana: lichen floristics and elemental analysis. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 130 p.
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    • South, P.R. 1957. Food habits and range use of the mule deer in the Scudder Creek area, Beaverhead County, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 34 p.
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    • Stivers, T.S. 1988. Effects of livestock grazing on grizzly bear habitat along the east front of the Rocky Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 80 p.
    • Stoecker, R.E. 1967. A population study of five species of small rodents in the Bridger Mountains of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 32 p.
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Lodgepole Pine — Pinus contorta.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from