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Earth Week: Bark beetles change Rocky Mountain stream flows, affect water quality

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Gray trees killed by bark beetles between green trees in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Gray trees killed by bark beetles pepper the landscape in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Credit: Lindsay Bearup


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green, red and gray trees

Trees go from green and healthy, to red and dying, and finally to gray and dead, from bark beetles.

Credit: Lindsay Bearup


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Researcher collecting precipitation samples

Precipitation samples were collected to determine their unique chemical fingerprints.

Credit: Lindsay Bearup


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Man walking through snow near a forest with dead and live trees.

Snow processes change as beetles kill lodgepole pines and trees no longer shade snowbanks.

Credit: Abram Landes


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Researcher with water sample taken from the Big Thompson River

Water samples were taken from the Big Thompson River in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Credit: Thomas Cooper


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Lodgepole pines are regrowing among trees killed by beetles

Lodgepole pines are beginning to regrow in areas where trees had once been beetle-killed.

Credit: Abram Landes


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