Because when it is needed the mountain pine beetle can increase and large numbers of trees can be infected, killing large areas of mature lodgepole pine. This natural process is important to the forest ecosystem because, as a natural disturbance, it sets the stage for forest regeneration.
Mountain pine beetles do benefit the ecosystem that they are in some ways. They help destroy older trees; this destruction gives animals homes and opens up more sunlight on the forest floor. They also provide food for other animals such as the woodpecker.
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