USFS Silvics Manual
Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) is a two-needled pine of the subgenus Pinus. The species has been divided geographically into four varieties: P. contorta var. contorta, the coastal form known as shore pine, coast pine, or beach pine; P. contorta var. bolanderi, a Mendocino County White Plains form in California called Bolander pine; P. contorta var. murrayana in the Sierra Nevada, called Sierra lodgepole pine or tamarack pine; and P. contorta var. latifolia, the inland form often referred to as Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine or black pine. Although the coastal form grows mainly between sea level and 610 m, the inland form is found from 490 to 3660 m.
Lodgepole pine grows both in extensive, pure stands, and in association with many western conifers... Lodgepole pine's successional role depends upon environmental conditions and extent of competition from associated species. Lodgepole pine is a minor seral species in warm, moist habitats and a dominant seral species in cool dry habitats. It is often persistent even on cool and dry sites and can attain edaphic climax at relatively high elevations on poor sites. Fire regimes have played a role in this successional continuum, especially where repeated fires have eliminated a seed source for other species. Lodgepole pine may even overwhelm a site with seed stored in serotinous cones.