Cost-effectiveness analysis of options within an Integrated Crop Management regime against great spruce bark beetle, Dendroctonus micans, Kug. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)
1 Great spruce bark beetle Dendroctonus micans (Kug.) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) has been subject to an Integrated Crop Management (ICM) regime in Great Britain since its first discovery in 1982. The elements of the ICM approach are sanitation felling of the initial infestations, restriction on movement of potentially infested conifers to prevent spread to uninfested parts of the country and biological control through rearing and release of the specific predatory beetle Rhizophagus grandis Gyll. (Coleoptera: Rhizophagidae). Such a programme carries costs that have to be evaluated against the benefits to the ICM strategy.
2 This paper presents a cost-effectiveness analysis of three options – (i) continue with the current policy of restriction on movement of infested timber and use of the imported predator R. grandis, (ii) do nothing (i.e. drop all attempts to reduce the spread of D. micans), or, (iii) introduce a new east–west Dendroctonus Micans Control Area (DMCA) to define the management area. Assumptions on rates of mortality and natural spread were based on research into D. micans in Britain’s spruce forests.
3 Appraisal indicated that the current policy was the most cost-effective, even when subject to sensitivity analysis to test the limits of the assumptions included in the models. It is concluded that the current policy should remain in force.