Landscape Level Validation of a Douglas-Fir Beetle Stand Hazard-Rating System Using Geographical Information Systems

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A geographical information system (GIS) and historical infestation data were used to validate a Douglas-fir beetle hazard-rating system currently in use by the USDA Forest Service in parts of the West. This hazard-rating system is based on stand characteristics including percent Douglas-fir basal area (BA), stand BA, average Douglas-fir dbh, and stand age. To validate the hazard-rating system, stand information and aerial detection survey maps from 1996–1999 were combined in a GIS. Analyses determined that the highest amount of acreage infested and highest tree mortality occurred in moderate- and high-hazard stands, although the total area of these stands was less than that in other hazard classes. Furthermore, as beetle populations shifted from endemic to epidemic population levels, more acres were infested and tree mortality was greater in high-hazard areas. The use of spatial technologies and aerial detection survey maps provided a novel alternative for validating a forest insect hazard-rating system. West. J. Appl. For. 19(2):77–81.

Keywords: Dendroctonus pseudotsugae; Pseudotsuga menziesii; aerial survey; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; hazard rating; natural resource management; natural resources; tree mortality; validation

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forest Science Oregon State University Corvallis OR 97331 Phone: (218) 327-4144, Email: 2: Department of Forest Science Oregon State University Corvallis OR 97331 3: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Forest Health Protection Coeur d'Alene ID 83815 4: United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Corvallis OR 97331

Publication date: April 1, 2004

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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