Evaluation of Risk Assessment of Mountain Pine Beetle Infestations
Abstract:Decision support systems to aid the management of mountain pine beetles combine characteristics of the stand and beetle infestation to estimate risk of damage. Beetle infestation information is now available in a format amenable to the operational implementation of risk. In this study, an established risk rating system was evaluated to determine the utility of the values generated. For a study area located in British Columbia, Canada, global positioning systems were used to survey an infestation. The annual data was used to generate risk for a given year and to compare the ratings with survey data from the subsequent year. Under epidemic conditions, 30% to 43% of the stands rated as high risk were subsequently infested. Of the infested stands, 72% to 76% had a high risk rating. In general, the risk rating system accurately predicted risk in stands that were infested, but not all high risk stands were subsequently attacked. This highlights the difficulty of modeling processes that have a stochastic component. For operational contexts, the estimation of risk on an annual basis is sufficiently reliable to aid in the strategic planning of forest managers.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada), Victoria, British Columbia V8Z 1M5, Canada; 2: Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C5, Canada; 3: Canadian Forest Service (Natural Resources Canada), Victoria, British Columbia V8Z 1M5, Canada.
Publication date: January 1, 2006
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