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Title: Methods to assess landscape-scale risk of bark beetle infestation to support forest management decisions

Author: Shore, T. L.; Fall, A.; Riel, W. G.; Hughes, J.; Eng, M.;

Date: 2010

Source: In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 497-520

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The objective of our paper is to provide practitioners with suggestions on how to select appropriate methods for risk assessment of bark beetle infestations at the landscape scale in order to support their particular management decisions and to motivate researchers to refine novel risk assessment methods. Methods developed to assist and inform management decisions for risk assessment of bark beetle infestations at the landscape scale have been diverse, ranging from simple empirical correlations to complex systems models. These approaches have examined different bark beetle species, forest types and systems, and management questions, and they differ in spatial and temporal precision, the types of processes included, and the form of output. Bark beetle risk assessment methods, however, share a common theme: they aim to quantify expected levels of attack and loss due to beetles. By focusing on this commonality, we present a gradient in which methods can be classified and ranked, ranging from more structural, pattern-oriented methods to more functional, process-oriented methods. Our objective is to describe a framework for comparing methods in terms of how risk is represented and in terms of the complexity of application. To illustrate how diverse methods can be cast within a common frame of reference, we describe and provide brief examples of four types of methods that we have used in British Columbia, Canada, to examine landscape-scale risk of mountain pine beetle attack in lodgepole pine forests. We then provide some guidance on how to select an appropriate method for a given system and set of questions. The most appropriate method is the simplest one that can address the questions, minimize uncertainty, and inform the decision process in the required timeframe. It is important that researchers and practitioners can view bark beetle risk-assessment methods as a toolkit and select appropriate tools for a given task, as no single method is best for all situations.

Keywords: methods, risk, bark beetle, forest management, decisions, lodgepole pine forests

Publication Notes:

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  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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Shore, T.L.; Fall, A.; Riel, W.G.; Hughes, J.; Eng, M. 2010. Methods to assess landscape-scale risk of bark beetle infestation to support forest management decisions. In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 497-520.

 


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