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Title: Review of methods for developing regional probabilistic risk assessments, part 2: modeling invasive plant, insect, and pathogen species

Author: Woodbury, P. B.; Weinstein, D. A.;

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: 521-538

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

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

Description: We reviewed probabilistic regional risk assessment methodologies to identify the methods that are currently in use and are capable of estimating threats to ecosystems from fire and fuels, invasive species, and their interactions with stressors. In a companion chapter, we highlight methods useful for evaluating risks from fire. In this chapter, we highlight methods useful for evaluating risks from invasive species. The issue of invasive species is large and complex because there are thousands of potential invasive species and constant movement of new and established plants, plant material, pests, and pathogens. Adequate data are not always available to support rigorous quantitative modeling of the different stages of invasion. However, even a semiquantitative rule-based approach can help to identify locations that contain host species susceptible to specific pathogens or insect pests, and where propagules are more likely to enter based on the current locations of the invasive species, ports of entry, and methods of spread. Predicting long-distance movement is much more difficult, as such events are rare, often poorly understood, and are often influenced by human behavior. Even so, published methods to make probabilistic predictions of pest establishment could be expanded to provide quantitative estimates of spread beyond an initial port of entry. Many invasive species are transported along roads, and so road networks provide some information about the likelihood of introduction into a new region. Models based on fundamental biological and physical processes, such as population demographics and movement of organisms, can be more robust than purely statistical approaches. Process-based models may better support extrapolation beyond the range of available or historical data because they use predictor variables that represent physical and biological processes. However, even simple correlative approaches may be useful to quantify the overlap in spatial distribution of stressors and ecological receptors as a screening-level analysis. Furthermore, if predictors are chosen carefully, they may represent important processes. For example, data on nonindigenous species may be quite useful for predicting the occurrence of much rarer invasive species because the correlation is based on the key processes of human-influenced transport, establishment, reproduction, and dispersal of propagules. Ecological niche-modeling approaches are useful because they can use data from museum collections in other countries to make estimates of potential new range areas in the United States. Other spatial data such as road networks may also be useful to predict the number of nonindigenous species or presence of a particular species. Such relationships may also support extrapolation to future conditions if there will be more roads or a higher traffic volume. As for any regional stressor, the use of multiple models and a weight-of-evidence approach would help to increase confidence in predictions of ecological risks from invasive species. Two approaches to predicting the risk of Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis Motschulsky) throughout U.S. forests make quite different predictions because they focus on different stages in the process of establishment and spread, thus combining such approaches should result in more robust predictions. Invasive species management should be addressed at multiple spatial scales, including reducing importation of new species at border crossings and ports, national and regional mapping of locations of invasive species, methods to reduce long-distance transport, and methods to reduce local movement.

Keywords: ecological risk assessment, invasive species, probabilistic risk assessment, regional risk assessment, risk analysis

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Woodbury, P.B.; Weinstein, D.A. 2010. Review of methods for developing regional probabilistic risk assessments, part 2: modeling invasive plant, insect, and pathogen species. 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: 521-538.

 


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