Evaluation of risk assessment of mountain pine beetle infestations

Caren C. Dymond, Michael A. Wulder, Terry L. Shore, Trisalyn Nelson, Barry Boots, Bill G. Riel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalWestern Journal of Applied Forestry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision support
  • Dendroctonus ponderosae
  • Epidemic
  • Forest damage
  • Global positioning systems
  • Mountain pine beetle
  • Risk rating
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science


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