Canadian Forest Service Publications

Dawson Creek Mountain Pine Beetle Spread Analysis: Application of the SELES-MPB Landscape-Scale Mountain Pine Beetle Model in the Dawson Timber Supply Area and Tree Farm Licence 48. 2007. Fall, A.; Shore, T.L.; Riel, W.G. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, B.C. Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative Working Paper 2006-18. 22 p.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26793

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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The Dawson Creek Landscape Model (DCLM) was developed to assess the impacts of mountain pine beetle management activities in the Dawson Creek, British Columbia (B.C.), area (the Dawson Creek Timber Supply Area, Tree Farm License 48 and area parks) and to analyze the potential spread of the current beetle outbreak across this region and potentially into the boreal forest of Alberta. Using the best available inputs from inventory, weather data, management activities and infestation maps, the DCLM projects beetle spread on an annual basis. A range of scenarios was analyzed to assess expected impacts of management and assumptions regarding climate and external beetle pressure. The scenarios include: (i) Starting conditions based on 2004 or 2005 survey information; (ii) External mountain pine beetle pressure-assumed to be either no pressure (closed-world assumption), pressure based on 2004 levels, or dynamic pressure derived using the provincial-scale beetle model BCMPB (Eng et al. 2005); (iii) Climatic suitability for mountain pine beetle based on either recent historical averages (1970 to 2000) or estimated near future climate (2000 to 2030); (iv) Management regime options that included general beetle management (i.e., similar to elsewhere in the province), current practices, salvage only, and no beetle management (no harvesting or single-tree treatments). (v) Harvest levels that were either the current annual allowable cut (AAC) or a 50% increase. (vi) Fell and burn levels based on levels applied in 2005, current targets, or other levels to assess the role of fell and burn in managing this outbreak. Our focus was primarily on short-term effects (10 years of attack). The base case scenario was assumed to be current management practices under climate change conditions, with dynamic external pressure. As this analysis assessed over 60 scenarios, one of the challenges was to find clear methods to present results. In general, our analysis indicates that beetle management in the Dawson Creek area could significantly effect the spread and impact of the beetle outbreak over the next 10 years, provided that high levels of fell and burn and survey efforts are maintained. The results apply only to the specific conditions (current forest inventory and beetle infestations) and management regimes run on the study area. In particular, results are significantly affected by assumptions regarding external pressure from the main outbreak, as estimated using the provincial-scale projection. If mountain pine beetle populations can be held low until the main outbreak subsides (which will likely occur within the next five years due to availability of hosts), management should be able to curtail major losses in the Dawson Creek area. Due to inherent uncertainties in model inputs and understanding of key processes, the results would best be used to weigh the relative differences between scenarios rather than as exact predictions.