Canadian Forest Service Publications

Preliminary risk rating for mountain pine beetle infestation of lodgepole pine forests over large areas with ordinal regression modelling. 2009. Robertson, C.; Wulder, M.A.; Nelson, T.A.; White, J.C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper 2009-19. 24 p.

Year: 2009

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 31189

Language: English

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

Availability: PDF (download)

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The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins) is endemic to lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelmann) forests in western Canada. However, the current beetle epidemic in this area highlights the challenges faced by forest managers who must prioritize stands for mitigation activities such as salvage harvesting, thinning, and direct control methods. In western Canada, the operational risk rating system for mountain pine beetle is based on biological knowledge gained from a rich legacy of stand-scale field studies. Owing to the large spatial and temporal extents of the current epidemic, new research into large-area mountain pine beetle processes has revealed further insights into the landscape-scale characteristics of beetle-infested forests. In this research, we evaluate the potential for this new knowledge to augment an established system for rating the short-term risk of tree mortality in a stand due to mountain pine beetle. New variables explored for use in risk rating include direct shortwave radiation, site index, diameter at breast height, the temporal trends in local beetle populations, Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification, and beetle-host interaction variables. Proportional odds ordinal regression was used to develop a model for the Vanderhoof Forest District in west-central British Columbia. Prediction based on independent data was assessed with the area under the receiver operator curve (AUC), indicating good discriminatory power (AUC = 0.84) for predicting damage due to mountain pine beetle.