Canadian Forest Service Publications

Mapping ecological risks with a portfolio-based technique: incorporating uncertainty and decision-making preferences. 2013. Yemshanov, D.; Koch, F.H.; Ducey, M.; Koehler, K. Diversity and Distributions. 19:567-579.

Year: 2013

Available from: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34749

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

Aim

Geographic mapping of risks is a useful analytical step in ecological risk assessments and in particular, in analyses aimed to estimate risks associated with introductions of invasive organisms. In this paper, we approach invasive species risk mapping as a portfolio allocation problem and apply techniques from decision theory to build an invasion risk map that combines risk and uncertainty in a single map product.

Plain Language Summary

In this paper, we investigate invasive species risk mapping using a common financial decision-making tool (portfolio allocation method), and apply techniques from decision theory to build an invasion risk map that combines risk and uncertainty in a single map. We applied the approach we were testing to Canadian municipalities to quantify the risk that a given location would receive invasive forest pests with commercial freight transported via the North American road network. We compared two risk allocation techniques. While both methods identified similar areas of highest risk, they differed in how they demarcated moderate-risk areas. Furthermore, they addressed uncertainty in different ways. The portfolio-based approach offers a viable strategy for dealing with the typically wide variability in risk estimates caused by a lack of knowledge about a new invader. The methodology also provides a tractable way of incorporating decision-making preferences into the final risk estimates.

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