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Environ Model Assess DOI 10.


Evaluating forest management practices using a GIS-based cellular automata modeling approach with multispectral imagery
Christopher Bone & Suzana Dragićević & Arthur Roberts

Received: 12 September 2005 / Accepted: 10 May 2006 # Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Abstract The objective of this study was to develop an integrated geographic information system (GIS) cellular automata (CA) model for simulating insect-induced tree mortality patterns in order to evaluate the influence of different forest management activities to control insect outbreaks. High-resolution multispectral images were used to determine susceptibility of trees to attack, whereas the GIS-based CA model simulated the effectiveness of clearcuts and thinning practices for reducing insect-induced tree mortality. The results indicate that thinning susceptible forests should be more effective than clear-cutting for reducing tree loss to insect outbreaks. This study demonstrates the benefits of an integrated approach for understanding and evaluating forest management activities and expresses the need for spatial analysis and modeling for improving forest management practices. Keywords cellular automata (CA) . geographic information systems (GIS) . remote sensing (RS) . spatial modeling . forest management . forest insect outbreaks . mountain pine beetle

1 Introduction Remote sensing (RS) and geographic information systems (GIS) provide the opportunity to examine forest resources
C. Bone (*) : S. Dragićević : A. Roberts Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6 e-mail: S. Dragićević e-mail: A. Roberts e-mail:

and obtain insight into appropriate methods for managing them. RS data can yield spatial information for monitoring forest characteristics such as species diversity [14, 38], stand density [34], and natural disturbances [25, 47, 39], among others, that are important for management decisions. GIS can facilitate data analysis of these characteristics through a host of spatial and statistical approaches. The effectiveness of RS and GIS has led to their use for developing forest management models for determining practical strategies. This includes combining RS and GIS with traditional knowledge of forest practices to adapt inventories for forest management planning [30] and for analyzing biophysical and social patterns in order to implement management practices [32]. However, although such analytical models are important for management, they are usually static representations applicable to a single moment in time. Considering the dynamic nature of forests, management decisions would benefit from being able to simulate various practices in a virtual environment to determine how management decisions affect forest structure and processes over time. A temporal component for forest management models can be provided by cellular automata (CA) modeling in a GIS environment using RS data. CA are spatially dynamic models where a set of simple transition rules govern changes in cell states that represent different landscape elements [1, 44]. These transition rules explain how the current states of cells in a defined area called the neighborhood influence the state of each cell at some future moment in time. CA have been employed for modeling a variety of geographic processes where land use changes over time. Examples include modeling urban growth [8, 9, 11, 49], land retirement [26], coastal-zone management [23], and socioenvironmental systems [15], among others.

The simplicity offered through the use of CA allowed for direct integration of expert knowledge into the simulations of forest dynamics. and environmental objectives to test the effectiveness of using CA for simultaneously implementing different sustainability goals. and therefore avoid the application of complex equations applied to the entire data set. Pinus contorta. the simple CA rules governing state transition facilitate computation efficiency [10]. The authors considered economic. [27] provide the most evident attempt of using CA for forest management. however. was used. as they can simulate how information captured at a particular moment is likely to change over time. the use of CA for evaluating forest management practices has only recently been explored. These studies demonstrate that a CA modeling approach is beneficial for understanding how anthropogenic influences affect forest processes. This regionalscale outbreak is commonly linked to: (1) decades of fire suppression that has resulted in overmature. Canada. CA models traditionally use a grid of cells to simulate dynamic processes because it provides convenience for neighborhood calculations. For example. Each cell contains a value that corresponds to a specific characteristic of the landscape. A case study of mountain pine beetle (MPB).Environ Model Assess The integration of RS. and CA is beneficial for three main reasons. The objective of this study was to integrate a GIS-based CA model with high-resolution RS data for evaluating forest management decisions for dealing with insect outbreaks. forcing forest managers to continually evaluate ways to maximize yields and minimize loss of timber revenues. As a result. Second. was developed for simulating the dynamics of areas co-dominated by forest and savanna that are heavily influenced by management activities such as fires caused by humans for clearing land [16. social. GIS. the tools provided in most GIS applications are ill-equipped for representing the dynamic nature of geographic phenomena. typically use simple rules that evaluate local interactions between cells. forests in British Columbia. Mathey et al. Therefore. which has serious economic and social implications for a region that greatly depends on timber as a source of revenue. RS images can provide information in a format that is readily used by a CA model. 43. 48] and land use change [24]. CA add a temporal component to the otherwise static nature of RS and GIS. Furthermore. GIS. which is a limitation for modeling phenomena that exhibit continual change. CA provide a utility for RS and GIS. Strange et al. The resulting data were used in the CA model that was developed based on the premise that MPB-induced tree mortality is largely controlled by the susceptibility of trees to attack and the number of MPB present in a given area [36]. and (2) the lack of significantly cold winters in the interior of British . this in turn can significantly reduce computation time. Third. This problem is magnified by the high costs of RS images that make it difficult to continually obtain data at the same rate at which a phenomenon exhibits change. outbreaks in lodgepole pine. the integration of RS. single-species stands that are highly vulnerable to MPB attack. FORSAT. however. Although these three benefits are evident in present research. Thus. RS images only provide a snapshot of a landscape at a particular moment in time. Furthermore. First. GIS provide numerous spatial statistical tools that can be of great utility for CA models. It was estimated in 2005 that the current epidemic of MPB that began in the mid1990s had killed approximately 283 million cubic meters of pine trees in British Columbia [19]. With regard to human disturbance. The beetle attacks both lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in British Columbia and several states in the western United States.e. there remains a significant gap in the literature regarding the use of CA models for simulating natural influences such as insect infestations and the effectiveness of management practices for dealing with such disturbances. 2 MPB outbreaks and management strategies MPB is the most serious pest of pine forests in western North America. The results demonstrated how human influence can dictate the location of forest–savanna boundaries. CA. Information was extracted from the thematically classified RS data and analyzed in a GIS. The model was first calibrated to simulate patterns of tree mortality over a 6-year period without management intervention. the images can hinder complex applications due to the time it takes to process information. Furthermore. [42] developed a CA model to evaluate different land use strategies to optimize afforestation (i. Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins. The use of most of these tools requires the data to be in raster format. as they constructed a CAdriven decision support tool for evaluating multiple objectives for achieving sustainable forest management. GIS analytical tools have been utilized in CA models for simulating the dynamics of urban processes [12. and CA for forest research in general remains largely unexplored. High-resolution images are large in size and contain hundreds of thousands of pixels. a CA model. turning bare or harvested land into forest). 17].. RS images are raster-based data sets in which a landscape is represented by a grid of cells. followed by implementing different strategies such as clearcutting and thinning to determine the effectiveness of specific strategies at reducing the loss of timber to MPB outbreaks. Their model used land quality and cost measures to determine the benefits of planting different tree species as well as transforming land to pasture.

and sites that are clear-cut provide tolerable conditions for most commercial seedlings [40]. This would also provide them with an experimental environment to test different management strategies to suppress new infestations and minimize the overall loss of viable timber. However. preventative methods such as stand density management. Therefore. including both susceptible and nonsusceptible trees. Furthermore. some low-susceptibility trees will still be cut. MPB typically leave their currently infested trees in late July to early August in search of a new host tree to attack. therefore. including the use of RS imagery for detecting infested areas [47].. which means harvesting trees that show signs of attack as well as adjacent trees that could become attacked in the near future. These limited techniques include baiting trees with a chemical attractant to draw beetles toward a specific area. The disadvantages with clear-cutting as a sanitation harvesting method are that the amount of timber that is allowed to be cut is wasted on trees that are not susceptible. a problem exists with using RS technology to manage MPB due to their life cycle characteristics and current practices: the timing of RS detection in relation to MPB life cycle. and a GIS-based CA model can produce various scenarios that would allow forest management to determine which areas are at greatest risk each year in the future. However.e. at which point the insects that were born in the tree would have left those trees in search of a new host. Clear-cutting involves the removal of all trees from a given area. it is attacked by mass numbers of beetles in order to overcome the tree’s defensive mechanism. RS data and GIS can be utilized to provide information on susceptibility. The significant barrier for forest management using RS to locate infested trees is that dead trees do not exhibit signs of mortality (i. An alternative to clear-cuts for sanitation harvesting is a practice termed thinning. Early detection is possible by late May to early June [31]. the . One way to improve the success of clear-cut methods for managing MPB outbreaks is to define areas that are most susceptible to MPB attack and design the shape of the clear-cut to reflect those areas. social. and tree mortality proceeds in the subsequent weeks and months. and environmental viability while dealing with the immediate implications of the current epidemic. where only the most susceptible trees are removed from the stand. instead of a cut that is symmetrically located around an infestation. Therefore. thinning ensures that the stand remains intact as lowsusceptibility trees are retained. cutting infested trees and burning them on site. Furthermore. from an ecological standpoint. Beetles select trees based on different characteristics. Harvesting can be performed in different ways. current RS applications attempt to monitor MPB typically by detecting dead but MPB-vacant trees. the harvest will focus more in areas that are at a greater risk of attack. light. In 2005. turn fully red) until the next summer. The decrease in density because of thinning also reduces susceptibility by opening the stand and altering patterns of air. but RS and forestry practices have not been operationally adapted. it is the least expensive harvesting practice. creating mixed age/species stands. which results in homogenous areas of susceptible pine. Although thinning susceptible stands seems logical. but clear-cutting is most commonly employed [28].Environ Model Assess Columbia that control MPB populations. The objective is to remove the MPB from the stand. applying pesticides. and temperature making it less favorable for beetles [45]. This conundrum presents an opportunity to use CA for modeling annual MPB-induced tree mortality patterns. clearcut practices attempt to remove infested and noninfested trees in the surrounding area. These initiatives started to look beyond traditional direct management techniques that are of limited use once MPB outbreaks reach a certain level. and harvesting trees at maturity are seldom employed [46]. Efforts also began to focus on using various forms of technology for understanding the complex nature of MPB outbreaks. which includes reducing the risk of attack to noninfested areas and rehabilitation to federal and private forestlands that have be affected by the epidemic. The beetles lay eggs under the bark of the tree where the offspring develop over the winter and spring months until they are ready to emerge and search for a new host to attack. which diminishes the ecological effects of harvesting that are apparent with clear-cutting. Furthermore. safety risks are better understood with clear-cutting practices. and some detrimental ecological effects will persist. and harvesting dead trees [46]. it is far more expensive to implement. as stands are not homogeneous. Therefore. and MPB do not typically attack trees in a uniform pattern starting from an infestation and moving outward in concentric stages. which makes some trees far more susceptible to attack than others. Removing highly susceptible pines leaves behind stronger trees and reduces the risk of major outbreaks [7]. clear-cuts lead to many problems such as increased instability and soil erosion. through both land-based and research-based programs [46]. it has the greatest operational experience and expertise. Management to reduce tree mortality and consequentially to reduce MPB population levels is done through logging and is referred to as sanitation harvesting. Once the new tree is selected. In 2002. the federal government of Canada responded to this issue by initiating the Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative. the provincial government of British Columbia released the Mountain Pine Beetle Action Plan [19] with the goal of sustaining long-term economic. The advantages of clearcutting is that it is the fastest way to remove a specific volume of wood from the forest.

. Table 1 demonstrates how the distance to and size of an infestation influences the value of L based on the Shore and Safranyik [41] rating system. tree susceptibility was determined from the RS images to provide input for the model. The threshold . under 900 attacked trees). The high resolution of these images also provided a utility for this study.g. as Hopping [21] notes.. however. 3 Methods The methods for this study consist of three parts. Second.e.Environ Model Assess effectiveness of thinning for reducing tree mortality should be evaluated in comparison to clear-cutting. or large depending on the number of infested trees within 3 km of Stand 1 and the number of trees infested within Stand 1. a location factor (L) explaining a stand’s proximity to trees currently infested with MPB. The proportion of susceptible pine (P) is an important indicator of susceptibility because. The data for this forest area were provided by high-resolution multispectral aerial photographs with a pixel resolution of 15 cm. Canada were susceptible to MPB infestations. tree size..1 Defining tree susceptibility Tree susceptibility to MPB attack was determined for a forest area in the central interior of British Columbia.. The RS images were collected at this resolution for initially studying the spectral response of water loss in trees that were attacked by MPB [31]. a density factor (D). each tree was one raster cell of a digital image). and in 2002 by Simon Fraser University and BC MoF. The use of this rating system results in 0. medium. The ground truth data were used to verify classification of tree species. the tree mortality model was developed and calibrated to simulate MPBinduced tree mortality patterns. and size can be representative of age because diameter increases as the tree gets older [41]. The four variables were the proportion (P) of susceptible lodgepole pine in the stand of a given tree. trees size was selected for this study because information on age was not available. P = 1) were considered more susceptible than those in a stand containing a high mixture of species. L increases as the infestation draws closer and/or becomes larger. MPB outbreaks seldom originate in mixed stands. Third. trees located in a stand of pure lodgepole pine (i. Therefore. This is because the likelihood of MPB locating and attacking a lodgepole pine would decrease as the number of nonsusceptible trees increases [41]. First. The original rating system used the age of a tree instead of tree size. and whether a tree had been attacked by MPB. The images were collected during the summer of 2001. Therefore.06 would indicate a stand that is at least 4 km from a small infestation (i. The images were analyzed to obtain information on four variables that describe the susceptibility of a tree to MPB attack as defined by the MPB susceptibility rating system developed by Shore and Safranyik [41]. as seen in Fig. the area selected was representative of forested environments in the region that Fig.06 ≤ L ≤1. and a factor of the size (S) of the tree represented by diameter at breast height (DBH). The high costs of ground truth data and obtaining high-resolution images limited the size of the study area to 750 × 750 m. 1.e. 1 High-resolution. greater than 9000) exist within the stand. four different management strategies were tested for reducing tree mortality. Stand 1) can be classified as small. Part (a) explains that the relative size of an infestation in a stand (e.. where a value of 0. whereas a value of 1 would indicate a stand where a large number of infested trees (i. four-band multispectral RS image of study site located in British Columbia. Part (b) uses this information in conjunction with the distance to the nearest infestation to provide a continuous value between 0 and 1 that represents the variable L.e. however. as individual trees can be distinguished from each other.e. and the ground truth data for the aerial photographs were collected in 2002 by the British Columbia Ministry of Forestry (BC MoF). The thematically classified high-resolution images were analyzed in a GIS and resampled so the spatial resolution corresponded to tree scale (i. 3. The location factor (L) explains that tree susceptibility increases the closer a tree is to an infestation and further increases if that infestation is relatively large.

a fuzzy set approach was used to interpolate the discrete classification rating system to produce continuous D values. This was accomplished by defining a fuzzy membership function that corresponds to the Shore . the use of fuzzy sets with identifying susceptibility to insect infestations remains minimal [3.Environ Model Assess Table 1 (a) Parameters used to determine the relative size of a MPB infestation within 3 km of the stand and (b) the relative size of infestation used in conjunction with the distance to the nearest stand to determine the value of L.1 0. stands of lower density are believed to contain a less favorable microclimate for MPB to successfully attack a tree and reproduce [45]. of infested trees outside stand within 3 km No.6 0. of infested trees inside stand <10 <900 900 – 9000 >9000 (b) Relative infestation size Distance to nearest infestation (km) In stand Small Medium Large 0. To overcome this limitation.6 0. (a) No. A fuzzy sets approach was used here to produce a value explaining the degree μ(DS) to which a stand belongs to the set of dense stands. The density factor (D) of trees in a stand affects susceptibility in two ways. however.08 0. 2 Crisp classification function of density classes versus fuzzy membership function for the degree of belonging to the set of μ(DS) rating system is that it treats large ranges of stand densities as having identical susceptibility. The first is that trees in a highly dense stand experience greater competition for light. 4].2 4+ 0. where each class receives a value describing its susceptibility. Classifying soil types [6].4 0.3 0. The rating system classifies all the stands in the forest into discrete classes.8 1. and nutrition. water.2 0.7 2–3 0.5 0. Second. Fuzzy sets are commonly used for spatial and temporal applications in GIS research to represent the nondiscrete nature of geographic phenomena [13]. trees become more stressed and more vulnerable to MPB attack [29]. 2 illustrates the discrete susceptibility classes based on tree density.5 3– 4 0. individual trees [5]. The Shore and Safranyik [41] rating system defines the relationship between stand density and the susceptibility of the stand to attack by MPB. This is especially problematic in areas where stands contain a variety of densities that fall into a single class.06 0. The dotted line in Fig.1 Small Medium Large 10 –100 Medium Medium Large >100 Large Large Large values for the Shore and Safranyik [41] rating system were determined mainly by observations made during population and dispersal studies [37].0 0–1 0. and regions of land [18] are some examples of the variety of spatial phenomena for which fuzzy sets have been employed.9 1–2 0.7 0. which is used to represent D. The limitation of this component of the Shore and Safranyik Fig.4 0. therefore.

T2. A sigmoidal fuzzy membership function was chosen to provide a generalized transition between values of D. Trees with a DBH less than 12 cm received an S value of 0. The sigmoidal function is represented by the equation D ¼ μðDS Þ ¼ 1 1þ eÀ0:0094ðxÀ472:22Þ .. representing minimum to maximum susceptibility.e. This information was used to construct a sigmoidal fuzzy membership function to determine the degree of membership to a set of large trees. . although three of the four variables indicate that it has a very low susceptibility to attack. whereas trees with a DBH greater than 42 received an S value of 1. 2 illustrates the fuzzy membership function. Trees in the intermediate range received increasing values of S as DBH increases. calculating the product of the four variables will ensure that the influence of each variable is included in TS. As a result. this initial stage was represented by T0. 3.. Some GIS-based studies suggest using either the minimum or maximum value when combining layers of continuous values. 3 Fuzzy membership function for the degree of belonging to the set of μ(LT ) . The size factor (S ) of a tree describes the susceptibility of a tree based on its DBH. Therefore. The CA transition rules explaining the process of MPB-induced tree mortality was governed by an allometric function that defines the number of MPB required in the neighborhood for a tree with a given level of susceptibility to become where x represents DBH. D. problems can occur when using only the minimum or maximum value. for example. however. This neighborhood was selected so that all trees in the study area had the potential of being attacked each year. and S were calculated.e. may have a high value (i. μ(LT ). The CA used a regionalscale neighborhood that covered the entire study area.. ð 1Þ where x represents the density of trees in the stand.2 Tree mortality model The objective of the tree mortality model was to simulate annual MPB-induced mortality patterns of lodgepole pine using CA and the TS values derived from the previous section. Larger trees are more susceptible to MPB attack because they are typically older with weakened defense mechanisms that cannot withstand a mass attack of beetles [20]. Once the values for the variables P. A tree. The solid line in Fig. ð 3Þ which assumes that all variables are equally important for determining tree susceptibility.. respectively. The ground truth data from the study site and information provided by [41] revealed that trees under approximately 12 cm DBH are seldom attacked. Using these parameters for defining the sigmoidal function. A suitable method for calculating TS is to take the product of Fig. and because it is commonly employed in GIS applications using fuzzy sets for determining continuous class boundaries [33]. ð 2Þ the four variables. 3. close to 1) for only one of the four variables. which is used to represent S. The fuzzy membership function for S is illustrated in Fig. whereas trees over approximately 42 cm DBH receive the highest likelihood of being attacked. Tn). These trees acted as “seeds” from which MPB would disperse to attack other trees on an annual basis (i. Furthermore. L. A group of N trees was selected to be hypothetically attacked by MPB at the onset of the model. whereas the other three variables are extremely close to 0. the value of TS was calculated for each tree using the equation TS ¼ P Â L Â D Â S . the value of S was calculated by S ¼ μðLT Þ ¼ 1 1þ eÀ0:1599ðxÀ20:34Þ .Environ Model Assess and Safranyik [41] discrete function. each tree was represented by a value between 0 and 1. If the maximum value was used the tree would be classified as highly susceptible. they were combined so that each tree was represented by a single value of tree susceptibility (TS). T1.

5 The tree mortality model which explains that the proportion of beetles in the neighborhood required for a tree of x susceptibility to become attacked can be no less than 5% for trees of highest susceptibility.Environ Model Assess below the curve indicates scenarios of no attack. An allometric function was chosen to follow the logic that trees of high susceptibility required low levels of MPB in the neighborhood to become attacked. whereas Fig. which. during outbreaks. and as MPB populations increase to higher levels they would begin to attack less susceptible trees [36]. but they no longer contained MPB that could kill more trees during the following summer. At the completion of attack on lodgepole pine for a given summer. After the simulation of winter mortality. adult MPB nest and their offspring develop under the bark of a tree over the winter months. The function explains the minimum proportion of MPB required in the neighborhood of a tree with a given TS value for the tree to become attacked. 4 The allometric function describing the CA transition rules attacked. and updating TS. as this amount of time was considered suitable for evaluating insect outbreak management. MPB winter mortality was simulated in this study by reducing the number of infested trees by 80% at the end of each winter. ð 4Þ Fig. and the proportion increases as a function of the exponent a. inflict an 80% insect mortality rate [35]. . On or above the curve indicates scenarios of attack. 22]. The equation governing the allometric function is given by y ¼ 0:05xÀa . MPB winter mortality. MPB are highly susceptible to cold temperatures during portions of this period [2. which is composed of the CA. Figure 4 illustrates a potential allometric function that would be used to govern the CA transition rules. The calibration of the allometric function is described below. Figure 5 illustrates one complete cycle of the tree mortality model. Tree mortality was simulated for six cycles to simulate MPB-induced tree mortality over a 6-year period. This meant that the trees were still dead from MPB attack. the susceptibility of each tree was updated to reflect the change in the location factor L and subsequently the change in TS.

5. Exponent values between −1. This involved selecting the shape of the clear-cut so that more highsusceptibility trees were removed than low susceptibility trees.Environ Model Assess Fig. The model was calibrated to coincide with the growth curve by altering the number of time steps of the CA that was to represent a single year. the symmetric square and circular clear-cuts were compared to a clear-cut that was shaped based on susceptibility of the trees. and S.0 and −1. This comparison was evaluated to determine if the time and money invested in defining a clear-cut area based on tree susceptibility results in significantly less killed trees than Table 2 Information extracted from RS images to calculate the variables P. 6 (a) Classification of study site into eight different stands and (b) the TS values of each tree and initial infestation of MPB at time T = T0 The tree mortality model was calibrated to meet two objectives.3 Simulating forest management strategies The objective of simulating different management strategies was to determine how harvesting methods influence the persistence of MPB attack. The two main strategies compared in this study were clear-cutting and thinning. and 6 time steps to determine the number that resulted in annual tree mortality that corresponds to the growth curve. 3. The second calibration objective was to have the most susceptible trees attacked first. 4. L.94 0.5 were tested to determine which one produced results that coincided with MPB attack behavior. Square and circular clear-cuts around the center of the infestation were first evaluated to determine if different symmetrical cuts influence MPB outbreaks. Next. Stand Percent of lodgepole pine Location Trees infested within stand 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 0.50 0 0 <10 10 – 100 10 – 100 0 0 0 Trees infested external to stand <900 <900 <900 <900 <900 <900 <900 <900 Distance to infestation <1 km <1 km Within Stand Within Stand Within Stand <1 km <1 km <1 km 250 450 450 550 600 150 150 150 22–52 22–52 22–52 22–52 22–52 22–52 22–52 22–52 Stand density (trees/ha) Range of tree size (DBH cm) .98 0. The first objective was to have the rate of tree mortality follow a typical growth curve that is governed by a carrying capacity. This objective was set in order that the model provides results that are congruent with the MPB literature [36].78 0. The calibration consisted of running the CA for 1.50 0. 3. In addition.88 0. which results in nonsymmetric clear-cut areas.00 0. and the less susceptible trees become attacked in future years as the MPB population in the study area increased. 2. The exponent value of the allometric function that defines the CA transition rules was altered to meet this objective. clear-cutting practices were evaluated based on how the shape of the cut is defined. This comparison is intended to allow management to evaluate whether the high financial costs of thinning provide a significant reduction of trees attacked by MPB. This type of growth curve explains that the initial exponential rate of increase in tree mortality is eventually slowed due to a finite number of trees that exist in the study area.93 0. D.

0 and −1.99 the symmetric clear-cuts. The figure illustrates that three time steps were most appropriate for representing each year of tree mortality. 7 demonstrates the tree mortality curves that were a result of using the different number of CA time steps against the expected rate of tree mortality based on a typical carrying capacity growth curve.13 0. Regarding the first calibration objective (i.5 0. Figure 8 demonstrates how changing the exponent value alters the height of the function. D.56 – 0.99 0.56 – 0. After a heuristic evaluation of exponent values between −1.13 S 0. 6b. simulating an attack on the most susceptible trees first followed by attack on less susceptible trees in subsequent years) was satisfied by altering the exponent of the allometric function defining the CA transition rules.00 0.0 for each tree are illustrated in Fig.5 D 0.93 0.98 0. These four harvesting strategies (i. as the curve most closely resembles the expected curve.56 – 0.25) did not experi- . 4 Results The study area was classified into eight different stands.99 0.30 0.. 7 The percent of tree mortality generated at each cycle of the model The tree mortality model was performed for six cycles while altering the number of time steps of the CA as well as altering the exponent value of the allometric function until the two calibration objectives mentioned above were met.13 0.50 0.e.78 0.e. The second objective (i.8 0. the diversity and density of each stand. D.6 0. along with the initial simulated infestation of MPB.0 and 1.8 0. Therefore.56 – 0. L. circular clear-cut. The graph illustrates the MPB-induced tree mortality over time based on equal interval classes of tree susceptibility when using the same allometric function. Fig. it was determined that a = −1. 6a.5 0. and thinning) were each simulated removing seven different areas of trees. and S for each stand calculated from the information provided in table 2.. Fig. based on the density and diversity of trees. the allometric function was governed by the equation y ¼ 0:05xÀ1:3 : ð 5Þ Figure 9 shows the annual cumulative percentage of MPBinduced tree mortality (thick line) that was derived using the selected allometric function at three time steps.5 0.99 0.94 0.76–1. square clear-cut.99 0. The lowest susceptibility class (0. and the information required to calculate the location of each stand relative to initial infestation (Table 2). Stand 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 P 0. TS. which was subsequently used to calculate the value of tree susceptibility. selective clearcutting based on susceptibility.56 – 0.e. The TS values between 0.5.70 0. 0. which acted as the seeds for the tree mortality model.. to have the rate of tree mortality follow a typical growth curve that is governed by a carrying capacity).56 – 0. as shown in Fig.00) experienced attack at a faster rate than the other susceptibility classes. and S for each tree represented by a 4 × 4 m pixel (Table 3).01–0. This information was used to calculate the values of the variables P.92 0.88 0.Environ Model Assess Table 3 Values of the variables P.99 0.56 – 0. The graph shows that trees of highest susceptibility (i. L.87 0. RS data interpretation and the ground truth data were used to obtain the information on the size distribution of trees.70 0..e.56 – 0.50 L 0.5 0.3 was most suitable for satisfying the second objective.99 0.99 0.

00 ha. 9 MPB-induced tree mortality over time using the calibrated allometric function . For each strategy. The graph shows the percent of trees remaining after harvesting that were attacked and killed by MPB.25. and 6 using this equation.00. 12. 8 The influence of the exponent value on the allometric function ence any attack until the third time step when population levels of MPB have increased enough to overcome the defensive mechanisms of low-susceptibility trees. 6. Each strategy is illustrated in Fig.00. 11 for the minimum (1 ha) and maximum (16 ha) area of trees removed. instead of a symmetric clear-cut. The most pertinent Fig. and 16. The thinning management strategy involved harvesting a quantity of the most susceptible trees that was equivalent in area to the clear-cut strategies. The location of the selective clear-cut was focused on the susceptibility of trees. and trees of lower susceptibility are attacked as each time step passes. The calibrated model was subjected to the four different forest management harvesting strategies. and (2) areas containing high-susceptibility trees are attacked by the first time step.25. 6).Environ Model Assess Fig. 4. The square and circle clear-cuts were located based on having the infestation as the center of the clearcut. Therefore. These seven areas of trees were determined by increasing each side of the square clear-cut by 50 m. 9. 3. Harvesting was thus focused in stands 4 and 5. Figure 12 shows how tree mortality was affected by implementing each scenario.25. the shape of the cut followed the contours of the stands that contained the trees of highest susceptibility. The two calibration objectives can be observed through these results as follows: (1) Tree mortality increases rapidly over the first few iterations then declines as the number of nonattacked trees becomes limited. an equivalent of 1 ha of the most susceptible trees were removed for the 1-ha harvesting scenario. whereas an equivalent of 16 ha of the most susceptible trees were removed for the 16-ha harvesting scenario. 2. The results from the tree mortality model simulations displayed in Fig. The tree mortality model was performed using each management strategy for a total of six time steps.00. seven different areas of trees were removed: 1. Therefore. Figure 10 provides the simulated results of tree mortality at time steps 1. 12 conclude that the choice of harvesting practice has significant consequences on the number of trees that are attacked by MPB. whereas minimal trees were removed from stand 3 (see Fig.

Whereas thinning of 1 ha and 2. 10 Results from the model simulation of MPB-induced tree mortality patterns for T1. which meant that less high susceptibility trees could be harvested.Environ Model Assess Fig. However. 12 illustrate. With regard to forest management.25 ha areas showed no significant difference. 11 Harvesting strategies simulated in the study area at time T = T0 for 1-ha harvest (left) and 16-ha harvest (right) . Conversely. The reason for this was that the most susceptible trees in the study area were removed. these results suggest that the high costs of thinning are warranted if reducing tree mortality from MPB is a priority. T3. thinning of 4 ha and beyond displayed a dramatic decrease in tree mortality. Therefore. thus having a regional-scale effect. and T6 observation was the success of the thinning harvesting strategy over the clear-cut practices for reducing tree mortality. Since MPB have the ability to disperse distances Fig. thinning efforts must take into consideration the minimal number of trees that should be removed to prevent tree mortality. The lack of success for the square and circle clear-cuts was because trees were removed regardless of their susceptibility to attack. whereas thinning will remove the same number of trees over a greater area. Figure 12 demonstrates that although thinning is most effective. it may not be useful if performed on a small volume of wood. thinning also decreases the tree density of a stand. This was evident in that the loss of timber was only reduced by 30% for both methods when comparing a 1-ha harvest to a 16-ha harvest. which severely debilitated the rate at which the MPB population could increase. the other two methods reduced tree mortality by approximately 80% when comparing a 1-ha to 16-ha harvest. which in turn decreases the overall susceptibility to MPB attack. Furthermore. as the results presented in Fig. Examining the results from the three clear-cut methods illustrates that the shape of the clear-cut does not have an impact on tree mortality if the cut is symmetrically placed around the infestation. a challenge for future research is to determine the minimal effective thinning volume required for different levels of initial MPB attack. Thinning works better at reducing tree mortality than do clear-cuts because the latter strategy focuses all harvesting efforts in a centralized area around the infestation. less harvesting is required with thinning to minimize timber loss to MPB attack. Both the square and circle clear-cut approaches exhibited minimal success with reducing timber loss to MPB even when increasing the size of the harvest. Low-susceptibility trees were removed even though they were at minimal risk of attack during the initial MPB population level. Therefore.

Fig. As tree susceptibility can vary at the local scale.Environ Model Assess Fig. the location factor L determined the susceptibility of a stand using the number of trees attacked at a given distance to the stand. However. as clear-cuts become larger their detrimental effects to the ecology of the forest become magnified. the susceptibility of trees should be the focus of management activities. 5 Conclusion The results from this study indicate that the size or the shape of the harvest is not the most important factor when attempting to reduce tree loss to MPB attacks. which can restrict the scale over which data are collected. but the study site covered only a portion of this distance. instead. Thus. This was an improvement over the other two clear-cut methods because the shape of the cut was selected based on where the most susceptible trees were located rather than being based on the distance to the center of the infestation. the method proved not as successful as thinning because clearcutting ensures that some low-susceptible trees will still be removed. management would have to develop large-scale clear-cutting plans to produce a significant decline in tree mortality. which in turn could prevent the forest from being a viable source of timber. Selective clear-cutting could provide an intermediate strategy that balances the affordability of simple clearcutting and the effectiveness of thinning. Some forest managers may not have the financial resources or the time to implement thinning harvesting. but the scale of the study site limits the quantity of information that is available for determining tree susceptibility. for this technology to be at all successful. the initial infestation occurred within the study area. the high-resolution RS data were an essential component of this study as they enabled susceptibility to be defined at the tree level. 12 indicates that when selective cutting is applied over large enough areas it can have similar results. the susceptibility rating for all stands could still be higher if a significant number of trees were infested beyond the boundaries of the study area but . Although selective clear-cutting is not as effective as thinning. Thinning practices that acknowledge individual tree susceptibility are more useful. For example. However. as tree mortality was reduced when using the 9-ha harvest. 12 Tree mortality at time T = T6 for each harvesting practice for different harvesting sizes throughout the study area. The disadvantage of using high-resolution images is that they are costly. practices such as clear-cuts that invoke a spatially homogeneous response to insect outbreaks are not as appropriate because they ignore local-scale variability. However. This presents a conundrum for studies such as this where high-resolution is necessary for distinguishing individual trees. which resulted in a relatively high susceptibility rating for some stands regardless of whether there were infestations outside the study area. This can lead to underestimating the susceptibility of a stand to MPB attack because detecting infested trees within 3 km is limited by the size of the study area. Therefore. The selective clear-cut displayed intermediate results. The Shore and Safranyik [41] rating system explains that a stand is susceptible if trees are attacked within a distance of 3 km. For this study. as the most susceptible trees can be identified and removed while retaining important ecological components of the forest. the square and circle clear-cuts did not prevent them from attacking high-susceptible trees. but would be able to benefit from clear-cutting areas based on susceptibility.

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