Dispersion of forest pests
Dead Wood
Figure 1: Dispersion of forest pests
Source: de.wikipedia.org

  Dispersion of forest pests

Every year, pests cause adverse effects on forest landscapes, which remain as one of our most important natural resources. The prediction of forest pest hot spots and areas prone to their development support a guided “reconstruction” of forest composition as a proactive means to prevent and minimise damages.

 testcase 7 figure 3
Figure 2: European Spruce Bark Beetle.
Source: James K. Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster
Mass reproduction of the European Spruce Bark Beetle has been shown to lead to severe forest dieback as their larvae feed on the inner bark of living but attenuated, dying and dead trees. Knowledge of the controlling factors of their reproduction is crucial for successful forest management and for the planning of mitigation measures. Influential factors for the (mass) dispersion of the bark beetle are climate parameters such as temperature and wind, as well as site parameters such as the distribution of spruce, stand age and density. In addition, topographical attributes such as terrain and soil conditions can influence the development of their populations. The goal of this pilot study was to validate whether artificial neural networks were suitable for the spatial prediction of infections and mass reproduction in future studies.

Modeling area

Figure 3: Modelling area in the north of the studied forest district

Affection areas

Figure 4: Location of affection areas of the European Spruce Bark Beetle in the modelling area
Intersection of different model approaches Figure 5: Intersection result of 15 different model approaches   Whole forest district
Figure 6: Application of the validated network to the whole forest district