Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Estimating the probability of mountain pine beetle red-attack damage

Wulder, M. A; White, J. C.; Bentz, B.; Alvarez, M. F.; Coops, N. C. 2006. Estimating the probability of mountain pine beetle red-attack damage. Remote Sensing of Environment. 101(2): 150-166.

Accurate spatial information on the location and extent of mountain pine beetle infestation is critical for the planning of mitigation and treatment activities. Areas of mixed forest and variable terrain present unique challenges for the detection and mapping of mountain pine beetle red-attack damage, as red-attack has a more heterogeneous distribution under these conditions. In this study, mountain pine beetle red-attack damage was detected and mapped using a logistic regression approach with a forward stepwise selection process and a set of calibration data representing samples of red-attack and non-attack from the study area. Variables that were considered for inclusion in the model were the enhanced wetness difference index (EWDI) derived from a time series of Landsat remotely sensed imagery, elevation, slope, and solar radiation (direct, diffuse, and global). The output from the logistic regression was a continuous probability surface, which indicated the likelihood of red-attack damage. Independent validation data were used to assess the accuracy of the resulting models. The final model predicted red-attack damage with an accuracy of 86%. These results indicate that for this particular site, with mixed forest stands and variable terrain, remotely sensed and ancillary spatial data can be combined, through logistic regression, to create a mountain pine beetle red-attack likelihood surface that accurately identifies damaged forest stands. The use of a probabilistic approach reduces dependence upon the definition of change by the application of thresholds (upper and lower bounds of change) at the image processing stage. Rather, a change layer is generated that may be interpreted liberally or conservatively, depending on the information needs of the end user.

Keywords: forest, mountain pine beetle, logistic regression, Landsat, tasseled cap, change detection

About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.

Download Article

PDF File Size: 900 K

Title: RMRS Other Publications: Estimating the probability of mountain pine beetle red-attack damage
Electronic Publish Date: September 6, 2007
Last Update:
September 6, 2007

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us