WWETAC Projects

Project Title: GMWest: a risk assessment system for gypsy moth introductions in the Pacific Northwest

Principal Investigators: Jesse A. Logan, EnviroWise Design; Wally Macfarlane, GEO/Graphics, Inc.; Steve Munson, USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection

logan.jesse[at]gmail.com

Key Issues/Problems Addressed:
The Gypsy moth, (Lymantria dispar), an exotic pest of many host tree/shrub species in North America, is annually introduced many times throughout the Pacific Northwest. Quantifying potential risks for gypsy moth establishment in this region is difficult and climate change poses additional challenges for regulatory agencies.  

Setting and Approach:
A new system, GMWest, was created to help predict gypsy moth establishment probability for specific locations in Utah and was expanded to include the Pacific Northwest region. System development first required acquiring a variety of databases regarding landscape features, vegetation, weather, and climate variables.  "Probability of establishment" maps were produced using weather and climate variables from the database as input to a validated gypsy moth phenology model. Subsequently, a "hazard of establishment" map layer was produced that could be combined with other GIS layers in the database (host distribution, land use, demographic, topographic, and transportation) to produce a "risk of establishment" map.

Key Findings:
The GMWest system is extremely flexible and adaptable due to the production of geo-referenced data layers which are combined and manipulated using a geographic information system (GIS).

Impacts/Applications:
GMWest tools, demonstrations, and instruction were provided to regional land managers at a two day workshop in Portland, Oregon, August 7-8, 2007.

Related Publications:

Logan, J.A., Regniere, J., Gray, D.R., Munson, A.S. 2007. Risk assessment in the face of a changing environment: Gypsy moth and climate change in Utah. Ecological Applications 17(1): 101–117.

WWETAC Project ID:  FY07TS25