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Forest Insect Biosecurity of New Zealand

Researchers inspect an insect trap in a recently clear-felled plantation of radiata pine on North Island, New Zealand
Researchers inspect an insect trap in a recently clear-felled plantation of radiata pine on North Island, New Zealand

Researchers from U.S. Forest Service and New Zealand are collaborating on a project to analyze the probability and frequency of flight occurrence of several forest insect species in New Zealand's radiata pine plantations. The work is focusing on insects of phytosanitary significance for the export trade in wood products.

The project entails analyzing data on captures of the insects in special traps located in pine plantations, and relating the capture frequencies to a host of environmental conditions. This will determine the most likely set of conditions and dates during which the insects emerge and fly, thus potentially infesting timber crops. The implications of the work are immense, as New Zealand is major global source of timber for many countries and must continue to ensure the security of its products from the occurrence and spread of infestations.

The researchers are devising new modeling approaches to predict the flight behavior and occurrence of the insect pests, using probability networks developed from the field capture data integrated with digital maps of environmental conditions throughout the forests of the country. The study is initiated by Scion, New Zealand's forestry research institution.

Captures of golden-haired bark beetles <em>(Hylurgus ligniperda</em>) vary by date, hour, and location, which the researchers are using to construct the models predicting their flight and movement activity
Captures of golden-haired bark beetles (Hylurgus ligniperda) vary by date, hour, and location, which the researchers are using to construct the models predicting their flight and movement activity

Contacts

Bruce G. Marcot, US Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Stephen Pawson, Scion, New Zealand

Key Presentation

Pawson, S., B. G. Marcot, and O. Woodberry. 2015. Using Bayesian networks to predict the risk of forest insect flight activity. Presented 23 November 2015 at the Seventh Annual Conference of the Australasian Bayesian Network Modelling Society, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.