Using a GIS-based spot growth model and visual simulator to evaluate the effects of silvicultural treatments on southern pine beetle-infested standsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Many models are available for simulating the probability of southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann) (SPB) infestation and outbreak dynamics. However, only a few models focused on the potential spatial SPB growth. Although the integrated pest management systems are currently adopted, SPB management is still challenging because of diverse land ownership, dynamic forest landscapes, and uncertainty in spatial infestation pattern. In this study, we incorporated Geographical Information System (GIS)-based spot growth model into a three-dimensional visualization by using the visual simulator. The GIS maps of possible infestations were generated and used as the basis of three-dimensional visualizations to simulate spatial patterns of spot growth under various silvicultural treatments, including thinning, species mixtures, and different ages of stands. The results indicated these management practices, especially the thinning treatment, can reduce SPB infestation, particularly on the number of trees killed, but this does not necessarily result in a reduction of the infested area. We believe that GIS-based three-dimensional visualizations could provide more realistic landscapes without the spatial and temporal limitations for improving the SPB management decision-making process.