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The Spruce Budworm Decision Support System: forest protection planning to sustain long-term wood supply

MacLean, D.A., Erdle, T.A., MacKinnon, W.E., Porter, K.B., Beaton, K.P., Cormier, G., Morehouse, S., Budd, M.
Canadian journal of forest research 2001 v.31 no.10 pp. 1742-1757
Choristoneura fumiferana, decision making, forests, pest control, defoliation, volume, simulation models, logging, yields, history, geographic information systems
The Spruce Budworm Decision Support System (SBW DSS) quantifies the marginal timber supply (m3/ha) benefits of protecting stands against spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.)) defoliation. It allows the user to quantify the volume benefit of protecting alternative areas and determine effects on forest development and annual allowable cut. Implementing the SBW DSS on a land base involves seven steps: (i) defining the base defoliation, or an explicit forecast of the defoliation level included in yield forecasts; (ii) compiling historical defoliation; (iii) defining base volume yields; (iv) obtaining the harvest schedule from the land base management plan; (v) building the stand impact matrix, which quantifies direct impacts of defoliation; (vi) building the forest impact matrix, which quantifies indirect impacts of defoliation on harvest schedules; and (vii) building the stand-history file, which contains all stand-level and defoliation data. These tasks are usually completed every 5 years. The remaining aspects of the planning methodology are implemented annually, including (i) recording the previous year's defoliation, (ii) estimating potential defoliation in the current year from budworm survey data, (iii) calculating volume loss or protection priority, (iv) generating budworm-caused volume loss maps, (v) digitizing potential spray blocks, and (vi) evaluating the protection program. Using ARC/INFO and ArcView geographic information system programs, the Protection Planning System component (PROPS) generates volume loss maps that can be used to help design and analyze costs and benefits of insecticide spray programs. Implementation of PROPS for the 450000 ha Upper Miramichi Crown License in New Brunswick is described. Under "normal" and "severe" budworm outbreak scenarios, defined based on predictions of 1999-2008 defoliation, losses of 6.6 x 10(6) and 16.7 x 10(6) m3 of spruce (Picea sp.) - balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) volume were projected to occur on this land base.