In general, modelling and mapping pest invasion seeks to answer important questions such as: where can a pest species find suitable habitat? How is a species most likely to disperse there? How likely is a species to establish in a region? (Vennete 2015). Using the approach of Koch (2008), this study provides meaningful answers to the questions above in the context of the MPB through mapping the distribution of suitable hosts (Pines), the potential climatic range of the MPB, and forecasting the spread of the MPB. The approach and methodology for each research objective is outlined in the following:
Objective 1: To identify and conceptualize biophysical factors that influence MPB distribution and spread in Western Canada.
Objective 2: To develop a GIS model that will predict future spatial and temporal variations in the distribution of the MPB.
Objective 3: To apply this model to the MPB and evaluate the future distribution and spread of the MPB.
Objective 4: To evaluate the strengths and limitations of the MPB distribution model.