Prior to the outbreak in 2006, the MPB eastern boundary was limited due to the physical barrier of the Rocky Mountains and its unsuitable climate (Cooke and Carroll, 2017). Since the MPB has been able to use various pine species, there has been concern from the Government of Canada about its rapid spread to the rest of the pine trees in Canada. An assessment from Nealis and Peter (2008) states that economic and regulatory impacts from the MPB range expansion “will depend heavily on the extent and timing of tree mortality and the concurrent demand for timber by the forest sector”. The MPB and the fungus it carries can use the majority of the pine species in Canada as a host. Therefore, the project will look at all the pine trees within Canada to give all provinces and territories an update on the potential problems caused by MPB across the country. The study area will be within Canada's borders, focused on areas where pine trees are present, which is mostly in the boreal forest (Fig. 1). The study area was chosen as the whole country instead of just BC is because the spread of MPB is starting to become an issue to other provinces in Canada, not just for BC. Therefore, other provinces like Yukon and Manitoba have to be assessed too.
Fig. 1: Extent of boreal forest in Canada.