Using GIS To Analyse The Spatial-Temporal Distribution And Spread Of The Mountain Pine Beetle In Canada
The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae, MPB) is a native bark beetle that attacks, infects, and kills pine trees with symbiotic fungi in northwestern Canada. Due to this, the MPB has killed large amounts of lodgepole pine forests and threatens other pine forests under climate change especially the boreal forest which has historically been outside the extent of the MPB. However, future climate projections of warmer winters suggest that the MPB could survive in these regions since MPB spread rapidly in warmer climate. The aim of the project is to identify and conceptualize biophysical factors that influence MPB distribution and spread in Western Canada and use them to develop a GIS model that predicts future spatial and temporal variations of MPB. The model is then applied to the MPB to assess the future spread and distribution of it. The strengths and limitations of the MPB distribution model are also evaluated. In this study, we implement a simple cost-weighted distance analysis to assess the potential spread of the MPB in the future. Our results suggest that by 2100, the MPB could spread into the Yukon interior and into northern Saskatchewan based on the simulated climate models, infecting large amounts of the boreal forest far outside its historic range.