The second year replication phase of a pilot trial to acquire, process and evaluate digitally converted aerial photographic imagery for the detection and monitoring of mountain pine beetle (MPB) infestations was successfully completed. This project has been jointly funded by the BC Ministry of Forests, West Fraser Mills Ltd. and Forestry Investment Account. Without this operational support this project would not have been possible and the authors gratefully acknowledge this support. The overall set of trials developed and refined an applied remote sensing strategy for resource management by the MOF, West Fraser and the SFU/FIA team. It involved monitoring and detection of spreading MPB infestations. This project addresses the most efficient and reliable remote sensing strategy for investigating the possibility of identifying and mapping early infestation stages (current attack) of mountain pine beetle in lodgepole pine forests in a practical and cost effective manner. This trial evaluation and remote sensing study specifically enhances knowledge by identifying and evaluating the remote sensing imaging systems and analytical procedures that most accurately and cost effectively addressing this critical MPB problem. This trial confirmed and refined the previous strategic framework for the role of remote sensing in detection and monitoring of MPB infestations. In 2002/03 we demonstrated that it was possible to reliably detect a spreading MPB infestation at six different sites by late May early June. These results were supported by detailed ground truth and high-resolution imagery that permitted the identification of individual trees at a crown resolution of up to 10cm pixels (>2000 pixels/crown). The success of individual infested tree identification against the total ground truth sample by early June was 80-90 percent. In all cases most of the trees in any identified group of infested pines that later turned red (August) were clearly identified by early June. This trial was designed to replicate these results to confirm the potential of such May/June imagery to support follow up operational trials of this procedure in detection and suppression of MPB infestations. In 2003/04 we confirmed that early detection by late May early June was very reliable and that we had near perfect detection (>96% for all sites and at 100% for most). We also determined that the previous 80-90% accuracies were lower mainly as a result of prediction inaccuracies from the previous winter's ground truth. Such an early detection procedure has been demonstrated to be fully ready for operational trials.
A. Roberts, J. Northrup and Yinbin Li.
Roberts, Arthur, Northrup, James; Li, Yinbin. 2004. Mountain Pine Beetle detection and monitoring year two: remote sensing detection procedures - 2002/2003 replication trials for early detection of spreading Mountain Pine Beetle infestations. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2004MR106