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Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2012-05-03 15:48 UTC (dina.abdelhakim@cbd.int)
Date of last update
2012-05-07 18:18 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2012-05-07 18:18 UTC (andrew.bowers@cbd.int)

General Information
Evaluating Critical Uncertainty Thresholds in a Spatial Model of Forest Pest Invasion Risk
Frank H. Koch, Denys Yemshanov, Daniel W. McKenney, and William D. Smith
Author’s contact information
Denys Yemshanov,

Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service,
Great Lakes Forestry Centre,
1219 Queen Street East,
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6A 2E5, Canada;

tel: 705-541-5602;
fax: 705-541-5700;

  • English
Publication date
Summary, abstract or table of contents

Pest risk maps can provide useful decision support in invasive species management, but most do not adequately consider the uncertainty associated with predicted risk values. This study explores how increased uncertainty in a risk model's numeric assumptions might affect the resultant risk map. We used a spatial stochastic model, integrating components for entry, establishment, and spread, to estimate the risks of invasion and their variation across a twodimensional landscape for Sirex noctilio, a nonnative woodwasp recently detected in the United States and Canada. Here, we present a sensitivity analysis of the mapped risk estimates to variation in key model parameters. The tested parameter values were sampled from symmetric uniform distributions defined by a series of nested bounds (±5%, . . . , ±40%) around the parameters' initial values. The results suggest that the maximum annual spread distance, which governs long-distance dispersal, was by far the most sensitive parameter. At ±15% or larger variability bound increments for this parameter, there were noteworthy shifts in map risk values, but no other parameter had a major effect, even at wider bounds of variation. The methodology presented here is generic and can be used to assess the impact of uncertainties on the stability of pest risk maps as well as to identify geographic areas for which management decisions can be made confidently, regardless of uncertainty.
Thematic areas
  • Scientific and technical issues
    • Risk assessment
    • Risk management
Background material to the “Guidance on risk assessment of living modified organisms”
Is this document is recommend as background material for the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms”
Section(s) of the “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” this background material is relevant
Additional Information
Type of resource
  • Article (journal / magazine / newspaper)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01251.x
Publisher and its location
Blackwell Publishing Inc
© 2009 Society for Risk Analysis
15 page PDF
Risk Analysis
Keywords and any other relevant information
Keywords: Invasive species; parametric uncertainty; pest risk mapping; stochastic modeling; sensitivity analysis

Citation: Risk Analysis, Vol. 29, No. 9, 1227-1241, 2009