In Baker, R., Koch, F., Kriticos, D., Rafoss, T., Venette, R., & van der Werf, W., editors, Advancing risk assessment models for invasive alien species in the food chain: contending with climate change, economics and uncertainty, volume 7, of Bioforsk FOKUS, Frederik A. Dahls vei 20, 1432 Ås, Norway, 2012. OECD Co-operative Research Programme on Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems; Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Bioforsk. Paper abstract bibtex
Establishment and spread of plant pests and diseases depends on many ecological factors among which the availability and distribution of host plants plays a key role. Therefore, accurate information on the distribution of forest tree species is crucial for risk assessment of forest pests and diseases. Our project focuses on mapping the distribution of over 200 tree species in Europe on the basis of data provided by the National Forest Inventories (NFIs) of European countries at 1 km spatial resolution. Data provided by the NFIs include the presence/absence of a given species in the existing plots within a 1 km square grid. In order to reduce the uncertainty related to the presence of a species in areas not sampled by the plots of the NFIs, three conceptually different modelling approaches are combined. First, probability of presence of each tree species is estimated using spatial multi-scale frequency approach, mainly focusing on the spatial context, i.e. the proximity analysis of nearby presences of each tree species. Second, spatial distribution of forest types (coniferous or broadleaved, Pan-European Forest Type Map 2006) is used for constraining with an upper bound each tree species probability of presence. Third, habitat suitability of tree species – computed also modelling climatic and topographic conditions – further helps to constraint the corresponding probability of presence. The results of our work provide detailed mapping of host tree species that support combining outbreaks and environmental requirements of pests and diseases of forest trees to analyze their probability of establishment and spread. Work has already been tested and applied in the pest risk assessments of pest and diseases of forest trees carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Scientific Panel on Plant Health in the last years (e.g. pinewood nematode, Phytophthora ramorum, Gibberella circinata).