Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Forest Resources

Committee Chair/Advisor

Song, Bo

Committee Member

Hedden , Roy L

Committee Member

Williams , Thomas M

Committee Member

Culin , Joseph D

Committee Member

Post , Christopher J


Models for simulating southern pine beetle (SPB), Dendroctonus frontalis Zimm., population dynamics and infestation risk are quite well developed. However, most of them are not spatially explicit models. In this study, a GIS-based model, SPBSPOT, is developed for simulating SPB spot growth using ArcGIS software with ArcObject and Visual Basic for Application. SPBSPOT is built by five subroutines. Individual interfaces are developed for each of them to allow users the flexibility to specify stand situations and design management scenarios based on their individual needs. Although integrated pest management systems are currently adopted, SPB management is still challenging because of diverse land ownership, dynamic forest landscapes, and uncertainty of management strategy effects. We incorporate SPBSPOT into a three-dimensional (3-D) visualization by using the visual simulator Visual Nature Studio. 3-D landscape visualization is comprised of multi-spatial, multi-temporal, and multi-expression elements. Supplemented with geographic information system (GIS) databases, remote sensing images, and simulation models, this technique can provide a comprehensive communication medium for decision makers, scientists, and the public with diverse backgrounds on the SPB management. In chapters three and four, we generate GIS maps of possible infestations as the basis of 3-D visualizations to simulate spatial patterns of spot growth under a variety of management scenarios (i.e., thinning, stand restoration, and stand species mixture). In chapter five, SPBSPOT is used to evaluate the ecological and economic effects of salvage operations under four levels of damage severity. In chapter six, an integrated technique of GIS, historic remote sensing images, and 3-D visualization is used to construct a variety of realistic animations depicting effects following SPB infestations on different restoration scenarios (i.e., thinning and prescribed burning). The results indicate that 1) different silvicultural treatments are able to reduce the number of infested trees, but the overall impact on the affected area may not necessarily be changed, 2) thinning treatment responded best (i.e., least damage) to SPB infestation on forest restoration stands, while the thinning + burning treatment may have resulted in too much stress to increase the stand's susceptibility, 3) salvage operation is not necessary for the light severity infestation, but it has critical effects for the higher severity ones. In conclusion, this well-organized GIS-based 3-D visualization can be used in the combination of complex information to enhance alternative management strategy evaluation.

Included in

Agriculture Commons



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