Predicting forest insect flight activity: a Bayesian network approach

Stephen M. Pawson, Bruce G. Marcot, Owen G. Woodberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Daily flight activity patterns of forest insects are influenced by temporal and meteorological conditions. Temperature and time of day are frequently cited as key drivers of activity; however, complex interactions between multiple contributing factors have also been proposed. Here, we report individual Bayesian network models to assess the probability of flight activity of three exotic insects, Hylurgus ligniperda, Hylastes ater, and Arhopalus ferus in a managed plantation forest context. Models were built from 7,144 individual hours of insect sampling, temperature, wind speed, relative humidity, photon flux density, and temporal data. Discretized meteorological and temporal variables were used to build naïve Bayes tree augmented networks. Calibration results suggested that the H. ater and A. ferus Bayesian network models had the best fit for low Type I and overall errors, and H. ligniperda had the best fit for low Type II errors. Maximum hourly temperature and time since sunrise had the largest influence on H. ligniperda flight activity predictions, whereas time of day and year had the greatest influence on H. ater and A. ferus activity. Type II model errors for the prediction of no flight activity is improved by increasing the model’s predictive threshold. Improvements in model performance can be made by further sampling, increasing the sensitivity of the flight intercept traps, and replicating sampling in other regions. Predicting insect flight informs an assessment of the potential phytosanitary risks of wood exports. Quantifying this risk allows mitigation treatments to be targeted to prevent the spread of invasive species via international trade pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0183464
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2017

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