Applying cost-distance analysis for forest disease risk mapping: Phytophthora austrocedrae as an example

La Manna, Ludmila; Greslebin, Alina G.; Matteucci, Silvia D.
November 2013
European Journal of Forest Research;Nov2013, Vol. 132 Issue 5/6, p877
Academic Journal
Cost-distance model analyzes the relative difficulty in reaching each spot of the landscape for the object or species under study. It calculates the effective distance, which is the Euclidian distance modified by the friction to movement through different landscape elements. This work deals with the application of cost-distance analysis in forest pathology, considering Austrocedrus chilensis root rot caused by Phytophthora austrocedrae as an example. In this case, cost-distance analysis was used to determine the relative difficulty for the pathogen to reach healthy forest patches from the patches that are presently diseased. Friction values were assigned on the basis of abiotic conditions, biological characteristics of the pathogen and host presence. Since cattle may be a vehicle for Phytophthora dispersion, three hypothetical situations of ranching were considered. Cost-distance application resulted useful to define minimum risk areas for conservation purposes. In the study case, minimum risk area strongly varied in response to cattle presence. This study provided valuable information for A. chilensis disease management and showed one of the broad applications of cost-distance analysis in forestry.


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