A decision-support scheme for mapping endangered areas in pest risk analysis*
This paper describes a decision-support scheme (DSS) for mapping the area where economically important loss is likely to occur (the endangered area). It has been designed by the PRATIQUE project to help pest risk analysts address the numerous risk mapping challenges and decide on the most suitable methods to follow. The introduction to the DSS indicates the time and expertise that is needed, the data requirements and the situations when mapping the endangered areas is most useful. The DSS itself has four stages. In stage 1, the key factors that influence the endangered area are identified, the data are assembled and, where appropriate, maps of the key factors are produced listing any significant assumptions. In stage 2, methods for combining these maps to identify the area of potential establishment and the area at highest risk from pest impacts are described, documenting any assumptions and combination rules utilised. When possible and appropriate, Stage 3 can then be followed to show whether economic loss will occur in the area at highest risk and to identify the endangered area. As required, Stage 4, described elsewhere, provides techniques for producing a dynamic picture of the invasion process using a suite of spread models. To illustrate how the DSS functions, a maize pest, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera, and a freshwater invasive alien plant, Eichhornia crassipes, have been used as examples.