TRIA-FoR: Transformative risk assessment and forest resilience using genomic tools for the Mountain Pine Beetle outbreak

PROJECT LEAD(S)/CO-LEAD(S) Janice Cooke (University of Alberta) & Catherine Cullingham (Carleton University)
FUNDER Genome Canada 2020 Large-Scale Applied Research Competition
PROJECT START DATE October 1, 2021
PROJECT END DATE September 30, 2025
COMPETITION/ FUNDING OPPORTUNITY Genome Canada 2020 Large-Scale Applied Research Competition

Over the past two decades, mountain pine beetle (MPB) has killed more than 20 M hectares of mainly lodgepole pine forests in western Canada. In the wake of this MPB epidemic, decision makers seek reforestation strategies that increase forest resiliency to future outbreaks. Simultaneously, the uncertain risk that MPB poses to jack pine challenges decision makers east and north of the epidemic to develop effective risk management plans that are commensurate with the risk posed to their jurisdiction. TRIA-FoR proposes an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to develop knowledge, tools and application frameworks that mitigate risk for the present MPB epidemic and improve resiliency in future epidemics. Risk and resiliency will be investigated in the context of MPB-pine-climate interactions that may affect MPB population dynamics, human dimensions in forest resource management, and impacts on diverse communities connected to forests at risk.

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