Market Access and Risk Management - KPIs

IO5 – Protect and enhance market access and improve risk management in the forest industry including forest health and preparedness for biosecurity incursions, fire and climate change

Impact KPI-9: Ensure New Zealand forests are resilient to current and future natural threats

By 2019, new tools and technologies will have been developed to quantify and mitigate impacts from the increasing risk to New Zealand’s forests from pests, fire and wind, and climate change, and will have been adopted by forest industries, land owners, and central and regional government.    

Leading indicator
By 2016, Ministry for Primary Industries will have adopted a new tool or method developed by Scion and Scion’s research partners to enable early detection and/or eradication of a pest to New Zealand’s forests.
The forest biosecurity surveillance system was re-designed to expand coverage from plantation forests to all areas where forest pests could first establish. Prototype pest establishment and surveillance optimisation models were developed. In 2015-16 these will be tested with the aim of full operational deployment in 2016-17.
By 2016, Scion will have identified radiata pine germplasm with improved resistance to at least one foliar disease.
Laboratory-based testing of Pinus radiata germplasm from the RPBC’s Elite Clone lines has identified lines that are either more susceptible or more resistant to Phytophthora pluvialis, the causal agent of red needle cast. This finding augers well for the eventual deployment of resistant lines on disease prone sites.
By 2016, rural fire stakeholders through the Rural Fire Research Advisory Committee will have adopted new fire behaviour models or adopted enhanced data collection systems that lead to both enhanced fire fighter safety and intelligence for fire fighting decision making.
Wilding conifer burning trials have been prepared for ignition this coming spring. The trials will provide data to improve the conifer burn models utilised in the Fire Behaviour Calculator and Prometheus Wildland Fire Growth Model. Prometheus was used operationally at several wildfires during the past summer to assist fire management decision making (e.g. fire suppression resource allocation, community evacuations). A prototype UAV fire hot-spotting system for locating areas burning, not visible to the naked eye, was developed and is being tested.
By 2017, there will be at least two examples of policy makers or forest growers using Scion’s models and tools to quantify and mitigate the impact of climate change or severe weather.
One forest manager is already using Scion’s models to assess the risk of wind damage when scheduling thinning operations. The impacts of future climate change on the risk of wind damage were assessed and recommendations made on how forest growers need to modify their silvicultural regimes to mitigate this risk.
By 2018, options to reduce the impact of Phytophthora on radiata pine, kauri and one horticultural species have been identified.
Laboratory studies showed that both phosphite and copper oxide are promising chemicals to control red needle cast on Pinus radiata.
Preliminary studies looking at chemotaxis (chemical stimuli that could attract or repel Phytophthora zoospores) also showed good promise as another method to reduce impact of Phytophthora in both natural ecosystems and plantations.

Ongoing - the National Forest Herbarium and the Forest Health Collections and Databases remain viable and provide valuable information on the national forestry position for New Zealand.
Herbarium now offers high resolution images of specimens online. Gaps in the collection of New Zealand cultivated woody species were identified and are being addressed with the help of external partners. During the year, >700 specimens were added and >300 requests for identification or botanical information were addressed.