SMARTIES - Surveillance and MAnagament of multiple Risks to Treescapes: Integrating Epidemiology and Stakeholder behaviour.
SMARTIES is a collaborative project led by Rothamsted Research with Forest Research, University of Salford and the Stockholm Environment Institute as key partners. The project focuses on the development of a linked epidemiological and a social dynamics model which will identify the key epidemiological and human behaviours that influence disease spread. The models provide a unique opportunity to explore factors that will promote successful surveillance and management of multiple threats to trees. SMARTIES will focus on ash treescapes and explore the twin threats of ash dieback (currently present in the UK) and emerald ash borer (not present in the UK).
Forest Research social scientists in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York are leading a work package on social values, stakeholder actions, and acceptability of management approaches. The aim of this work package is to develop a deeper understanding of key factors that influence land manager and industry stakeholder decision-making and actions in the context of a current threat (ash dieback) and potential future threat (emerald ash borer). A combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches such as questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews will be used to gather evidence to inform the development of an agent-based model of social dynamics.
The project focuses on three case study areas: Kent, Suffolk and North Wales. Criteria for selection of case studies included presence of ash in different settings, likely local awareness of ash dieback, and trade of ash products which has the potential to facilitate the spread of emerald ash borer should it arrive in the UK.
Visit the project website to learn more about the team and the other work areas in the project.
Forest Research and the Stockholm Environment Institute's work package will investiate what influences management decisions when managers are faced with multiple threats to a single tree species, including:
- What values do land managers attribute to their ash trees?
- What are perceived risks of ash dieback and emerald ash borer?
- What is the perceived efficacy of different management options?
- What is the social acceptability of different ash dieback and emerald ash borer management methods?
- What are the perceived resource constraints of taking action?