The Weed Treatment Planner (WTP) is a spatially explicit decision support system for planning which weed species to treat, how to treat, and where to treat based on desired objectives, predetermined constraints (such as excluding specific herbicide treatments in specific locations), and limited treatment budgets. WTP incorporates species-specific spread dynamics in a heuristic solver that is designed to indentify spatial treatment strategies for limiting weed spread over time. This process provides the capability to analyze trade-offs among alternative spatial and temporal treatment strategies in the "control priority' stage. This capability to perform trade-off analyses is critical to developing cost-effective treatment decisions in the usual case of limiting resources and budgets.
WTP runs on a standard Windows GIS-capable desktop PC, with ArcGIS / ArcMap 9.3 or later installed.
The first step in applying the WTP is providing key GIS data, including layers for the known locations of weed infestations, roads, trails, streams, vegetation types, and treatment site priorities. Next, the user enters data such as budget limits, chemicals used, application methods (backpack sprayer, atv sprayer, etc.) and costs, chemical application rates by weed species, invasive species spread rates, and treatment priorities. Buffers are generated for roads and trails layers to approximate accessibility for the application methods applied from them. A streams layer is used to buffer riparian areas where certain chemicals cannot be applied. A susceptibility matrix is generated from the vegetation cover type layer and the user-defined rules that determine whether the cover type is generally susceptible to invasive species, is only susceptible to invasive species after vegetation disturbances have occurred, or whether it is resistant to specific invasive species. An optional vegetation disturbances layer can be used to designate areas that have been disturbed recently or where future vegetation treatments are planned that will result in future disturbed areas. After data entry is complete, the solver is run to find the spatial and temporal weed treatment schedule that minimizes the number of acres of infestations for weed species that are priorities for treatment, as well as priority sites, while satisfying specified budget levels for each of five treatment years. The predicted extent of weed infestations, both with and without treatment, can be compared to help evaluate the effectiveness of a treatment schedule. Alternative weed treatment schedules can be developed by modifying budget levels for individual years, changing weed species or site priorities, or changing the treatment options.
This manual describes how to down-load the WTP program and test data and install it on your computer. It also identifies the necessary spatial and non-spatial data, and how to operate the system to develop spatial and temporal weed treatment strategies for your weed treatment planning area.