0 E A Pinkard D J Kriticos T J Wardlaw A J Carnegie Agathe Leriche 2010 Estimating the spatio-temporal risk of disease epidemics using a bioclimatic niche model Ecological Modelling 221 23 2828-2838 <p>There are presently few tools available for estimating epidemic risks from forest pathogens, and hence informing pro-active disease management. In this study we demonstrated that a bioclimatic niche model can be used to examine questions of epidemic risk in temperate eucalypt plantations. The bioclimatic niche model, CLIMEX, was used to identify regional variation in climate suitability for Mycosphaerella leaf disease (MLD), a major cause of foliage damage in temperate eucalypt plantations around the world. Using historical observations of MLD damage, we were able to convert the relative score of climatic suitability generated by CLIMEX into a severity ranking ranging from low to high, providing for the first time a direct link between risk and impact, and allowing us to explore disease severity in a way meaningful to forest managers. We determined that the &lsquo;Compare Years&rsquo; function in CLIMEX could be used for site-specific risk assessment to identify severity, frequency and seasonality of MLD epidemics. We explored appropriate scales of risk assessment for forest managers. Applying the CLIMEX model of MLD using a 0.25&deg; or coarser grid size to areas of sharp topographic relief frequently misrepresented the risk posed by MLD, because considerable variation occurred between individual forest sites encompassed within a single grid cell. This highlighted the need for site-specific risk assessment to address many questions pertinent to managing risk in plantations.</p>