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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USING REMOTE SENSING AND GIS FOR DETECTING AND MAPPING INVASIVE WEEDS IN RIPARIAN AND WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS Title: Mapping Brazilian Pepper Infestations in South Texas with Spatial Information Technologies

Authors
item Fletcher, Reginald
item Everitt, James
item Yang, Chenghai

Submitted to: Biennial Workshop on Aerial Photography, Videography, and High Resolution Digital Imagery for Resource Assessment Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2007
Publication Date: February 15, 2008
Citation: Fletcher, R.S., Everitt, J.H., Yang, C. 2008. Mapping Brazilian Pepper infestations in south Texas with spatial information technologies. Biennial Workshop on Aerial Photography, Videography, and High Resolution Digital Imagery for Resource Assessment Proceedings. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Brazilian pepper, an evergreen shrub or tree indigenous to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, was introduced into the United States as an ornamental. This plant has an aggressive growth habit that allows it to establish, spread, and displace native vegetation, resulting in a monoculture of Brazilian pepper. It is included on the invasive and noxious weed lists of several states, including Texas. To control this invasive plant in Texas, natural resource managers have to identify locations of where it has become naturalized. ARS scientists at Weslaco, Texas, have used spatial information technologies (global positioning systems, geographic information systems, and digitized color infrared aerial photography) to map and assess Brazilian pepper infestations in south Texas. The overall results suggest that natural resource managers can employ the information obtained from these technologies to assist them in implementing management plans designed to control this invasive plant.

Technical Abstract: Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), an evergreen shrub or tree indigenous to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, was introduced into the United States as an ornamental. This plant has an aggressive growth habit that allows it to establish, spread, and displace native vegetation, resulting in a monoculture of Brazilian pepper. It is included on the invasive and noxious weed lists of several states, including Texas. In this study, we used spatial information technologies to map and assess Brazilian pepper infestations in south Texas. Using commercial geographic information system (GIS) software and coordinates of infested sites obtained with global positioning systems, we developed a database and a distribution map showing the locations of Brazilian pepper infestations in south Texas counties. We used digitized color infrared aerial photography subjected to a computerized classification algorithm to develop a map and to assess a Brazilian pepper infestation at a study site located in Cameron County, Texas. Employing the thematic map derived from the aerial photograph of the study site and soil data (Soil Survey Geographic Database) as layers in the GIS, we determined the soil attributes associated with the Brazilian pepper plants mapped at the study site. The overall results suggest that natural resource managers can use spatial information technologies as tools for mapping and assessing Brazilian pepper infestations in south Texas. They can employ the information obtained from these technologies to assist them in implementing management plans designed to control this invasive plant.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014
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