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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Carruthers, Raymond
item Anderson, Gerald
item Deloach Jr, Culver
item Knight, Jeff
item Peng, Gong
item Ge, Shaokui

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2005
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: Carruthers, R.I., Anderson, G.L., Deloach Jr, C.J., Knight, J., Peng, G., Ge, S. 2005. Remote sensing of saltcedar biological control effectiveness. In: Proceedings for the Monitoring Science & Technology Symposium September 20-24, 2004, Denver, Colorado. RMRS-P-37 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: Saltcedar is a highly damaging exotic plant species that has become invasive in many areas of the Western United States. This article reports on remote sensing techniques that have been developed to both identify areas of infestation and areas where a new biological control agent has effectively controlled this invasive weed. New methods of combining color and texture analysis allowed invasive saltcedar to be located along stream channels where other native vegetation was intermixed with this detrimental species. New hyperspectral imaging methods were also developed and applied to aerially detect areas where a new biological control agent caused extensive defoliation to saltcedar, thus assisting land managers in its control. Without these remote sensing tools, it would be very difficult to accurately assess the overall impact of this new control technology.

Technical Abstract: Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) is a major invasive weed found throughout the Western United States and Mexico. Introduced into North America in the 1800s, this shrub to small tree, now infests many riparian areas where it displaces native vegetation, increases fire hazards, uses extensive amounts of water, increases flooding during high water events and thus has caused extensive damage to agricultural and natural ecosystems. In 2001, scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture released a Chinese leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata) into test areas in six states to initiate and evaluate a new biological control program for saltcedar. A combination of ground-based monitoring and remote sensing has been used to monitor impacts caused by this biological control program. Both color aerial photography and hyperspectral remote sensing were used to successfully classify and quantify saltcedar invasions and the effectiveness of the biological control program, including beetle spread and defoliation within monotypic stands of saltcedar and in areas where saltcedar is mixed with native vegetation.

Last Modified: 06/28/2017
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