Submitted to: Southwestern Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2007
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Citation: Everitt, J.H., Yang, C., Fletcher, R.S., Deloach, C.J., Davis, M.R. 2007. Using remote sensing to assess biological control of saltcedar. Southwestern Entomologist. 32(2):93-103. Interpretive Summary: Invasive plant species present a serious problem to natural resource managers. Saltcedar is an exotic shrub introduced to the United States as an ornamental and for erosion control that has escaped cultivation and invaded many riparian zones in the southwestern U. S. and Mexico. The leaf beetle has been used to control saltcedar. Research was conducted to evaluate the potential of using remote sensing technology for assessing control of saltcedar by the leaf beetle. Field reflectance measurements showed that saltcedar plants exhibiting feeding damage from the leaf beetle had different visible/near-infrared reflectance from healthy plants. Saltcedar plants with feeding damage could be distinguished on conventional color aerial photographs. An accuracy assessment performed on a computer-classified map of a photograph had producer’s and user’s accuracies for damaged and healthy saltcedear plants ranging from 88% to 100%. These results should be of interest to natural resource managers who are involved in controlling this noxious shrub.
Technical Abstract: Research was conducted to evaluate the potential of using remote sensing technology to assess feeding damage on the invasive woody plant species, saltcedar (Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb.), by the leaf beetle (Diorhabda elongata Brulle deserticola Chen). Field reflectance measurements showed that saltcedar plants exhibiting feeding damage had lower visible green reflectance than healthy plants. Saltcedar plants showing feeding damage could be distinguished from healthy plants on conventional color aerial photographs. An accuracy assessment performed on a supervised classification map of an aerial photograph showed that damaged and healthy saltcedar plants had producer’s and user’s accuracies that ranged from 88% to 100%.