Thursday, July 11, 2013

Following the footprint of invasive trees

From Nursery Management

Industry News ARS scientists are finding new ways to assess the extent of invasive trees in the Western U.S.
| July 9, 2013

A view from Juniper Mountain, looking toward South Mountain, shows a landscape heavily populated with invasive western juniper trees. Photo by Kirk Davies.

From the USDA Agricultural Research Service:
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been investigating ways of using aerial photography and computer programs to quickly identify and measure areas affected by invasive trees. As a result, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) rangeland scientists Kirk Davies and Matt Madsen have developed tools that could help land managers protect sagebrush ecosystems and control invasive vegetation more economically and efficiently.

ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency, and this work supports the USDA priority of responding to climate change.

The expansion of western juniper trees on some arid U.S. rangelands is pushing out other plant species, reducing sagebrush habitat and livestock forage, and at times fueling catastrophic wildfires. Davies and Madsen, who work at the Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center in Burns, Ore., led studies on using National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) high-resolution aerial images to estimate western juniper cover.

Click here to read more.


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