Southern Forests: a Journal of Forest Science

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The potential of remote sensing technology for the detection and mapping of Thaumastocoris peregrinus in plantation forests

Z Oumar, O Mutanga


Thaumastocoris peregrinus is a sap-sucking insect that feeds on eucalyptus leaves. It poses a major threat to the forest sector by reducing the photosynthetic ability of the tree, resulting in stunted growth and even death of severely infested trees. The foliage of the tree infested with T. peregrinus is usually seen to turn a reddish brown colour starting at the northern side of the canopy but progressively spreading to the entire canopy. The monitoring of T. peregrinus and the effect it has on plantation forest health is essential to ensure productivity and future sustainability of forest yields. Internationally, a number of studies have successfully used remote sensing technology to monitor forest damage. Remote sensing technology allows for instantaneous methods of assessments whereby ground assessments would be impossible on a regular basis. This paper provides an overview of how advances in remote sensing technology can be used to detect and map the different stages of T. peregrinus infestations using multispectral and hyperspectral scanners. The challenges and future research regarding the mapping and detection of T. peregrinus are also discussed. It is concluded that remote sensing techniques need to be tested, improved upon and applied for the successful detection and monitoring of T. peregrinus infestations.

Keywords: hyperspectral, multispectral, Thaumastocoris peregrinus

Southern Forests 2011, 73(1): 23–31

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