Monitoring East Asian migratory locust plagues using remote sensing data and field investigations

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In recent years, the areas damaged by the East Asia migratory locust plagues ( Locusta migratoria manilensis ) have enlarged geographically in China. Some outbreaks in parts of the Dagang region, in the east coast of China, have caused drastic reductions in the yield of agricultural reeds and have created a severe threat to local and regional agriculture. Currently, the monitoring system for this species depends on field observations conducted by sparsely distributed observing stations established in the 1950s. This observation network was, in the past, successfully operated to identify major locust outbreaks. However, due to the expansion of infestation areas and the increase of locust density, spatial information technology was needed to establish a satellite sensor-based monitoring system for the East Asia migratory locust plagues. This Letter outlines the preliminary experimental work conducted in 2001 for a feasibility study in establishing a sensor-based locust monitoring system. In this experiment, sample statistics of biomass and leaf area index (LAI) from the affected and non-affected areas by locusts were calculated, and the spectra of field reed samples from both areas were also evaluated together with synchronous Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) multi-spectral data. The study showed that satellite sensors may be used operationally to monitor locust damage.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Australian Plague Locust Commission, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra, ACT Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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