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Article

Tracking Red Palm Mite Damage in the Western Hemisphere Invasion with Landsat Remote Sensing Data

1
Center for Excellence in Quarantine and Invasive Species, University of Puerto Rico (UPR), San Juan, PR 00926, USA
2
Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Bldg. 007, Rm. 104, BARC-West, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
3
Departamento de Entomologia e Acarologia, ESALQ-Universidade de São Paulo, Piracicaba 13418-900, São Paulo, Brazil
4
Systematic Entomology Laboratory, Bldg. 005, Rm. 137, BARC-West, USDA-ARS, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(9), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090627
Received: 20 July 2020 / Revised: 6 September 2020 / Accepted: 9 September 2020 / Published: 11 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Arthropod Pests)
The red palm mite is a destructive pest for palm trees, impacting their productivity. Detection of their presence is important for management and the prevention of spread. Remote sensing may provide an opportunity to monitor and detect red palm mite presence using readily available land surface remote sensing, such as the Landsat satellite constellation. A study was conducted to determine if Landsat products are able to detect infestations at select sites in the Caribbean, Central, and South America. After a time series analysis, we determined that there are several impediments to detecting red palm mite damage at palm plantations.
Red palm mites (Raoiella indica Hirst, Acari: Tenuipalpidae) were first observed in the western hemisphere on the islands and countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea, infesting the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.). Detection of invasive pests usually relies upon changes in vegetation properties as result of the pest activity. These changes may be visible in time series of satellite data records, such as Landsat satellites, which have been available with a 16-day repeat cycle at a spatial resolution of 30 m since 1982. Typical red palm mite infestations result in the yellowing of the lower leaves of the palm crown; remote sensing model simulations have indicated that this feature may be better detected using the green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI). Using the Google Earth Engine programming environment, a time series of Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper, Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager data was generated for plantations in northern and northeast Brazil, El Salvador, and Trinidad-Tobago. Considering the available studied plantations, there were little or no differences of GNDVI before and after the dates when red palm mites were first revealed at each location. A discussion of possible alternative approaches are discussed related to the limitations of the current satellite platforms. View Full-Text
Keywords: Raoiella indica Hirst; leaf damage; coconut palm; Cocos nucifera L.; Google Earth Engine; Landsat time series; GNDVI Raoiella indica Hirst; leaf damage; coconut palm; Cocos nucifera L.; Google Earth Engine; Landsat time series; GNDVI
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rodrigues, J.C.V.; Cosh, M.H.; Hunt, E.R., Jr.; de Moraes, G.J.; Barroso, G.; White, W.A.; Ochoa, R. Tracking Red Palm Mite Damage in the Western Hemisphere Invasion with Landsat Remote Sensing Data. Insects 2020, 11, 627. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090627

AMA Style

Rodrigues JCV, Cosh MH, Hunt ER Jr., de Moraes GJ, Barroso G, White WA, Ochoa R. Tracking Red Palm Mite Damage in the Western Hemisphere Invasion with Landsat Remote Sensing Data. Insects. 2020; 11(9):627. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090627

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rodrigues, Jose C.V., Michael H. Cosh, E. R. Hunt Jr., Gilberto J. de Moraes, Geovanny Barroso, William A. White, and Ronald Ochoa. 2020. "Tracking Red Palm Mite Damage in the Western Hemisphere Invasion with Landsat Remote Sensing Data" Insects 11, no. 9: 627. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11090627

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