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NASA Satellite Technology Helps Fight Invasive Plant Species
PRNewswire ^ | Feb. 15 | PRNewswire

Posted on 02/16/2006 3:49:03 PM PST by george76

Products based on NASA Earth observations and a new Internet-based decision tool are providing information to help land and water managers combat tamarisk (saltcedar), an invasive plant species damaging precious water supplies in the western United States.

This decision tool, called the Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS), is being used at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Institute of Invasive Species Science in Fort Collins, Colo.

It is the result of combining USGS science and NASA Earth observations, software engineering and high- performance computing expertise.

"The ISFS combines NASA satellite data with tens of thousands of field sampling measurements, which are then used to analyze past and present distributions of non-native plants and predict their future growth patterns," said Tom Stohlgren, director of the USGS National Institute of Invasive Science Species.

Land managers and others can use it to generate color-coded maps to help predict and manage the spread of troublesome invasive species.

"Integrating innovative Earth observation technology enables USGS to significantly enhance its ability to support invasive species management," ...

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently identified saltcedar as one of the most harmful invasive species in the United States, because the plant's long roots tap into underground aquifers.

Its groundwater absorbing qualities may be adding to the severity of the drought in the western United States.

Saltcedar also increases the salt concentration of the soil and degrades habitats for native species along river systems.

Saltcedar is a large shrub to small tree, native to Africa and Eurasia.

It was introduced into the western United States in the early 1800s as ornamental vegetation and for wind and erosion control.

Saltcedar has spread and can be found from Minnesota to California and from Mexico to Canada.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Agriculture; Astronomy; Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Education; Food; Gardening; Health/Medicine; History; Outdoors; Politics; Science; Society; Travel; Weather
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1 posted on 02/16/2006 3:49:07 PM PST by george76
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2 posted on 02/16/2006 4:00:17 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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