iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Local spread of an exotic invader: using remote sensing and spatial analysis to document proliferation of the invasive Asian chestnut gall wasp

I Graziosi, LK Rieske   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 5, Issue 5, Pages 255-261 (2012)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor0633-005
Published: Oct 24, 2012 - Copyright © 2012 SISEF

Short Communications

Remote sensing and spatial analysis represent useful tools for modeling species’ dispersal, characterizing the spread of invasions and the invasability of a region, and thus allowing more accurate predictions for developing mitigation strategies. American chestnut, Castanea dentata, was historically a dominant forest species in North America, but occurs only sporadically today after its functional elimination by an exotic fungal pathogen in the early 1900’s. In recent decades Castanea resources have increased due to restoration efforts, commercial chestnut plantations, and horticultural uses. This resurgence is threatened by an additional exotic species, the globally invasive Asian chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus. The gall wasp was first discovered in Lexington, Kentucky (USA) in 2010. We used remotely sensed data and Geographic Information Systems to describe the local distribution of the Castanea hosts, and the occurrence and dispersal of the gall wasp. We tested the hypotheses that geomorphology, Castanea occurrence, and prevailing winds influence local proliferation. We found that gall wasp spread may be attributable to host plant distribution and to the effects of prevailing winds occurring during a brief period of adult insect emergence, and is influenced by topography. Our results suggest that weather data and topographic features can be used to delineate currently infested areas and predict future gall wasp infestations.


Dryocosmus Kuriphilus, Cynipidae, Remote Sensing, GIS, Spatial Analysis

Authors’ address

I Graziosi
LK Rieske
Department of Entomology, University of Kentucky, S225 Agricultural Science North, 40546-0091 Lexington, KY (USA)

Corresponding author

LK Rieske


Graziosi I, Rieske LK (2012). Local spread of an exotic invader: using remote sensing and spatial analysis to document proliferation of the invasive Asian chestnut gall wasp. iForest 5: 255-261. - doi: 10.3832/ifor0633-005

Academic Editor

Andrea Piotti

Paper history

Received: Apr 25, 2012
Accepted: Oct 06, 2012

First online: Oct 24, 2012
Publication Date: Oct 30, 2012
Publication Time: 0.60 months

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