U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

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

Graziosi, I., Rieske, L.K.
Acta horticulturae 2014 no.1019 pp. 113-118
Castanea dentata, Cryphonectria parasitica, Dryocosmus kuriphilus, forests, fungi, geographic information systems, host plants, imagos, insects, meteorological data, overstory, prediction, remote sensing, species dispersal, topography, wind direction, Kentucky
Remote sensing and spatial analysis represent key tools for describing species dispersal, species invasiveness and the invasability of a region, thus allowing 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 elimination from the overstory by the chestnut blight fungus. In recent decades, Castanea resources have increased due to restoration efforts and multiple uses; however, this resurgence is threatened by an additional exotic insect, the globally invasive Asian chestnut gall wasp, Dryocosmus kuriphilus. The gall wasp, first detected in the USA in 1974, was discovered in Lexington, Kentucky 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 local proliferation is influenced by geomorphology, Castanea occurrence and prevailing winds. We found that gall wasp spread was attributable to host plant distribution and to the effects of prevailing winds during a brief period of adult insect emergence and was influenced by topography, suggesting that weather data and topographic features can be used to delineate currently infested areas and predict future gall wasp infestations.