Abstract

Yellow starthistle is a noxious weed that has become a serious plant pest with devastating impact on ranching operation and natural resources in western states. Early detection of yellow starthistle and predicting its spread has important managerial implications and greatly reduce the economic losses due to this weed. The dispersal of yellow starthistle consists of two main components, plant survival and seed movement. Resources and direct factors relating to these components are not typically available or are difficult to obtain. Alternatively, topographic factors, such as slope, aspect and elevation, are readily available and can be related to plant survival and seed movement. In this study, several GIS network models incorporating these topographic factors are considered for the prediction of yellow starthistle spread. The models differed in their assessment of the costs of movement derived from these factors. Models were evaluated based on their predictive ability and residual analysis. The optimal model gave an accurate estimate of the dispersal boundary for the study area. Further validation of the estimated model using an independent data set from a larger area also verified its predictive capability.

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Apr 25th, 10:30 AM

PREDICTION OF YELLOW STARTHISTLE SURVIVAL AND MOVEMENT OVER TIME AND SPACE

Yellow starthistle is a noxious weed that has become a serious plant pest with devastating impact on ranching operation and natural resources in western states. Early detection of yellow starthistle and predicting its spread has important managerial implications and greatly reduce the economic losses due to this weed. The dispersal of yellow starthistle consists of two main components, plant survival and seed movement. Resources and direct factors relating to these components are not typically available or are difficult to obtain. Alternatively, topographic factors, such as slope, aspect and elevation, are readily available and can be related to plant survival and seed movement. In this study, several GIS network models incorporating these topographic factors are considered for the prediction of yellow starthistle spread. The models differed in their assessment of the costs of movement derived from these factors. Models were evaluated based on their predictive ability and residual analysis. The optimal model gave an accurate estimate of the dispersal boundary for the study area. Further validation of the estimated model using an independent data set from a larger area also verified its predictive capability.