Spatial Analysis of Gypsy Moth Populations in Sardinia using Geostatistical and Climate Models

Agricultural and Forest Entomology, Published Online 07 Jun 2010

Arturo Cocco, Antonio Q. Cossu, Patrizia Erre, Giovanni Nieddu, and Pietro Luciano

“Spatial fluctuations of the Sardinian population of the gypsy moth Lymantria dispar (L.) (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) were characterized using geostatistical and climate models. Data on gypsy moth egg mass abundance recorded at 282 permanent monitoring sites from 1980 to 2004 were incorporated in a geographic information system with the vegetational, geomorphological and pedological features of the sites. Statistical analyses revealed that the relative outbreak frequency was related to the predominant host tree, slope and elevation of the monitoring sites, whereas there was no correlation between outbreak frequency and exposure and soil type. By using bioclimatic modelling, probability maps of gypsy moth outbreaks were generated. The model identified a probability surface with climatic conditions favourable to gypsy moth outbreaks and thus potentially subject to defoliation. The maps included 92 sites where outbreaks never occurred, suggesting that the Sardinian climate may not be a determinant factor for gypsy moth outbreaks. The geostatistical method cokriging with outbreak frequency as a covariate was found to be the most suitable technique to estimate gypsy moth egg mass abundance. Semivariograms showed spatial correlation of egg mass abundance within the range 18.5–53 km. The results obtained were used to create regional gypsy moth distribution maps by cokriging, which demonstrated the outbreak foci and different infestation levels at each monitoring area. These results can help to delimit the treatment areas and develop rational gypsy moth management programmes.”

Forest Inventory and Analysis Symposium 2010 – Second Call for Sessions, Papers, and Posters

“Monitoring Across Borders”

October 5-7, 2010

Knoxville, TN, USA

The USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program and the Southern Mensurationists are pleased to announce:  “Monitoring Across Borders,” and the opportunity to participate in the FIA Symposium 2010.  The Symposium will shed new light on contemporary issues, science policy, mensuration, remote sensing/GIS/geo-spatial science, and other topics.

Symposium Goals

  • Exchange of science and technology across borders in the broadest sense,
  • Highlight cutting-edge mensuration, modeling, and related science,
  • Present ways that FIA has aided in policy and management decisions,
  • Provide a forum for linking issue-focused analyses with techniques development,
  • Showcase collaborative efforts and foster continued work with FIA partners,
  • Display state-of-the-art science and tools, and
  • Communicate utility of FIA data and analyses to the broader user community.

Venue and Registration

Venue and registration procedures will be announced in the Final Call.

Call for Sessions, Papers, and Posters

Contributed sessions, papers, and posters (limit of two per author) on applications or technologies related to the Symposium’s broad theme are invited.  The format will include morning invited sessions covering advanced science topics followed by concurrent contributed sessions. An area will be set up for poster display.  Examples of appropriate topics are:

  • Current mainstream topics from the Southern landscape,
  • New statistical/quantitative approaches for inventory and monitoring,
  • Integrating FIA data with remote sensing and GIS applications,
  • Assessing biomass stocks and bio-energy potential,
  • Estimating and tracking carbon sequestration in time and space,
  • Landscape-level assessments across borders (e.g. climate scenarios, scales, ownerships, biomes, futures, science frontiers, etc…), and
  • Monitoring trends over time and space, including forest health, invasive species, wilderness, rangeland, fire, etc…

If you would like to submit a session, paper, or poster, please submit an abstract to the Program Committee via Will McWilliams.  Abstracts should be limited to 300 words and must identify author’s name(s), title, affiliation, location, phone number, and e-mail address.  Each contributed session will be about 2 hours long, allowing for 4 to 8 papers depending on the format of the session.  For contributed sessions, an abstract is needed for each presentation.

Abstracts are due July 23, 2010 and should be submitted to:

Will McWilliams
USDA Forest Service
11 Campus Blvd, Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA, USA   19073
(e-mail submissions and MS Word are preferred)

Authors will be notified following final selection of sessions and papers.


All presenters are given the opportunity to publish a manuscript (10 pages or so) on their work.  The proceedings will be published as a Southern Research Station General Technical Report in CD format.  Manuscripts are due in complete and fully edited form1 to Will McWilliams by December 15, 2010.

Web Page

Information on the Symposium will be posted at:

1 USDA Forest Service submitters need to include station-level manuscript approval forms for papers and abstracts.

Spatio-temporal Analysis on Nutritional Condition of Engraulis Anchoita Larvae: Its Relation with Hydrographical Features of Nursery Grounds and Food Availability

Tesis En Ciencias Marinas, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, 2010

M.V. Díaz

“Nutritional condition studies allow the assessment of physiological state of each larva and thus, the establishment of favourable nursery areas which provide better survival and growth. In the present work, morphometrical, histological and biochemical techniques were employed to assess nutritional condition of anchovy, Engraulis anchoita, larvae captured in the Argentine Sea. Its results were complemented with oceanographic data and information about zooplankton abundances, both prey and predators of anchovy larvae. Anchovy larvae abundance and distribution would be mainly determined by physico-chemical variables. Even though no significant differences were found in larval nutritional condition among the studied areas, larval condition was slightly better in frontal areas characterized by mixed water masses. On the other hand, anchovy larvae condition seems to be favoured during seasons when larval abundances remain low. Probably, ocean conditions are almost always favourable for larval growth and survival during the whole year, but low or intermediate larval densities allow avoiding both intra and inter-specific competition. As only a small number of anchovy larvae were described as in starving condition, it can be assumed that E. anchoita, finds environmental conditions that favour its growth and survival. during all seasons in the studied area.”

Using Citizen Science and GIS Technology to Connect the Local to the Global

ESRI Education User Conference

Keynote Address

Saturday, 10 July 2010, during the Plenary Session, 8:30 a.m.–noon

Mark Chandler, Ph.D., International Director of Research for Earthwatch Institute

‘People today are challenged with understanding how their decisions impact the local community as well as their impact on populations and places far away. The common axiom “think global, act local” reflects the need to juggle the local context of our actions with the larger global context. This is true in respect to issues such as food supply, energy use, water, biodiversity, and our role in natural disasters. And this concept of scale is important not only because it helps connect our local communities to a greater landscape and ultimately the Earth, but also because it helps direct the scope of the social institutions and efforts that should be involved.

Dr. Chandler will discuss these points and how powerful learning can happen when people are directly engaged in projects that operate at multiple scales—and are connected via tools such as GIS and GPS technologies. See examples of how different audiences can participate in field-based projects involving sustainable landscapes, agriculture, and more. Hear how addressing problems with scientific investigation can stimulate interest and thinking about the connection between the communities people call home and the greater world in which they live.

Spatial Analysis of Breast Cancer Incidence, Dietary Patterns, and Diet Cost in the UK

Faculty of Medicine and Health Graduate School, University of Leeds

Supervisors: Professor J Cade, Dr K Edwards and Dr C Hulme

Breast cancer is one of the more frequent cancers in developed countries (Stewart & Kleihues, 2003). The burden of cancer can most effectively be reduced by implementing lifestyle and environmental changes to prevent the disease, rather than through treatment reducing mortality (Danaei et al, 2005). Up to 30% of human cancers are probably related to diet and nutrition (Key et al, 2002).

Energy dense diets are associated with lower diet quality and lower costs, and vice versa (Drewnoski et al, 2007). Research shows that low income households are associated with a high energy dense diet (Mendoza et al, 2006). Thus there may be an association between diet cost and breast cancer risk. UK studies have shown that there is a comparable rise in incidence of breast cancer across all socio-economic groups, thus retaining the disparity between affluent and deprived (Brown et al, 2007; Rowan, 2007).

Accordingly the objectives of this study are as follows:

  • Describe, measure and map breast cancer incidence across England, using national cancer registry data and, separately, data from the UK Women’s Cohort study.
  • Describe, measure and map geographical variations in diet and nutrition, and dietary patterns, in England using data from the UK Women’s Cohort study.
  • Analyse the geographical relationship between breast cancer and diet, adjusting for potentially confounding factors.
  • Calculate the cost of diet for each cohort member and thus the cost of each spatial dietary pattern.
  • Examine the relationship between nutrient consumption, food intake and diet cost.
  • Assess relationship between diet cost and breast cancer risk in England.
  • This project will combine medical, social, and economic criteria to determine classifications of dietary patterns and diet cost, thus strengthening the existing evidence base. Data will be used from the UK Women’s Cohort Study (Cade et al, 2004). A novel aspect of data available from this study is an estimated cost of the diet. This is not available on any other similar UK Cohort.

    Funding Notes
    Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD Studentship commencing September/October 2010. The Studentship will attract an annual tax free stipend of £13.590 and tuition fees. Open to UK students and EU students meeting the ESRC residency criteria (available on the ESRC website).

    Interested applicants should hold a minimum of a relevant UK honours degree at 2.1 level or equivalent. Informal enquries – Dr Kimberley Edwards (telephone: 0113 343 8914 or email:

    To apply for this studentship applicants should submit; personal statement, CV (including details of two academic referees) and degree transcripts to Dr Kimberley Edwards (email:


    • Brown SBF, Hole DJ, Cooke TG (2007). Breast cancer incidence trends in deprived and affluent Scottish women. Breast Cancer Research & Treatment 103(2): 233-8.
    • Cade JE, Burley VJ, Greenwood DC (2004). The UK Women’s Cohort Study: comparison of vegetarians, fish-eaters and meat-eaters. Public Health Nutr 7: 871–8
    • Danaei G, Vander Hoorn S, Lopez AD, Murray CJL, Ezzati M, the Comparative Risk Assessment collaborating group (cancers) (2005). Causes of cancer in the world: comparative risk assessment of nine behavioural and environmental risk factors. The Lancet, 366: 1784
    • Drewnowski A, Monsivais P, Maillot M, Darmon N (2007). Low-energy-density diets are associated with higher diet quality and higher diet costs in French adults. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 107(6): 1028-32.
    • Key T, Allen N, Spencer E, Travis R (2002). The effect of diet on risk of cancer. The Lancet, 360 (9336): 861-868
    • Mendoza JA, Drewnowski A, Cheadle A, Christakis DA (2006). Dietary energy density is associated with selected predictors of obesity in U.S. Children. Journal of Nutrition 136(5): 1318-22.
    • Rowan S, for the Office of National Statistics (2007). Trends in cancer incidence by deprivation, England and Wales, 1990–2002. Health Statistics Quarterly 36
    • Stewart BW & Kleihues P (Eds) (2003). WHO: World Cancer Report. IARC Press. Lyon

    Soil Carbon Stocks, Deforestation and Land-cover Changes in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot (India)

    Global Change Biology, Volume 16, Issue 6, Date: June 2010, Pages: 1777-1792


    “Habitat loss and soil organic carbon (SOC) stock variations linked to land-cover change were estimated over two decades in the most densely populated biodiversity hotspot in the world, in order to assess the possible influence of conservation practices on the protection of SOC. For a study area of 88 484 km2, 70% of which lie inside the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot (WGBH), land-cover maps for two dates (1977, 1999) were built from various data sources including remote sensing images and ecological forest maps. SOC stocks were calculated from climatic parameters, altitude, physiography, rock type, soil type and land-cover, with a modelling approach used in predictive learning and based on Multiple Additive Regression Tree. The model was trained on 361 soil profiles data, and applied to estimate SOC stocks from predictor variables using a Geographical Information System (GIS). Comparison of 1977 and 1999 land-cover maps showed 628 km2 of dense forests habitat loss (6%), corresponding to an annual deforestation rate of 0.44%. This was found consistent with other studies carried out in other parts of the WGBH, but not with FAO figures showing an increase in forest area. This could be explained by the different forest definitions used, based on ecological classification in the former, and on percentage tree cover in the latter. Unexpectedly, our results showed that despite ongoing deforestation, overall SOC stock was maintained (∼0.43 Pg). But a closer examination of spatial differences showed that soil carbon losses in deforested areas were compensated by sequestration elsewhere, mainly in recent plantations and newly irrigated croplands. This suggests that more carbon sequestration in soils could be achieved in the future through appropriate wasteland management. It is also expected that increasing concerns about biodiversity loss will favour more conservation and reinforce the already prevailing protective measures, thus further maintaining C stocks.”

    Detection of Earthquake Precursors in GIS GeoTime

    13th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science 2010, Guimarães, Portugal

    Alexander Derendyaev, Valeri Gitis, and Pavel Metrikov

    “In this article we consider the theoretical foundation of GeoTime technology which developed to conduct earthquake forecast research and earthquake precursors detection and analysis. Experimental testing was performed for Suusamyr earthquake precursors analysis.  Identification of earthquake precursors based on the assumption that the geological environment is inhomogeneous in space but has stationary dynamics in normal state, which is violated during the preparation of a geological disaster. It is considered that analyzed sequences are stationary, but their statistical characteristics are changed in the process of preparing earthquake.”