ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Geographic information system used for assessing the activity of the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) in the date palm oasis of Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia
 
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1
Water Studies Centre, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al- Hassa-31982, Saudi Arabia
2
Arlem, Raia, Salcette , Goa -403 720, India
3
Date Palm Research (Centre of Excellence), King Faisal University, P.O. Box 400, Al-Hassa-31982 Saudi Arabia
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Directorate of Agriculture, Al- Hassa-31982, Saudi Arabia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Massoud Abd-Elaty Massoud
Water Studies Centre, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al- Hassa-31982, Saudi Arabia
 
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2011;51(3):234–239
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ABSTRACT
In Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia, the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) is managed through the use of a pheromone trap based area-wide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme, covering nearly 3.0 million date palms. In this study, Geographic Information System (GIS) based techniques were used to study the spatial spread of RPW in two RPW–IPM areas of Al-Hassa viz . Al-Khadoud (297 ha) and Sodah (168 ha) with high and low weevil activity, respectively. The position of RPW pheromone traps in both Al-Khadoud (140 traps) and Sodah (84 traps) were logged using the Trimble Geographic Positioning System (GPS), to determine the East Longitude and North Latitude of each pheromone trap. The Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) coordinates for each trap were also recorded. The weevil captures in pheromone traps, and the infestation reports for 2008 in the above operational areas were reported, Based on the reports, the territorial spread of the weevils and spatial distribution of infestations due to RPW on date palm, was depicted for both Al-Khadoud and Sodah at five levels. Further, regression analysis was carried out to ascertain the relationship between annual weevil captures (Y) in pheromone traps and infestation (X) reports for 2008, on a 10 ha scale, in Al-Khadoud and Sodah, through linear regression. Based on high R² values (> 0.70), we selected Y = 121.0+4.515X as the model that could quantify the above pest-infestation relationship in Al-Hassa. This study can serve as a basis for incorporating GIS technology for improving the on going RPW management strategy, in Al-Hassa, Saudi Arabia.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
 
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