Remote sensing and associated spatial technologies provide tremendous opportunity to enhance weed management and improve–protect the environment through judicious use of the most efficacious control methods for a given site. They can also be invaluable assets for detection of invasions, assessment of infestation levels, monitoring rate of spread, and determining the efficacy of mitigation efforts for weed management. In combination with other technologies such as global positioning systems and geographic information systems, sampling strategies can be devised to efficiently determine the location of weed populations in agricultural and wildland situations. Maps created from remote sensing or sampling (or both) allow site-specific weed management of only the areas requiring corrective action. Potential benefits to the land managers and the ecosystem as a whole will come from reductions in inputs, reduced environmental liability from the detrimental effects of applying control measures to entire areas, crop yield increases through better management decisions, and early detection and effective management of invading species. Improvements in spatial and spectral resolution, temporal frequency, image turnaround time, and cost of image acquisition, combined with the realization of the value of the data, are enhancing the acceptance and usage of remote sensing technologies. However, remote sensing will be best used by providing accurate, site-specific data that can be converted into information used by decision support systems (DSSs). Advances in these DSSs, and their ability to incorporate remote sensing data, have been rapid and widespread in the past 10 yr. As a result, federal management and research agencies, academic institutions, and private entities have collectively developed efforts to use this information in monitoring and management efforts for invasive species in western rangelands, aquatic ecosystems and forestry, and site-specific weed management in agronomics.
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Vol. 53 • No. 2