The Role of Geographic Information Systems for Analyzing Infestations and Spread Of Invasive Termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae And Termitidae) in Urban South Florida


  • Hartwig H. Hochmair
  • Francesco Tonini
  • Rudolf H. Scheffrahn


The ability to manage geospatial data has made Geographic Information Systems (GIS) an important tool for a wide range of applications over the past decades, including management of natural resources, analysis of wildlife movement, ecological niche modeling, or land records management. This paper illustrates, using invasive termite species as examples, how GIS can assist in identifying their potential sources of infestations and model their spread in urban South Florida. The first case study shows that the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, and the Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), were introduced into and dispersed across South Florida by sailboats and yachts. The second case study shows an agent-based model to simulate the natural spread of Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky) (Isoptera: Termitidae) in Dania Beach, Florida. This paper provides an overview of basic functionalities in GIS and demonstrates how they can be customized for advanced modeling and simulation.

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Florida Entomological Society Symposium Papers