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National Habitat Suitability for a Tamarisk Invasion
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Left animation: National Habitat Suitability for a Tamarisk Invasion
This national map shows habitat vulnerable to a tamarisk invasion in the continental United States. Red indicates areas that are “highly suitable” and yellow indicates “moderately suitable” areas. Texas , New Mexico , and Nevada contain the most at-risk land area, while Utah and Arizona have the next greatest risk. California , Arizona, Montana, Colorado , Oregon, Ohio, Wyoming, and Florida also suggest significant vulnerability. (1.7 Mb - no audio) Credit: NASA
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Tamarisk’s Use of Water
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Left animation: Tamarisk’s Use of Water
Tamarisk’s extensive root system can reach up to 50 feet laterally and 100 feet in depth to access the water supply. As this invasive plant draws up large amounts of water, it can lower the water table. Native plants with shallower root systems have to compete for an already-dwindling water supply. (1.8 Mb -- no audio) Credit: NASA
Tamarisk and Salt
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Left animation: Tamarisk and Salt
Tamarisk’s extensive root system extracts sodium chloride, or salt, from deep within the soil. Salt collects in plant tissues allowing it to exude the excess through its leaves. Over a period of years, the plant effectively changes the natural chemistry of the soil. Native trees and plants can no longer thrive in the salt-saturated soil. (2.1 Mb -- no audio) Credit: NASA
Tamarisk and Fire
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Left animation: Tamarisk and Fire
As tamarisk drops its leaves, it creates a debris layer known as “duff” which chokes the ground below. This adds to the fuel load, compounding an already high fire danger in the drought-stricken West. When fires ravage an area, tamarisk ignites quickly, leading to a more severe burn. To make matters worse, this invasive plant tends to come back more quickly than native plants in these burned areas. (1.7 Mb - no audio) Credit: NASA
Invasive Species
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Left animation: How the Data Comes Together
Scientists created the Tamarisk Habitat Suitability Map by combining research from several sources, including field data and remotely sensed data collected from satellites. Two of NASA’s satellite products are shown in this visualization, which shows the annual vegetation cycle and classifications of land cover. (2.7 Mb -- no audio) Credit: NASA
Watching the Seasons Change with Tamarisk
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Left animation: Watching the Seasons Change with Tamarisk
As part of the ISFS project, NASA and USGS satellites measure sunlight reflected by plants and the environments in which they are growing. These measurements provide useful information on growth patterns and the plant’s basic biology. This set of photos was taken at a tamarisk-infested area in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah, and shows the change in the plant’s color over the course of a year. (4.7 Mb - no audio) Credit: NASA
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Tamarisk In the Field
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Left video: Tamarisk In the Field
Experts now estimate that tamarisk has infested more than 3.3 million acres in the western United States. This footage taken near Moab, Utah shows the extensive invasion already underway in the Southwest. The tamarisk plant has taken over stream-side, or riparian, areas that were originally covered by low grasses and cottonwoods. (12.5 Mb - no audio) Credit: NPS
Invasive Species
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Left photo: Researchers use satellites to measure sunlight reflected off plants and their environments in which they are growing. The changing colors of the Tamarisk, or saltcedar, plant aided researchers in creating the National Tamarisk Map. Credit: NPS
Invasive Species
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Left photo: Experts estimate that one large tamarisk plant has the potential to absorb up to 200 gallons of water per day – that’s twice the amount the average person uses in the same timeframe. Credit: NPS
Invasive Species
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Left photo: Researchers now estimate that tamarisk has infested more than 3.3 million acres in the western United States. With the invasion spreading like wildfire, this invasive poses a serious threat to the West’s water supply. Credit: NPS
NASA’s Fleet of Satellites-Aqua
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Left animation: NASA’s Fleet of Satellites: Aqua
The ISFS uses data from NASA’s Terra, Aqua, and Earth Observing satellites, as well as the USGS-operated Landsat satellites. Data from these satellites are analyzed and used to “lock in” on unique aspects of tamarisk’s reflected light to determine its current locations and identify habitats that are vulnerable to future invasion. (2.1 Mb - no audio) Credit: NASA
NASA’s Fleet of Satellites-Terra
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Left animation: NASA’s Fleet of Satellites: Terra. (3.2 Mb - no audio) Credit: NASA
NASA’s Fleet of Satellites
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Left animation: NASA’s Fleet of Satellites (4.0 Mb - no audio) Credit: NASA
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