Temporal analysis of sweet chestnut decline in northeastern Portugal using geostatistical tools Conference Paper uri icon


  • The rising demand for sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) in Portugal and elsewhere in Europe has led to more intensive management practices to increase nut production. This intensification has potentially increased the widespread of ink and chestnut blight diseases, causing decline in sweet chestnut orchards health and production and limiting the establishment of new planted areas. In this study we estimated chestnut decline along the last twenty years (1986 to 2006) in the northern part of Portugal using 1986, 1995 and 2006 aerial photography to quantify the damage at the tree level within fixed sample plots according to a categorical scale. Mean damage and damage variance in each date, however, were not significantly different. Geostatistical analyses indicated, however, changes in the spatial distribution of damaged and undamaged areas over time. The spread of decline in the region of study was estimated using Kriging based on the spherical model. During the examined period we observed spread of chestnut decline and increasing damage levels in regions where damage is systematically high. The chestnut productive surface in the region has increased in the last twenty years because new plantations exceeded mortality areas. The spatial analyses applied here have made clearer the relations between the spread of chestnut decline and geographical variables.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010