IMPACT OF LAND USE AND LAND COVER ON INFESTATION LEVEL OF TEA MOSQUITO BUG (HELOPELTIS THEIVORA WATERHOUSE) IN TEA GARDEN– A RS & GIS APPROACH
Tea is a popular beverage and highest foreign exchange earning agricultural crop that contributes significantly to the Gross National Productivity (GNP) of India. India contributes to almost 31% of global production of tea. Tea Mosquito Bug, Helopeltis theivora Waterhouse is the most destructive polyphagous sucking pest of tea causing 10 - 50% crop loss. It was previously a minor pest but changes in environmental conditions and existing land cover over the past years has triggered its emergence as a menace for tea plantations of North East India. The present study attempts to assess the impact of land use and land cover on infestation intensity of the pest. Detailed land use land cover study on 8 tea gardens representing each agro-climatic zone shows that no individual land cover type has a direct relation on the insect infestation level. However, difference of areas under scrubland and cropland was found to be a causal factor for H. theivora infestation. The pest infestation level showed a decreasing trend with increasing cropland area as compared to scrubland area and vice versa.
Helopeltis theivora, Tea Mosquito bug, Land use land cover, Pest infestation, Remote sensing, GIS.
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