A study was undertaken to describe size and distribution of imported fire ant mounds in south-central Tennessee ball-and-burlap plant nurseries to (1) improve survey and control measures and (2) assess the feasibility of airborne remote sensing for mound detection. Mounds were most numerous along roadsides and road cuts. Mounds in planted areas were larger than mounds along roadsides and road cuts, and mounds in open, grassy areas were of intermediate size (mean above-ground volume = 8.14, 4.36 and 5.32 L, respectively). An examination of mound size distribution in nursery landscapes indicated colony age-structure may not be consistent between landscape-date combinations, and mean mound size was smaller in July 2004 than in October 2003.

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Author notes

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3Tennessee State University, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research, Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center, 472 Cadillac Lane, McMinnville, TN 37110.