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Modelling herbivore movement and colonization: pest management potential of intercropping and trap cropping

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1 Using a stochastic simulation model, we explored the effects of agroecosystem diversity on herbivore densities.

2 Using parameters that included reproduction, colonization, and local movement rates, we simulated an insect herbivore population colonizing rows of plants in an agricultural setting.

3 Plant rows were comprised of either principal crop, intercrop, or trap crop. Herbivore parameters varied for different plant types.

4 Percent crop cover and movement rates were varied, and ensuing herbivore densities on crop rows were recorded.

5 In trap cropping schemes, both percent crop cover and movement rates were critical in determining herbivore densities. Intercropping schemes were governed primarily by colonization rates.

6 These results suggest that trap cropping schemes merit more attention than intercropping systems in the design and analysis of mixed cropping systems.

Keywords: Emigration; insect behaviour; simulation model; vegetation diversity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, University of Washington, Tacoma 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402, U.S.A. and 2: Department of Entomology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, PO Box 7044, S-75005 Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: August 1, 1999

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