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Characterization of western corn rootworm (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) population dynamics in relation to landscape attributes

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1 The western corn rootworm (WCR), Diabrotica virgifera virgifera Leconte (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), creates economic and environmental concerns in the Corn Belt region of the U.S.A. To supplement the population control tactics of the Areawide Pest Management Program in Brookings, South Dakota, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) were used to examine the spatial relationships from 1997 to 2001 between WCR population dynamics, habitat structure, soil texture and elevation.

2 Using the inverse distance weighted interpolation technique, WCR population density maps were created from georeferenced emergence and post-emergence traps placed in maize fields. For each year, these maps were overlaid with vegetation, soil and elevation maps to search for quantitative relationships.

3 Through visual interpretation and correlation analysis, shifts in landscape structure, such as size, number and arrangement of patches, were shown to associate with WCR population abundance and distribution in varying degrees. Contingency analysis showed that WCR population abundance is associated with soil texture and elevation.

4 An understanding of the interactions between WCR population dynamics and landscape variables provides information to pest managers, and this can be used to identify patterns in the landscape that promote high insect population density patches to improve pest management strategies.

Keywords: Geographic Information Systems (GIS); landscape metrics; population dynamics; spatial analysis; western corn rootworm (WCR)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Northern Grain Insects Research Laboratory, USDA/ARS, NPA, 2923 Medary Avenue, Brookings, SD 57006, U.S.A., 2: Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center, USDA/ARS, NPA, PO Box 5677, Fargo, ND 58105, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2004-05-01

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