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A population dynamics perspective on effect of irrigation regimes and plant densities on greenbug abundance in grain sorghum using regression

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• A dataset generated from previous experiments on greenbug Schizaphis graminum (Rondani) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) response to irrigation and plant density in grain sorghum was reanalyzed using a recently-developed mechanistic ecological model for describing aphid population density curves. The model was used to estimate seven response variables: observed peak aphid abundance, predicted peak aphid abundance, time of peak abundance, per capita birthrate, death rate coefficient, final cumulative density and duration of substantial aphid infestation across three irrigation regimes and five plant densities.

• Using regression, the observed peak aphid abundance, predicted peak aphid abundance, per capita birthrate and final cumulative abundance were shown to decrease significantly, whereas the death rate coefficient and duration of the infestation were shown to increase significantly for each 100 000 plant/ha increase.

• Although significant results were found for a number of variables generated from the specific data set used in the analyses, of perhaps greater importance is the potential use of these equations in future predictions of aphid population dynamics. An example of projecting population curves based on estimated peak and cumulative counts and an example of projecting population curves based on estimated birth and death rate coefficients are provided.

Keywords: (Hemiptera: Aphididae) sorghum; Aphid population dynamics; Greenbug; irrigation; plant density; regression models

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-02-01

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