Inference on Arthropod Demographic Parameters: Computational Advances Using R

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We developed a computer program for life table analysis using the open source, free software programming environment R. It is useful to quantify chronic nonlethal effects of treatments on arthropod populations by summarizing information on their survival and fertility in key population parameters referred to as fertility life table parameters. Statistical inference on fertility life table parameters is not trivial because it requires the use of computationally intensive methods for variance estimation. Our codes present some advantages with respect to a previous program developed in Statistical Analysis System. Additional multiple comparison tests were incorporated for the analysis of qualitative factors; a module for regression analysis was implemented, thus, allowing analysis of quantitative factors such as temperature or agrochemical doses; availability is granted for users, once it was developed using an open source, free software programming environment. To illustrate the descriptive and inferential analysis implemented in lifetable.R, we present and discuss two examples: 1) a study quantifying the influence of the proteinase inhibitor berenil on the eucalyptus defoliator Thyrinteina arnobia (Stoll) and 2) a study investigating the influence of temperature on demographic parameters of a predaceous ladybird, Hippodamia variegata (Goeze).

Keywords: fertility life table; intrinsic rate of increase; linear regression; uncertainty assessment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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