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Seasonal dynamics, dispersion, sequential sampling plans and treatment thresholds for the citrus leafminer, Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Gracillariidae), in a mature lemon block in coastal New South Wales, Australia

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Abstract 

Studies of citrus leafminer in a coastal orchard in NSW, Australia indicated that an increase in abundance to about one mine per flush was followed during the midseason flush by a rapid increase in population that was related to an increase in the percentage of leaves infested within flushes and the number of mines per leaf. The fits of frequency distributions and Iwao's patchiness regression indicated that populations were highly contagious initially, and as the exponent k of the negative binomial distribution increased with increasing population density, the distribution approached random. Concurrently, the coefficient of variation of mines per flush (which was strongly related to the proportion of un-infested flushes) decreased to about unity as the proportion of un-infested flushes reached zero and fell further as the number of mines per flush increased. Both numerative and binomial sequential sampling plans were developed using a decision threshold based on 1.2 mines per flush. The binomial sampling plan was based on a closely fitting model of the functional relationship between mean density and proportion of infested flushes. Functional relationships using the parameters determined from Iwao's patchiness regression and Taylor's power law were equally satisfactory, and one based on the negative binomial model also fitted well, but the Poisson model did not. The three best fitting models indicated that a decision threshold of 1.2 mines per flush was equivalent to 50% of flushes infested. From a practical point of view, the transition from 25% infestation of flushes through 50% is so rapid that it may be prudent to take action when the 25% level is reached; otherwise, the 50% may be passed before the crop is checked again. For valuable nursery stock should infestation be detected in spring, it may be advisable to apply prophylactic treatment as the midseason flush starts.
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Keywords: CV; mean crowding; negative binomial; patchiness; site occupancy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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