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Spatial autocorrelation as a tool for identifying the geographical patterns of aphid annual abundance

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1 A spatial autocorrelation analysis was undertaken to investigate the spatial structure of annual abundance for the pest aphid Myzus persicae collected in suction traps distributed across north-west Europe.

2 The analysis was applied at two different scales. The Moran index was used to estimate the degree of spatial autocorrelation at all sites within the study area (global level). The contributions of each site to the global index were identified by the use of a local indicator of spatial autocorrelation (LISA). A hierarchical cluster analysis was undertaken to highlight differences between groups of resulting correlograms.

3 Similarity between traps was shown to occur over large geographical distances, suggesting an impact of phenomena such as climatic gradients or land use types.

4 The presence of outliers and zones of similarity (hot-spots) and of dissimilarity (cold-spots) were identified indicating a strong impact of local effects.

5 Several groups of traps characterized by similarities in their local spatial structure (correlograms, value of Moran's Ii) also had similar values for land use variables (the area occupied by agricultural zones, forest and sea).

6 It is concluded that trap data can provide information about Myzus persicae that is representative of large geographical areas. Thus, trap data can be used to estimate the aerial abundance of this species, even if the suction traps are not regularly and densely distributed.
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Keywords: Aphids; LISA; Moran index; Myzus persicae; geographical patterns; spatial autocorrelation; spatial structure; suction trap

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Plant and Invertebrate Ecology, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, U.K. and

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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