Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (2007) 124, 61-75

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Stefan Toepfer, Michael M. Ellsbury, René Eschen and Ulrich Kuhlmann (2007)
Spatial clustering of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera and Agriotes ustulatus in small-scale maize fields without topographic relief drift
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 124 (1), 61-75
Abstract: The soil-living larvae of Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Agriotes ustulatus Schaller (Coleoptera: Elateridae) can cause economic damage to maize roots, Zea mays L. (Poaceae). This study investigated the spatial clustering of both pests in four small-scale maize fields in southern Hungary, where clustering had been observed but not expected due to the lack of topographic relief drifts and soil structuring. Between 2000 and 2002, numbers of D. v. virgifera larvae and adults and of A. ustulatus larvae were determined at four randomly chosen georeferenced maize plants in each of 24 plots per field. Soil moisture, soil bulk density, and vegetational characteristics were assessed. Moran's I test for spatial autocorrelations, semivariogram analyses, and interpolated mapping revealed that D. v. virgifera larvae and adults were spatially clustered in 67 and 50% of cases, respectively. Larvae of A. ustulatus were clustered in 75% of cases. Diabrotica virgifera virgifera larval distributions were mainly determined by increasing weed density (negative correlation), in particular with high densities of Cirsium arvense (L.) (Asteraceae), as well as by increasing soil moisture (negative correlation). Adult distributions of D. v. virgifera were mainly determined by the density distribution of flowering maize. They were moreover correlated with larval distribution and with the adult distribution of the previous year. The density distributions of male adults differed from those of females. Female density was additionally correlated with higher soil moisture and Poaceae density, e.g., with Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. No relation was found between the larvae of A. ustulatus and D. v. virgifera. Agriotes ustulatus larval distributions were mainly determined by vegetational cover (correlation with less cover). Conclusively, male and female D. v. virgifera adults, larvae of D. v. virgifera, and larvae of A. ustulatus will display different spatial clustering even within ostensibly homogeneous habitats of flat small-scale maize fields.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website
Database assignments for author(s): Stefan Toepfer, Ulrich Kuhlmann, René Eschen

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Cirsium arvense (weed) Maize/corn (Zea mays) Hungary
Diabrotica virgifera Maize/corn (Zea mays) Hungary
Agriotes ustulatus Maize/corn (Zea mays) Hungary
Sorghum halepense (weed) Maize/corn (Zea mays) Hungary