Environmental Entomology (1995) 24, 987-995

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David W. Williams and Andrew M. Liebhold (1995)
Influence of weather on the synchrony of gypsy moth (Lepidoptera: Lymantriidae) outbreaks in New England
Environmental Entomology 24 (5), 987-995
Abstract: Outbreaks of the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar (L.), were partially synchronous across the New England states (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont) from 1938 to 1992. To explain this synchrony, we investigated the Moran effect, a hypothesis that local population oscillations, which result from similar density-dependent mechanisms operating at time lags, may be synchronized over wide areas by exposure to common weather patterns. We also investigated the theory of climatic release, which postulates that outbreaks are triggered by climatic factors favorable for population growth. Time series analysis revealed defoliation series in 2 states as 1st-order autoregressive processes and the other 2 as periodic 2nd-order autoregressive processes. Defoliation residuals series computed using the autoregressive models for each state were cross correlated with series of weather variables recorded in the respective states. The weather variables significantly correlated with defoliation residuals in all 4 states were minimum temperature and precipitation in mid-December in the same gypsy moth generation and minimum temperature in mid- to late July of the previous generation. These weather variables also were correlated strongly among the 4 states. The analyses support the predictions of the Moran effect and suggest that common weather may synchronize local populations so as to produce pest outbreaks over wide areas. We did not find convincing evidence to support the theory of climatic release.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Database assignments for author(s): Andrew M. Liebhold, David W. Williams

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

Pest and/or beneficial records:

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

Lymantria dispar U.S.A. (NE)