Corn rootworms (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in space and time
Spatial dispersion is a main characteristic of insect populations. Dispersion pattern provides useful information for developing effective sampling and scouting programs because it affects sampling accuracy, efficiency, and precision. Insect dispersion, however, is dynamic in space and time and largely dependent upon interactions among insect, plant and environmental factors. This study investigated the spatial and temporal dynamics of corn rootworm dispersion at different spatial scales by using the global positioning system, the geographic information system, and geoStatistics and Probability; Egg dispersion pattern was random or uniform in 8-ha cornfields, but could be aggregated at a smaller scale. Larval dispersion pattern was aggregated regardless of spatial scales used in this study. Soil moisture positively affected corn rootworm egg and larval dispersions. Adult dispersion tended to be aggregated during peak population period and random or uniform early and late in the season and corn plant phenology was a major factor to determine dispersion patterns. The dispersion pattern of root injury by corn rootworm larval feeding was aggregated and the degree of aggregation increased as the root injury increased within the range of root injury observed in microscale study. Between-year relationships in dispersion among eggs, larvae, adult, and environment provided a strategy that could predict potential root damage the subsequent year. The best prediction map for the subsequent year's potential root damage was the dispersion maps of adults during population peaked in the cornfield. The prediction map was used to develop site-specific pest management that can reduce chemical input and increase control efficiency by controlling pests only where management is needed. This study demonstrated the spatio-temporal dynamics of insect population and spatial interactions among insects, plants, and environment.