There has been an extraordinary amount of research devoted to the potato leafhopper, Empoasca fabae (Harris), and its pest status in alfalfa, Medicago sativa, in the last 25 years, however little is known about the insect's spatial distribution and colonization behavior over time. The aim of this study, which was conducted during the summer of 2002, was to assess PLH spatial and temporal dynamics by intensively sampling a four-acre alfalfa field. Using a sampling scheme that incorporated an edge effect, 113 sample points were placed in systematic grid within the field and were geo-referenced for location data using a plane coordinate system. At each sample point, population (count) data of PLH adults and nymphs, as well as hopperburn (when present) and stem heights were taken twice weekly throughout the season. With the use of Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) interpolation, analysis of the data suggests that PLH colonization began in the southeastern portion of the field and spread throughout the remainder of the field as the season progressed. Moreover, areas that were colonized earlier in the season had the highest levels of PLH adults, nymphs, and hopperburn for the entire season. Implications of these results for PLH management will be discussed.
Species 1: Homoptera Cicadellidae Empoasca fabae (potato leafhopper)
Keywords: spatial distribution
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