Tuesday, 19 November 2002 - 9:24 AM

This presentation is part of : Ten-Minute Papers, Subsection Ca. Biological Control

Matching source and target climates and habitats of candidates for biological control introductions

Christian Ulrichs and Keith R. Hopper. USDA-ARS, BIIRL, 501 S. Chapel Street, Newark, DE

The distribution of insect pests and their natural enemies is closely linked to climate and habitat. Knowing the effect of climate and habitat on pest distribution would help in the search for natural enemies to introduce against exotic pests. Currently there are few formal models that integrate data on climate and habitat to predict pest and natural enemy distribution. Using a geographic information systems approach, we determined mean, minimum, maximum, and extreme record values (lowest and highest record in a county within 30 years) by county in the US for relative humidity, temperature, and precipitation over a period of 30 years. We obtained habitat data from relevant classes in the National Land Cover Data Key, created by the US Geological Survey and the US Environmental Protection Agency and calculated percent area in each class for each county in the US. Elevation data were derived from national maps, and mean, maximum, and minimum values were calculated by county. Insect distribution data were obtained from the National Agricultural Pest Information System. These distribution data were used to develop a statistical approach to modeling the effects of climate and habitat on the distribution of various important pest and natural enemy species.

Keywords: geographical information system

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