Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Arthropods in Arable Fields

  • Maarten van Helden


Pest distribution in an arable field is rarely homogeneous. As for diseases and weeds many different abiotic and biotic factors can induce non-homogeneous or even aggregated distributions. Moreover animal pests are able to respond actively themselves to external factors such as small differences in local habitat quality through their behaviour. The combined effects of variations in plant physiological stage and local climate, arthropod behaviour and population dynamics , and (tri-)-trophic interactions often result in aggregated spatial distributions of the pest, which can evolve over time due to pest-plant interactions. The large number of potential interactions makes it almost impossible to foresee spatial distributions at the field scale. In situ studies on spatial distribution of the pest can be used to reveal (stable) distribution patterns. Then it can be tempted to correlate these to intra-field variation in (plant, climate, etc.) characteristics. Stable (and/or predictable) patterns will certainly not occur for all pests. Some examples are cited, mainly occurring in perennial crops and/or for highly mobile pests. Knowledge of such sustainable patterns can then be used to optimise field monitoring and/or management. However, practical implementation of such knowledge in pest management seems still very limited because of technical (equipment) reasons and impacts on working methods


Perennial Crop Flight Speed Field Border Mobile Pest Pest Individual 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR Santé Végétale, University of BordeauxGradignan cedexFrance

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