A GIS-based approach for areawide pest management: The scales of Lygus hesperus movements to cotton from alfalfa, weeds, and cotton

Yves Carrière, Peter C. Ellsworth, Pierre Dutilleul, Christa Ellers-Kirk, Virginia Barkley, Larry Antilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations


Understanding the effect of cropping patterns on population dynamics, dispersal, and habitat selection of insect pests has been an unresolved challenge. Here, we studied the western tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus (Knight) (Heteroptera: Miridae), in cotton during early summer in central Arizona. We used a general approach based on global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) technologies combined with spatial statistics to assess the maximum distance at which forage and seed alfalfa, fallow fields with weeds, and cotton affect L. hesperus population density. Using a set of 50 cotton fields as focal fields, we found that forage and seed alfalfa as well as weeds acted as L. hesperus sources for these cotton fields. The source effect did not extend beyond 375, 500, and 1500 m for forage alfalfa, weeds, and seed alfalfa, respectively. Conversely, cotton fields acted as L. hesperus sinks, but this effect did not extend further than 750 m from the focal cotton fields. These findings suggest that specific spatial arrangements of these field types could reduce L. hesperus damage to cotton. The spatially explicit approach used here provides a direct evaluation of the effects of agroecosystem heterogeneity on pest population dynamics, dispersal, and habitat selection, which is a significant asset for the development and improvement of areawide pest management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006



  • Dispersal
  • Geographic Information System technology
  • Habitat selection
  • Heteroptera
  • Metapopulations
  • Miridae
  • Population dynamics
  • Spatial statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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