The objective of this project was to quantify the spatial structure for the Colorado potato beetle in a northern region. The study was carried out in 15 sections of 10 ha of commercial potato fields and six 1-ha experimental fields in New Brunswick between 1999 and 2001 using a 20 by 20-m sampling grid. The sampling sites occupied by adults, expressed as a percentage of sites available for colonization at even distances from the nearest field border, tended to be distributed uniformly across the field area. The study confirmed the applicability of the curvilinear relation between beetle incidence and mean density per sample to Canadian insect populations. A significantly larger proportion of the postdiapausing and prediapausing adult potato beetles was found nearest field borders. This larger proportion of adults was shown to result largely from the greater number of sites (or plants) available for colonization at the outside perimeter of fields than at any other distance within the fields but also from an accumulation or redistribution of a small percentage of the adults to the first 0–20 m of the crop along a field border. The ability of the adult potato beetles to extend their presence over most of the field area at the very beginning of the crop season, when their abundance is low, limits the value of perimeter control methods against this pest. However, accumulation of individuals around the perimeter does justify their use for larger fields and if control measures are applied up to 20–40 m from the edge. Spatial dependency was present in only 1–7% of the monitoring dates and explained between 0 and 68% of the variation. The generation of distribution maps for site-specific management of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), does not seem to be a practical alternative to existing sampling programs.
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