In the southeast United States, a field of peanuts, Arachis hypogaea L., is often closely associated with a field of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L. The objective of this 4-yr on-farm study was to examine and compare the spatiotemporal patterns and dispersal of the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula L., and the brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say), in six of these peanut-cotton farmscapes. GS Version 9 was used to generate interpolated estimates of stink bug density by inverse distance weighting. Interpolated stink bug population raster maps were constructed using ArcMap Version 9.2. This technique was used to show any change in distribution of stink bugs in the farmscape over time. SADIE (spatial analysis by distance indices) methodology was used to examine spatial aggregation of individual stink bug species and spatial association of the two stink bug species in the individual crops. Altogether, the spatiotemporal analyses for the farmscapes showed that some N. viridula and E. servus nymphs and adults that develop in peanuts disperse into cotton. When these stink bugs disperse from peanuts into cotton, they aggregate in cotton at the interface, or common boundary, of the two crops while feeding on cotton bolls. Therefore, there is a pronounced edge effect observed in the distribution of stink bugs as they colonize the new crop, cotton. The driving force for the spatiotemporal distribution and dispersal of both stink bug species in peanut-cotton farmscapes seems to be availability of food in time and space mitigated by landscape structure. Thus, an understanding of farmscape ecology of stink bugs and their natural enemies is necessary to strategically place, in time and space, biologically based management strategies that control stink bug populations while conserving natural enemies and the environment and reducing off-farm inputs.
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