Prediction Of Pest Pressure on Corn Root Nodes – The POPP-Corn model

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A model for the corn rootworm Diabrotica spp. (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) combined with a temporally-explicit model for development of corn roots across the soil profile was developed to link pest ecology, root damage and yield loss. Development of the POPP-Corn model focused on simulating root damage from rootworm feeding in accordance with empirical observations in the field to allow the virtual testing of efficacy from management interventions in the future. Here we present the model and demonstrate its applicability for simulating root damage by comparison between observed and simulated pest population development and root damage (assessed according to the node injury scale from 0 to 3) for field studies from the literature conducted in Urbana, Illinois (US) between 1991 and 2014.
The model simulated the first appearance of larvae and adults to within a week of that observed in 88 and 71% of all years, respectively, and in all cases to within two weeks of the first sightings recorded for central Illinois. Furthermore, in 73% of all years simulated root damage differed by less than 0.5 node injury scale points compared to the observations made in the field between 2005 and 2014 even though accurate information for initial pest pressure (i.e., number of eggs in the soil) was not measured at the sites or available from nearby locations. This is, to our knowledge, the first time that pest ecology, root damage and yield loss have been successfully interlinked to produce a virtual field. There are potential applications in investigating efficacy of different pest control measures and strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-172
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pest Science
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2017

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