When insect population density varies within the same cotton field, estimation of abundance is difficult. Multiple population densities of the same species occur because cotton fields (due to edaphic and environmental effects) are apportioned into various habitats that are colonized at different rates. These various habitats differ temporally in their spatial distributions, exhibiting varying patterns of interspersion, shape and size. Therefore, when sampling multiple population densities without considering the influence of habitat structure, the estimated population mean represents a summary of diverse population distributions having different means and variances. This single estimate of mean abundance can lead to pest management decisions that are incorrect because it may over- or under-estimate pest density in different areas of the field. Delineation of habitat classes is essential in order to make local control decisions. Within large commercial cotton fields, it is too laborious for observers on the ground to map habitat boundaries, but remote sensing can efficiently create geo-referenced, stratified maps of cotton field habitats. By employing these maps, a simple random sampling design and larger sample unit sizes, it is possible to estimate pest abundance in each habitat without large numbers of samples. Estimates of pest abundance by habitat, when supplemented with ecological precepts and consultant/producer experience, provide the basis for spatial approaches to pest control. Using small sample sizes, the integrated sampling methodology maps the spatial abundance of a cotton insect pest across several large cotton fields.
Precision Agriculture – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 18, 2005
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