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Analysis of spatial patterns at a geographical scale over north-western Europe from point-referenced aphid count data

  • N. Cocu (a1), K. Conrad (a2), R. Harrington (a2) and M.D.A. Rounsevell (a1)
Abstract

The spatial analysis by distance indices (SADIE) technique was developed to evaluate the spatial pattern of point-referenced count data as well as the spatial association between two sets of data sharing the same point locations. This paper presents an analysis of spatial patterns in aphid count data and the association of these data with climate across north-west Europe. The paper tests the applicability of the technique to large geographical areas. Aggregation and cluster indices were calculated for the total annual abundance of the peach–potato aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) and for the annual mean rainfall and temperature at aphid monitoring sites. Association indices demonstrated the stability in time of aphid spatial structures and the correlation between aphid density and climate patterns. Groups of relatively large numbers of aphids, termed patches, and groups of relatively small numbers of aphids, termed gaps, were located and their mean size estimated. The aphid patterns were quite stable in time and the spatial patterns of temperature and rainfall were weakly associated with M. persicae annual abundance. Similarities were observed between the results of SADIE and those from the more widely used technique of spatial autocorrelation (SAC). However, the SADIE association index has the advantage of quantifying the possible associations between aphid data and the factors that determine population distribution. Thus, high temperature and low rainfall were identified as environmental factors that were positively associated with aphid abundance across north-west Europe.

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*Fax: +32 (0)10 47 28 77 E-mail: rounsevell@geog.ucl.ac.be
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Bulletin of Entomological Research
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