A 3-yr study (2009–2011) was conducted to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of stink bugs in three commercial farmscapes. Study locations were replicated in South Carolina and Georgia, in an agriculturally diverse region known as the southeastern coastal plain. Crops included wheat, Triticum aestivum (L.), corn, Zea mays (L.), soybean, Glycine max (L.), cotton, Gossypium hirsutum (L.), and peanut, Arachis hypogaea (L.). Farmscapes were sampled weekly using whole-plant examinations for corn, with all other crops sampled using sweep nets. The predominant pest species of phytophagous stink bugs were the brown stink bug, Euschistus servus (Say), the green stink bug, Chinavia hilaris (Say), and the southern green stink bug, Nezara viridula (L.). Chi-square tests indicated a departure from a normal distribution in 77% of analyses of the variance to mean ratio, with 37% of slopes of Taylor's power law and 30% of coefficient β of Iwao's patchiness regression significantly greater than one, indicating aggregated distributions. Spatial Analyses by Distance IndicEs (SADIE) indicated aggregated patterns of stink bugs in 18% of year-end totals and 42% of weekly counts, with 80% of adults and nymphs positively associated using the SADIE association tool. Maximum stink bug densities in each crop occurred when the plants were producing fruit. Stink bugs exhibited greater densities in crops adjacent to soybean in Barnwell and Lee Counties compared with crops adjacent to corn or fallow areas. The diversity of crops and relatively small size of fields in the Southeast leads to colonization of patches within a farmscape. The ecological and management implications of the spatial and temporal distribution of stink bugs within farmscapes are discussed.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1