This study analyzes the spatio-temporal dispersion patterns of the cabbage maggot (Delia radicum L.) (Diptera: Anthomyiidae) infestation in rutabagas and turnips in Oregon and suggests ways to exploit the spatial and temporal ecology of the cabbage maggot to improve management of the pest. The patchy distribution of cabbage maggots arises from a combination of first-order effects driven by spatial heterogeneity and second-order effects driven by spatial autocorrelation. The intensity of cabbage maggot infestations varied from year to year. Within a given year, damage rates tended to be higher in rutabagas than turnips, in crops planted earlier in the season, and in fields near nurseries and houses. Nonsignificant first-order effects included soil texture, distance from river, proximity to maggot sources (other than cultivated fields), type of vegetation on field borders, field manager, field area, and perimeter. Second-order effects were processes intrinsic to the population and would give rise to patchiness even in a homogeneous environment. For example, adults may be attracted to others of their species or eggs may be deposited in batches. The locations of patches arising from second-order effects cannot be predicted from knowledge of environmental covariates. However, cabbage maggot does not tend to disperse far, and existing patches tend to give rise to other patches nearby at a later time. We found elevated damage rates in spring fields planted near fields that were heavily damaged the previous fall and in fields planted late in the season near fields that had heavy damage early in the season.
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