Wheat, the most important cereal crop in the Northern Hemisphere, is at-risk for an approximate 10% reduction in worldwide production because of animal pests. The potential economic impact of cereal crop pests has resulted in substantial research efforts into the understanding of pest agroecosystems and development of pest management strategy. Management strategy is informed frequently by models that describe the population dynamics of important crop pests and because of the economic impact of these pests, many models have been developed. Yet, limited effort has ensued to compare and contrast models for their strategic applicability and quality. One of the most damaging pests of wheat in North America is the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia (Kurdjumov). Eighteen D. noxia population dynamic models were developed from the literature to describe pest intensity. The strongest models quantified the negative effects of fall and spring precipitation on aphid intensity, and the positive effects associated with alternate food source availability. Population dynamic models were transformed into spatially explicit models and combined to form a spatially explicit, model averaged result. Our findings were used to delineate pest intensity on winter wheat across much of the Great Plains and will help improve D. noxia management strategy.
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Vol. 41 • No. 6