During dispersal into fruit-bearing wild blueberry fields, blueberry maggot flies were highly active during all daylight hours as revealed by trap captures, although in one trial afternoon activity was greater than morning activity. Flies were not captured in traps at night, although observations in growth chambers showed that their activity at night, measured as displacement of position, was equal to daylight conditions. Flies were shown to fly at low altitude, just above the crop canopy, and screen fencing was shown to be effective at reducing colonization of plots, presumably due to their low height during flight. Over a 4-yr mark–capture study, colonization rate was shown to be low at 9.7 m/d, although a separate 2010 study showed higher rates at 14.1 and 28.0 m/d. Movement was shown to be nondirectional or random in the field, but a constrained random walk exhibiting direction into the field. Weed cover and high fruit density were associated with higher fly relative abundance, suggesting these field characteristics served as attractors slowing colonization rate into a field. Transect trap studies showed the temporal and spatial pattern of fly colonization into commercial wild blueberry fields, one of a slow wave that penetrates into the field interior as the season progresses. There is also an increase in fly abundance within-field edges and adjacent forest. The ‘stacking’ of flies along a field edge and slow movement rate into a field was shown through simulation to be a result of nondirectional short-distance dispersal of flies.
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Vol. 113 • No. 3