The spatial distribution of the nymphs of Scaphoideus titanus Ball (Homoptera Cicadellidae), the vector of grapevine flavescence dorée (Candidatus Phytoplasma vitis, 16Sr-V), was studied by applying Taylor’s power law. Studies were conducted from 2002 to 2005, in organic and conventional vineyards of Piedmont, northern Italy. Minimum sample size and fixed precision level stop lines were calculated to develop appropriate sampling plans. Model validation was performed, using independent field data, by means of Resampling Validation of Sample Plans (RVSP) resampling software. The nymphal distribution, analyzed via Taylor’s power law, was aggregated, with b = 1.49. A sample of 32 plants was adequate at low pest densities with a precision level of D0 = 0.30; but for a more accurate estimate (D0 = 0.10), the required sample size needs to be 292 plants. Green’s fixed precision level stop lines seem to be more suitable for field sampling: RVSP simulations of this sampling plan showed precision levels very close to the desired levels. However, at a prefixed precision level of 0.10, sampling would become too time-consuming, whereas a precision level of 0.25 is easily achievable. How these results could influence the correct application of the compulsory control of S. titanus and Flavescence dorée in Italy is discussed.
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Vol. 99 • No. 2