Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling of plant colonisation by winged aphids: Inferring dispersal processes by linking aerial and field count data

Abstract : Understanding and modelling insect pest dispersal is an important prerequisite for designing integrated pest management programs. Nevertheless, studies investigating the dispersal of small insects in natural conditions remain scarce mainly because of the difficulty of tracking the movements of these organisms. Here we propose to use Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling (HBM) framework to gain knowledge on hidden processes that cannot be observed directly in natura, such as insect landing and insect mortality, through the definition of latent variables. An HBM describing crop colonization by winged aphids was fitted to a large dataset of field observations issued from a long term survey at a wide scale of both aerial and field densities of the bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi. This study provides the first evidence that suction trap data are reliable proxies of aphid colonizing rates in cereal fields in autumn and can be a nice alternative to the very time-consuming crop sampling. The proportion of winged aphids landing in cereal fields is shown to vary between regions according to the degree of investment of local R. padi population in sexual reproduction. Results also indicate that under autumnal field conditions, less than 5% of winged aphids survive more than 10 days after landing. This HBM provides the basis of a predictive model for aphid crop colonization that fully accounts for all sources of uncertainty. It should be of great value to improve the trust of users in any decision making systems.
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Submitted on : Friday, September 7, 2012 - 3:44:42 PM
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F. Fabre, C.A. Dedryver, Manuel Plantegenest, M. Hulle, Etienne Rivot. Hierarchical Bayesian Modelling of plant colonisation by winged aphids: Inferring dispersal processes by linking aerial and field count data. Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, 2010, 221 (15), pp.1770-1778. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2010.04.006⟩. ⟨hal-00729526⟩

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