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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: Predictive Modeling & Mitigation of Effects of Climate Change on Migration & Infestation Patterns of Semitropical/tropical Crop Pest Insects

Location: Insect Control and Cotton Disease Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Establish a network of pest monitoring and collection sites in the southeastern U.S. 2. Map seasonal migration of S. frugiperda from the FL and TX overwintering areas into the central and eastern U.S. 3. Adapt and test models correlating migration and overwintering ranges with weather patterns to identify areas susceptible to increased infestation due to climate change. 4. Develop control strategies to preempt or mitigate the anticipated expansion of S. frugiperda infestation.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1. Pheromone trapping and larval collections by a network of volunteer and cooperative agents. Monitoring information will be made available on the internet via PestWatch (Penn State). 2. Mapping of migration pathways by a novel haplotype analysis technique. 3. Modeling derived using General Circulation Model output and HYSPLIT atmospheric dispersion model predictions. 4. Mitigation efforts will focus on the adaptation of feeding attractant-based techniques currently being tested on the Noctuid pest Helicoverpa zea for use on S. frugiperda.


3.Progress Report:

The goal of this project is to map seasonal migration of the fall armyworm moth in the U.S. and to develop new approaches to better manage this pest insect, including control of its seasonal expansion. In FY 2013, cooperators trapped fall armyworm moths weekly within 16 states in the central U.S. and within the Canadian province of Ontario. Additionally, fall armyworm trap data was accessed from existing cooperative pest monitoring networks in Colorado, Missouri, Kentucky, and Quebec province (Canada). Overall, weekly fall armyworm trap data was acquired at approximately 70 sites in 19 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, which increased the geographic coverage of trap data in the open-access PestWatch database. Cooperators shipped fall armyworm moths to ARS project collaborators at Gainesville, FL, for use in distinguishing genetic characteristics associated with fall armyworm populations in Texas and Florida. The HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model is being used to simulate nocturnal migratory flights of fall armyworm moths. The HYSPLIT model accounts for the distinct identity of simulated migrant moths from overwintering source regions in Texas and Florida. Weekly trap data will be used to validate model estimates of migratory flights of fall armyworm moths. Work is underway to derive nightly numbers of emigrant moths based on fall armyworm population dynamics in corn during the growing season. As work under this project continues, critical new information will be developed that will facilitate more detailed understanding of fall armyworm ecology and population dynamics, and that will facilitate development of new, environmentally friendly approaches to manage this pest insect on an areawide scale.


Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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