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Harmonic radar: Efficacy at detecting and recovering insects on agricultural host plants

Boiteau, G., Vincent, C., Meloche, F., Leskey, T.C., Colpitts, B.G. (2011). Harmonic radar: Efficacy at detecting and recovering insects on agricultural host plants, 67(2), 213-219.


BACKGROUND: In pest management research, harmonic radar systems have been largely used to study insect movement across open or vegetation-poor areas because the microwave signal is attenuated by the high water content of vegetation. This study evaluated whether the efficacy of this technology is sufficient to track insects in vegetative landscapes.RESULTS: Field efficacy data were collected using portable harmonic microwave radar and electronic dipole tags mounted on adults of three economically important pests: Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say), Diabrotica virginifera virginifera (LeComte) and Conotrachelus nenuphar Herbst. Detection and recovery of tagged Colorado potato beetles, plum curculios and western corn rootworms was high within and among potato plants, moderate within apple trees and high within, but not between, corn plants respectively. The efficacy of the radar depends on the ability of the operator to move around the host, scanning for a signal 'sightline' with the tagged insect among plant structures.CONCLUSION: The detection rate of tagged insects by harmonic radar systems is high enough to track the walking path of pests through low row crops such as potato, tall row crops such as corn or tall but well-separated trees of orchard-type crops by adapting the scanning procedure to the vegetative architecture. © 2010 Crown in the right of Canada. Published by JohnWiley & Sons, Ltd.

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