U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Transactions in GIS , 2005, 9(2): 109–127


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Infestations of corn rootworms (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) create economic and environmental concerns in the Corn Belt region of the United States. To supplement the population control tactics of areawide pest management programs, we believe that a better understanding of the spatial relationships between biotic and abiotic or physical factors at the landscape scale is needed. Our research used several geographical information systems (GIS) and spatial analytical techniques to examine relationships between corn rootworm metapopulation dynamics, soil texture, and elevation. Within GIS, several spatially explicit procedures were used that include an interpolation technique, spatial autocorrelation analysis, and contingency analysis. Corn rootworm metapopulation distributions were found to be aggregated and related to soil texture and elevation. We review techniques and discuss our preferences for using particular spatially explicit procedures. The information derived from the spatial analyses demonstrates how GIS can be used in areawide pest management to provide inputs for spatially explicit models to predict future pest populations and formulate more well-informed pest management decisions. The techniques described in this paper could easily be extended to study the spatial dynamics between other pest populations in agricultural landscapes.