Impact of environmental variables on Dubas bug infestation rate: A case study from the Sultanate of Oman

Khalifa M. Al-Kindi, Paul Kwan, Nigel Andrew, Mitchell Welch, Raul Narciso Carvalho Guedes
2017 PLoS ONE  
Date palm cultivation is economically important in the Sultanate of Oman, with significant financial investment coming from both the government and from private individuals. However, a global infestation of Dubas bug (Ommatissus lybicus Bergevin) has impacted the Middle East region, and infestations of date palms have been widespread. In this study, spatial analysis and geostatistical techniques were used to model the spatial distribution of Dubas bug infestations to (a) identify correlations
more » ... tween Dubas bug densities and different environmental variables, and (b) predict the locations of future Dubas bug infestations in Oman. Firstly, we considered individual environmental variables and their correlations with infestation locations. Then, we applied more complex predictive models and regression analysis techniques to investigate the combinations of environmental factors most conducive to the survival and spread of the Dubas bug. Environmental variables including elevation, geology, and distance to drainage pathways were found to significantly affect Dubas bug infestations. In contrast, aspect and hillshade did not significantly impact on Dubas bug infestations. Understanding their distribution and therefore applying targeted controls on their spread is important for effective mapping, control and management (e.g., resource allocation) of Dubas bug infestations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0178109 pmid:28558069 pmcid:PMC5448759 fatcat:r7p7cuz6qrdczguvbw3ry4ikxy