Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit
Project Number: 5090-21220-003-03
Start Date: Aug 18, 2011
End Date: Jul 31, 2014
The trophic roles of the major arthropod species in the cranberry system are being examined using a new molecular method (compound-specific stable isotope ratio analysis). This method involves the extraction of amino acids from organisms and then an analysis of the stable isotope ratios of these compounds. The approach has been shown to provide very accurate estimates of the trophic functions of species (i.e., an organism’s place in the food chain). Such information has allowed us to finally characterize where an organism feeds within its food chain. This tells us which species are beneficial for crop protection and which are not. For biological control strategies and other IPM tactics, an understanding of what the resident fauna are actually doing is critical to wise crop management. A team of scientists will oversee and conduct the trophic structure work.