Location: Integrated Cropping Systems Research
Project Number: 3080-21220-005-03-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Oct 1, 2010
End Date: May 31, 2014
1. Objective 1. Determine the mechanisms whereby the availability of alternative prey and plant-provided resources affect pest suppression by carnivorous and omnivorous ladybeetles. 2. Objective 2. Characterize the IGP interactions between omnivorous and carnivorous ladybeetles within wheat systems and assess the impact of these interactions on cereal aphid predation. 3. Objective 3. Evaluate how spatial patterns in the availability of non-prey resources and IGP affect predation on cereal aphids by omnivorous and carnivorous ladybeetles.
Novel tools, including molecular and biochemical gut content analysis and geospatial analysis, will be coupled with traditional techniques used to monitor insect populations and predator efficacy. Our approach will, under field conditions, manipulate key alternative foods and IG contests to determine how these individual interactions contribute to the ability of ladybeetles to suppress cereal aphids within systems where cover crop and field margin management strategies are evaluated in production scale plots. Using these strategies, the proposed project will not only provide cost-effective and realistic solutions for pest management issues faced by IS and US producers, but also will provide a better understanding of how spatial dispersion, IG predation, and the availability of alternative foods contribute to biological control by omnivores and carnivores within agroecosystems.