1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of the proposed research is to develop new knowledge on the ecology and biology of biological control agents of cereal aphids.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
We will assess the effectiveness of key biological control agents in traditional and emerging small grain crop production systems and elucidate the intra- and extra-field processes that influence their population dynamics. More specifically, we will: (1) elucidate the effect of landscape factors on the population dynamics of the key greenbug parasitoid, Lysephlebus testaceipes; and (2) elucidate the effect of co-occurring cereal aphids on parasitism of greenbug by Lysephlebus testaceipes.
3. Progress Report:
During FY 2013 we conducted a field experiment in which we measured parasitism rates in 8 production winter wheat fields in north central Oklahoma. We measured parasitism of aphids by Lysephlebus testaceipes in wheat field edges approximately one week prior to wheat planting in each field, and then measured parasitism again in the wheat field edges and the field itself approximately one week after wheat had germinated in the field. We quantified landscape structure for each of the fields and determined grass species richness and abundance in the field edge. With the work from FY13 we have achieved the research objectives originally outlined in this Specific Cooperative Agreement. The research will lead to improved understanding of the ecology of L. testaceipes and its ability to exert biological control of cereal aphids in winter wheat fields.