Location: Vegetable Crops Research
Project Number: 5090-21220-003-07-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2014
End Date: Jul 31, 2015
Improve our understanding of the degree to which predators in the cranberry system feed on detritivores, as opposed to herbivores or fellow carnivores.
Measure the relative contributions of detritivores to the diets of predators within the cranberry system. We will use phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to quantify the carbon (C) signatures of lipids generated by microbial activity. Such lipids are closely attendant to detrital biomass, and in this way, microbes put their “stamp” on the detritus that many arthropods eat. It is possible to assess how much of this microbial signal moves up the food chain by measuring the C-signatures of detritivores. We will then measure the C-signatures of predators to assess how much of their diet was comprised of detritivores.