Tuesday, 28 October 2003

This presentation is part of : Display Presentations, Section Cd. Behavior and Ecology

Arthropod communities in monocropped and black walnut intercropped alfalfa

W. Terrell Stamps, Terry L. Woods, and Marc J. Linit. University of Missouri, 1-87 Agriculture Bldg, Columbia, MO

Alley cropping holds promise for increasing insect diversity and reducing pest problems by improving natural enemy complexes and adding competition to pest species. Experimental plots of traditionally-grown alfalfa and plots of alfalfa intercropped between rows of black walnut trees were sampled with sweep nets prior to each cutting date for the forage. Comparisons were made between treatments and sampling dates. Herbivore numbers were significantly lower and beneficial arthropod numbers were significantly higher in the more structurally complex alley cropped alfalfa plots than in the monoculture alfalfa plots over two sampling dates. On the other hand, alfalfa yields were very poor for alley cropped alfalfa, although fiber values for AC alfalfa indicated higher quality forage. We are undertaking a new study incorporating wider alley ways in the hopes of improving alfalfa yields while retaining the insect community benefits of an agroforestry practice.

Species 1: Coleoptera Curculionidae Hypera postica (alfalfa weevil)
Keywords: diversity, alternative agriculture

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