ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

0560 The effects of field-edge habitat and different management procedures on insect-mediated ecosystem services in the Maine lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) agro-ecosystem

Monday, November 14, 2011: 9:51 AM
Room A5, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Matthew S. Jones , Ecology and Environmental Science, University of Maine, Orono, ME
Predators and scavengers play a vital role in regulating pest insect and weed populations as well as managing vertebrate feces; they are especially important to organic agricultural production. From a food safety standpoint, it is also becoming increasingly important to examine the role of coprophagous insects in the agricultural arena. The lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) agro-ecosystem is an excellent system in which to complete this work due to its unique endemic and perennial nature. The objective of this study is to quantify insect predator and scavenger mediated ecosystem services, in the Maine lowbush blueberry ecosystem relative to pest management system (organic vs conventional) and the adjacent forest stand (conifer vs deciduous). Sentinel prey (insect pupae, weed seeds, and deer scat) were used to explore material removal rates in 12 fields. It is important to understand how these beneficial, functional feeding groups utilize “edge” habitats and how recolonization of fields from the surrounding landscape occurs. Understanding how various boundary habitats and agricultural management practices foster predator and scavenger mediated ecosystem services will provide a basis for the conservation of these beneficial predators and scavengers. Results from the 2011, summer field season will be presented.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.58328