About the Project
Aim/Scope This project will focus on aphid parasitoids and their hyper-parasitoids Using morphological and molecular taxonomic and population genetic approaches, the project will identify and quantify the aphid-parasitoid-hyperparasitoid assemblages and food-webs found in semi-natural habitats, and on raspberry and potato crops, using one key aphid pest (see below) as the ‘link species’ between these ecosystems. Using this approach, field experiments will be conducted to assess the influence of semi-natural habitats on the aphids and parasitoids of adjacent perennial and annual crops, including changes in the food webs that may either promote or limit aphid biocontrol. In addition, the link between aphid and parasitoid assemblages on raspberry and potato crops will be considered as protected raspberry crops now provide (due to recent crop management changes in raspberry) a potential but previously unstudied source of the potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, and any parasitoids they may harbor. The aphid based food webs on raspberry and potato are likely to differ; understanding these differences over multiple seasons will be key to developing future strategies for both crops and reduce pesticide use, thus further enhancing on-farm biodiversity.
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