UNRAVELING THE WEB OF PREDATION IN ORGANIC AGROECOSYSTEMS

As part of my PhD studying predator diversity and biological control in organic, cover crop-based, reduced-tillage cropping systems, I investigated the relative contribution of generalist predators to predation. I hoped to better understand who feeds on pests and what crop management factors influence these ecological services. Using a combination of sentinel prey assays deployed in the field, video surveillance, and molecular gut content analysis, I investigated which common predators feed on caterpillars, the frequency and length of feeding events, and how these differed by cropping system. 

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