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Biotic and Abiotic Factors Affecting the Presence of Beneficial Insects on Oregon Christmas Tree Farms Public Deposited

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  • Beneficial insects could provide valuable pest control services on Oregon Christmas tree farms, but a limited amount of data exist that quantifies the type and abundance of beneficial insects on farms. This study surveyed beneficial insects on two farms that differed in their management strategies as well as other abiotic and biotic factors. Walking surveys were conducted on two farms, one conventional and one insecticide-free, to provide farmers with information on the beneficial insect and aphid populations on their farms. Grand Fir trees were examined for beneficial insects within the trees by tapping branches on a beat tray and prying open apical growth areas. A comparison of the surveys determined that: 1) A greater amount of beneficial insects (beneficials) were found per survey taken on the farm that did not use pesticides (insecticide-free); 2) Aphids were not found in abundance on the Grand Fir trees when beneficial insects were found in abundance during each survey; and 3) Lacewing insects were not found in abundance on either farm. In conclusion, the pesticide-free farm allowed for a stable population of beneficial insects to control for aphids within the cropping system. In order to improve this research past data could be utilized to obtain information of each species of beneficial insect and how their populations change year to year. Ensuring consistency of farm access and the length of time between surveys could allow for more accurate results as well.
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  • Cain, A., Lambrinos, J., and Ellen, G. 2018. Biotic and abiotic factors affecting the presence of beneficial insects on Oregon Christmas tree farms. Oregon State University.
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  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA
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  • E.R. Jackman Internship Support
  • USDA Christmas Tree Grant
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