Assessing landscape complexity using remotely sensed and field based measurements : does landscape complexity drive leafroller parasitism rates on Oregon caneberry farms? Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/hx11xh81k

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  • Landscape heterogeneity is thought to differ among farm management types (i.e. organic and conventional), and this difference is hypothesized to result in variations in pest control by natural enemies. However, it is unclear if these variations in pest control are driven by landscape structure or by farm management practices themselves. Remotely sensed datasets were used to describe the landscape structure surrounding a group of organic and conventional caneberry farms in Oregon and Washington that have different leafroller parasitism rates attributed to farm management type. A finer scale survey was done at one of the farms using the remotely sensed data as well as field surveys. Landscape metrics of diversity, richness and percent non-crop were used to describe the landscapes surrounding the farm fields at scales ranging from 0.05 km to 5.00 km for the large scale study, and 0.05 km to 0.20 km for the fine scale study. In the fine scale study, data on parasitoid species assemblages, diversity, and parasitism rate were collected and analyzed against the calculated landscape metrics spatially and seasonally. The purpose of this study was to quantify effects of farm management type on habitat structure, effect of habitat structure on leafroller parasitism rate, and to access correlations between landscape metrics calculated at the landscape and field scale. Overall, the farms were embedded in a landscape that was broadly similar, with very few differences in landscape structure occurring between organic and conventional farms. Organic farms had higher vegetation height class diversity at the largest scale compared to conventional farms, while conventional farms had significantly higher percent non-crop area compared to organic farms. There was no significant effect of any of the calculated landscape metrics on parasitism rates. In the field scale study, no correlations were found between habitat metrics and parasitism rates, or between field based metrics and those calculated at the landscape scale. The results of this study suggest that conventional and organic caneberry farms in the Willamette Valley are broadly similar in the habitat conditions they provide parasitoids. This suggests that management changes to pesticide use alone could increase levels of leafroller biological control on conventional farms to levels that are comparable to those seen on organic farms. Our comparisons of the landscape scale and field scale landscape metrics showed no connection, this suggests that direct comparisons cannot be made with these particular metrics at these very different scales. Rather than comparing these types of data, it may be more useful to combine them in order to increase the resolution and predictive power of remotely sensed data for describing landscapes at broad scales.
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