Structuring habitat to conserve ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) and reduce summer annual weeds in agroecosystems Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/v405sc576

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  • Weed management in sustainable farming systems often requires the integration of several different pest management techniques. Cultural, biological, and chemical pest control efforts can be utilized to contribute to the common goal of reducing weeds in vegetable row crop systems. This research addresses how common disturbances such as tillage and insecticide use affect: carabid beetle assemblages; predation of weed seeds by invertebrates; and weed seed recruitment. Field experiments were conducted over three years at two different locations on the OSU Vegetable Research Farm, Linn Co., OR. We found that activity-density of carabid beetles varied seasonally and peaked in late August-September each year. Insecticide applied in year 1 affected seed loss in year 2, suggesting possible long-term effects of land management on weed seed removal. Weed recruitment was highly variable between treatment, site, and year. Conserving biological weed control agents in combination with cultural techniques such as reducing tillage and the use of cover crops, helps growers shift from expensive, density-independent control efforts to more ecological, long-term solutions for weed management in agroecosystems.
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