Adaptive Pest Planning: Management Strategies To Maintain Plant Health Under Climate Change
The goal of this project is to identify adaptive solutions to changes in pest pressure for perennial woody crops by examining conditions that may be more favorable for pest feeding and development. Using a diverse set of approaches that include grower interviews, a controlled field experiment, and cultivar surveys, we are studying how management strategies can influence crop responses to environmental stress and pest resistance.
We will examine management practices to support agroecosystems that are resistant to pests and extreme climate conditions, how management practices (such as reduced nitrogen inputs and deficit irrigation) affect pest development and crop yield, and which drought tolerant varieties of high value perennial crops (such as almond, walnut and grape) are most resistant to pests. Of particular interest are spider mites, in the genus Tetranchus, because they are ubiquitous pests with a propensity for attacking drought-stressed leaves. The project integrates pest biology with soil biogeochemical cycling and grower knowledge to develop appropriate responses of agroecosystems to extreme events.
This project is conducted by Amanda Hodson.