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Bowling Green State University

1. Woloschuk, John Robert. Testing Spillover of Nocturnal Predators in Agroecosystems: The Influence of Ditch Type and Prey Availability.

Degree: MS, Biological Sciences, 2019, Bowling Green State University

Predators of crop insects are influenced by a number of variables which affect their foraging in agroecosystems. Though many of these predators, and their movement between crop and non-crop habitats, has been documented, the impact of variation in non-crop habitats is less understood. Here, we sought to understand how ditch geomorphology and prey availability at ditches and cornfields influences the potential spillover of web spiders, ground spiders, and bats. We examined 10 farms across Northwest Ohio, each possessing either a narrow conventional ditch, wider two-stage ditch, or very wide self-forming stream ditch. At each site, we surveyed and collected prey and predators along a transect extending from the ditch up to 200m into the adjacent cornfield, and conducted stable isotope analysis on samples. Stable isotope analysis (δ13C & δ15N) revealed that both web and ground spiders along ditches consume more prey that ate C3 vegetation (e.g. possibly emergent insects or ditch herbivores), while spiders in the fields consume mostly prey that ate C4 vegetation (possibly pests of corn). Guano isotopes indicate bats have highly variable prey consumption (median value around 38.3% of diet made up of C4,with large credible intervals). Web spiders were more abundant along ditches but increased in fields over the course of the season (p=0.001). Bat activity was higher at ditches than in adjacent cornfields in July-August, with both high and low aquatic insect emergence. However, August-September bats showed higher activity deep within the fields during periods of high aquatic prey availability at ditches (p=0.032). Isotopes suggest that spiders do not spillover between ditches and fields, but they were abundant in fields and ate prey with a C4 (corn-based) diet. Recording data and isotopes together suggest bats do consume prey from both ditches and cornfields. Ditch geomorphology was not found to have an effect on the response of abundance or activity of predators and prey alike. Further investigation of ditch geomorphology influence on predator foraging and potential spillover is needed, with more sites and throughout the crop season. Advisors/Committee Members: McCluney, Kevin (Advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Ecology; Biology; Agriculture; Spillover Predation; Agroecosystems; Agricultural Ditches; Bats; Spiders; Stable Isotopes; Crop Pests; Emergent Insects

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Woloschuk, J. R. (2019). Testing Spillover of Nocturnal Predators in Agroecosystems: The Influence of Ditch Type and Prey Availability. (Masters Thesis). Bowling Green State University. Retrieved from http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1573840600112587

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Woloschuk, John Robert. “Testing Spillover of Nocturnal Predators in Agroecosystems: The Influence of Ditch Type and Prey Availability.” 2019. Masters Thesis, Bowling Green State University. Accessed December 08, 2019. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1573840600112587.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Woloschuk, John Robert. “Testing Spillover of Nocturnal Predators in Agroecosystems: The Influence of Ditch Type and Prey Availability.” 2019. Web. 08 Dec 2019.

Vancouver:

Woloschuk JR. Testing Spillover of Nocturnal Predators in Agroecosystems: The Influence of Ditch Type and Prey Availability. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Bowling Green State University; 2019. [cited 2019 Dec 08]. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1573840600112587.

Council of Science Editors:

Woloschuk JR. Testing Spillover of Nocturnal Predators in Agroecosystems: The Influence of Ditch Type and Prey Availability. [Masters Thesis]. Bowling Green State University; 2019. Available from: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1573840600112587

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