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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Do the Carnivorous Arthropods in Wisconsin Cranberry Marshes Feed on Detritivores

Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit

Project Number: 5090-21220-003-07
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 01, 2014
End Date: Jul 31, 2015

Objective:
Improve our understanding of the degree to which predators in the cranberry system feed on detritivores, as opposed to herbivores or fellow carnivores.

Approach:
Measure the relative contributions of detritivores to the diets of predators within the cranberry system. We will use phospholipid-derived fatty acid (PLFA) analysis to quantify the carbon (C) signatures of lipids generated by microbial activity. Such lipids are closely attendant to detrital biomass, and in this way, microbes put their “stamp” on the detritus that many arthropods eat. It is possible to assess how much of this microbial signal moves up the food chain by measuring the C-signatures of detritivores. We will then measure the C-signatures of predators to assess how much of their diet was comprised of detritivores.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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