Bioenergy is an important avenue for both meeting future energy demands and decreasing the potential for global warming. Bioenergy also has the potential to provide alternative or diversified business models to agricultural communities in an economic environment where food prices stall but energy prices steadily increase. Yet bioenergy has been met with reservation by environmentalists, as the highly extractive nature of maximizing bioenergy production necessitates maximizing biomass harvest.
Sirex woodwasp, an aggressive species with wood boring larvae, is known to kill pines in the southern hemisphere where this European woodwasp and pines have both been introduced. It has been introduced to North America and was first collected in 2004 in New York state. We are investigating the potential use of a biological control agent, a sterilizing parasitic nematode, that has proven very effective in the southern hemisphere, with particular emphasis on investigating the potential for non-target effects.
Isolated oceanic islands are home to evolutionary radiations composed of species with highly restricted geographic distributions and disproportionate ecological adaptations. Taxonomic research on such groups often uncovers cryptic species diagnosable by only a few specific characters. Comparing the distribution of characters in species of different ages allows us to understand how biodiversity develops during these radiations.
Evolution of sociality must involve adaptive benefits to offset the costs of living closely with competitors, especially among potentially cannibalistic predators such as spiders. These adaptations may involve behavioral, ecological and physiological strategies for living in groups.
The goal of this project is to lay grounds for transmission genetics in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (Glomeromycota). We use a cosmopolitan species Glomus etunicatum as a model. Our objectives are to investigate: (i) evolution of the ribosomal RNA genes, (ii) the reproductive mode, and (iii) the developmental patterns of spore formation. We discovered that (i) the polymorphism of rRNA genes in the G. etunicatum lineage is inconsistent with the concerted evolution model of rRNA, which is one of the paradigms of evolutionary biology, (ii) the population structure of G.
Fruit farmers and turfgrass managers must produce pesticide and fertilizer records on demand for EPA Worker Protection, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, food safety audits, food processors, produce brokers, eco-markets, organic certifiers, etc. Trac Software has been documented to improve pesticide application record keeping and to facilitate generating reports. Since its invention in 2003 by Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program, over 500 fruit farmers in New York and worldwide have obtained Trac Software, and 98 percent continue using it.
This project has improved the turfgrass industry's understanding of the proper use of potassium fertilizers. This work has had to overcome more than 50 years of prejudice toward the use of potassium fertilizer, and only after several studies and practitioners demonstrating the value of reducing applications has the industry begun to shift away from gratuitous use.
Gratuitous applications of potassium fertilization has reduced sustainability of golf turf nutrient management programs. Furthermore, high rate potassium fertilization applied in cool late season conditions was shown to increase damage associated with low temperature fungal diseases, increased turf loss, and increased fungicide use. Our twelve year research and extension program focused on potassium nutrition from soil testing methods to interpretation and development of potassium fertilization programs has had a measurable effect on potassium fertilization based on national surveys.
Our 15 year project to develop Progressive Golf Course Integrated Pest Management Programs has led to utilization of the Environmental Impact Quotient (an environmental risk assessment model) as an important tool for golf course superintendents around the world.
Improved crop varieties are required to remain competitive in the global economy. Agricultural resources are increasingly allocated to benefit the large producer. However, the growing movement toward consumption of locally grown produce has made small- and medium-sized farms profitable.
The development of strawberry, raspberry and blackberry varieties adapted to temperate climates will help diversified growers remain profitable and competitive with large producers in tropical and subtropical climates.