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Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station

Harnessing Chemical Ecology to Address Agricultural Pest and Pollinator Priorities

In recent years, there has been interest in low-cost, reduced-risk materials that could be used for attract-and-kill of the invasive pest, spotted-wing Drosophila Drosophila suzukii. This pest causes heavy economic damage to soft fruits in many countries. In a series of behavioral and physiological studies, we will quantify the effects of using Concord grape juice either, alone or incombination with borax, boric acid, and salt on (1) male and female D.

Increasing Forest Resiliency

Forest resiliency is not just an ecological challenge. To increase forest resiliency, we must inform the decisions of those that own and control the forests. Family forest owners (FFOs) control 263 million acres (or 35%) of U.S. forests. In the eastern U.S, FFOs own 43% of the forest and in Massachusetts they control more than 70% of the forests (Butler, 2008).

Advancing Understanding and Process-based Prediction of Northeastern Forest Regeneration

The project combines intensive field sampling with an advanced statistical model to compile an extensive, statewide regeneration data set and improve understanding of the factors leading to successful regeneration of desired species and communities following management intervention. Our approach allows for novel understanding of the complete range of factors impacting forest regeneration in Massachusetts and tests alternative management approaches to sustain valuable forest resources under global change.

Food Systems, Health, and Well-being: Understanding Complex Relationships and Dynamics of Change

Adequate nutrition is critical to human health and well-being. Consumption of fruit and vegetables is a major contributor to adequate nutrition for all age groups. Older adults are at increased risk for inadequate nutrition in part due to unique barriers to obtaining fruits and vegetables. For example, access to fruits and vegetables and inability to travel to grocery stores or other traditional food outlets can be particularly challenging for older adults who may have limited physical mobility and / or few transportation options, especially if they no longer drive.

Water Management and Quality for Specialty Crop Production and Health

The goal of the project is to improve irrigation and fertilization practices in ornamental plant production in order to improve production efficiency and to reduce the environmental impact of ornamental plant production by limiting nutrient laden runoff from nurseries and greenhouses. Improving production practices relies on a better understanding of plant water and fertilizer needs as well as assessment of improved application methods.

Accounting for Carbon: The Potential of New and Innovative Technology to Store Forest Carbon and Allow for New Growth

As Massachusetts faces increasing pressure from population expansion, along with increasing challenges due to climate change, we seek a solution to the growing demand in housing that supports the local timber industry and rural economies and also creates an opportunity to store more carbon both in our buildings and across our regional forested landscape. Recent advances in timber technology have produced promising new methods for meeting some of the demand for building materials, as well as the need to store carbon.

Understanding the Future of Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Gulf of Maine

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the resiliency and plan for future changes for New England fisheries and aquaculture ina rapidly changing ocean. Through field data collection, laboratory experiments, and stakeholder engagement, we will examinehow climate change will influence key fisheries and aquaculture species using a multi-pronged approach. First, we will examinehow climate will affect critical life history stages of key fisheries species by examining larval supply in New England waters andthe potential for a match-mismatch between larvae and their food sources.

Rebirth and Resilience: Building Social, Cultural, and Green Infrastructure to Revitalize Legacy Cities and Make Them More Resilient to the Effects of Climate Change

The proposed research has three main parts: 1. Assessment of the current situation in Springfield and similar mid-size cities - We will begin our research by gathering information about Springfield, its residents and the impact that climate change may have there or in similar cities. We will describe and identify the city's vulnerable populations: Where do they live, and what challenges do they face related to climate change? What data is needed to understand how these challenges might be addressed and how can that data be obtained?

Carbon Dynamics and Hydromorphology in Depressional Wetland Systems

The concept of the current experiment is to study carbon storage and possible cycling in soils which alternate between saturation and nonsaturated conditions on an annual basis. To allow the data to be considered robust, or applicable to numerous locations and soil types it will be necessary to have multiple years of data, but to also have data that 'repeats' or replicates itself.

Land Use and Management Practice Impacts on Soil Carbon and Associated Agroecosystems Services

Soil organic matter acts like a sponge within the soil, retaining water, carbon, and nutrients. It also serves as a source of carbon, or food, and nutrients, like nitrogen, for soil microbes. Because soil microbes demand carbon and nutrients in specific ratios, the quantity of soil organic matter and how nutrient rich it is compared to carbon may determine: how much nitrogen is kept within microbial bodies, how much is held within soil organic matter, and how much is transformed by microbes into a plant-available form for uptake or leaching loss.

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