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Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station

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

We are testing how plant viral infection impacts the effect of cover crops on soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, and soilnutrient status. We expect that the virus impact will vary with cover crop species and soil type. Our results are expected toinform how virus infections of cover crops may impact soil health. To quantify changes in soil carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, and nutrient status of soils subjected to virus infected covercrops, we are using a combination of field trials and pot experiments as well as basic and advanced soil characterizationtechniques.

Improving the Health Span of Aging Adults Through Diet and Physical Activity.

In this project, we will work with other participating regional research project investigators to assess aging adults' perceptions and recommendations for community environmental supports for a food secure, culturally appropriate and healthy eating environment. The purpose of these studies is to identify the most important and modifiable enablers and behaviors of healthy eating among aging adults. To accomplish this, mixed methodology approaches will be used, including both qualitative and quantitative methods such as focus groups and consumer surveys.

Culture and Characterization of Epitheliocystis Agents in Aquaculture Fish Species

The world fisheries production has levelled off and most of the main fishing areas have reached their maximum potential. In contrast, the global human population is increasing; thus, the demand for aquatic food products also increase. Global aquaculture production attained 90.4 million tons in 2012, generating an incomes US$ 144.4 billion, and the production of food fish was 66.6 million tons. Epitheliocystis is a serious skin and gill disease in fish, believed to be caused by pathogenic intracellular bacteria.

Achieving Wetland: Metrics and Methods

Reliable, sustainable sources of clean water are increasingly hard to come by. But did you know that there are a lot of additional benefits from cultivating and protecting freshwater wetlands at the source of some of these waters? Wetland ecosystem services include, but are not limited to, providing verdant habitat and food supply for a large diversity of plant, animal and insect species, water filtration, slowing and spreading of floodwaters, limiting erosion, storage of carbon and other nutrients, temperature buffering, pollinator habitat and forage lands, and water storage.

Sustainable Solutions to Problems Affecting Bee Health

Our plan is to evaluate the role, causative mechanisms, and interaction effects of biotic stressors (i.e. parasitic mites, pests, andpathogens) and abiotic stressors ((i.e. exposure to pesticides, poor habitat and nutrition, management practices) on the survival,health and productivity of honey bee colonies as well as within pollinator communities.  Additionally we plan to develop and recommend "best practices" for beekeepers, growers, land managers and homeowners to promote health of honey bees and pollinator communities.

Development of Sustainable Management Strategies for Large-fruited Hybrid Cranberry Cultivars

Cranberry production has a long history in Massachusetts (MA) that adds important economic and aesthetic value to the region.  About 30% of U.S. acreage and the two largest cranberry handler companies are located in Massachusetts. This crop has the highest farm gate value of any food crop in the Commonwealth, $99.8 million in 2012 (USDA, 2015).

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