Project properties

Title Better a good neighbour than a toxic friend: diversifying agro-ecological systems to increase insect biodiversity and enhance ecosystem services
Group Entomology, Laboratory of
Project type thesis
Credits 12, 18, 24 � 39
Supervisor(s) Luuk Croijmans, Erik Poelman
Examiner(s) Marcel Dicke
Contact info luuk.croijmans@wur.nl
Begin date 2019/07/01
End date 2022/12/31
Description Insect biodiversity and abundance are decreasing and one of the main culprits for this decline is agriculture; more specifically large-scale monocultures and pesticides. As agricultural area makes up a large portion of the total land surface area, integrating ecological functions in these systems might create immense habitats for invertebrates, birds and small mammals. Strip cropping is a cropping system that integrates these ecological functions whilst retaining fields that can be intensively managed. The goal of this research is to find if these diversified systems truly harbour more natural predators and parasitoids of pest insects; to unravel how the herbivore community develops; and how general insect biodiversity changes.
Field experiments consist of release/recapture techniques with caterpillars, monitoring the cabbage-insect community and assessing the ground-dwelling invertebrate diversity.
Used skills Students should be able to work within a �diverse� team. Literature review, field work (e.g. insect identification), laboratory work (processing data collected from the field), data analysis, report writing.
Requirements For doing a MSc-thesis or internship at Entomology, the following requirements apply: ENT-30806 + a second ENT-course (preferably ENT-30306 or ENT-50806 or ENT-53806). As an alternative for the second ENT-course, PHP-30806 or BHE-30306 can be selected.
Note: these requirements do not apply for MBI students; MBI students should check the requirements for doing an ENT MSc-thesis or internship in the study programme of their specialisation.