Agricultural Ecological Networks
The project aims to reconstruct ecological networks comprising multiple tropic levels from agricultural ecosystems. Taxa will mostly include arthropods, but host-associated fungal and bacterial species are also of interest. The project mostly aims to use amplicon data but some shotgun genomic data will also be included. Collections of arthropods (mostly insect predators) will be made in summer 2017, DNA will be extracted from whole specimens and the barcode region for metazoa (cox1), bacteria (16S) and fungi (ITS2) will be amplified from each specimen. These amplicons will be sequenced at 2x300 (V3) on a MiSeq. Feeding trials were conducted last year and arthropod specimens from these trials will be processed in the same way as above as well as using whole genome sequencing to obtain mitochondrial genomes. These data will be used to reconstruct multi-trophic ecological networks across a gradient of agricultural intensification to assess the impact of land management practices on ecological community structuring.