The cranberry entomology program follows two broad avenues, pursuing both basic and applied studies of insects. The paths of these two avenues intersect frequently, thus adding not only to our understanding of an insect system, but also making significant contributions to sustainable cranberry cultivation in SE Massachusetts. Specifically, work in the lab at the Cranberry Station is largely devoted to studies of the behavior, ecology, and management of insect pests of cranberry and blueberry.
The cranberry plant and the bog habitat are unique; further, the cranberry industry, which is critical to southeastern Massachusetts, was developed through the manipulation of the native ecosystem in which the cranberry species evolved. Basic research makes up much of the effort of students in my lab, covering diverse areas within the realm of behavioral ecology. For example, we have projects ongoing that emphasize observation of individual insects in lab and semi-field conditions, as well as field observation of adult movement and mating. Lately, I have chosen to focus on cranberry/blueberry insects that move extensively throughout the bog’s surrounding habitats and whose immatures utilize restricted resources for larval development (newly set cranberry fruit or blossom buds). I am particularly interested in the ramifications of these traits and have looked at patterns of egglaying and behavior-mediated competition for small hosts. As a side note, the wild stands of cranberry located among the sand dunes on the Cape Cod peninsula have served as fascinating study sites for some of this work.
Cranberry is one of the most important agricultural crops in Massachusetts, and Massachusetts is one of the largest cranberry-producing areas in the world. My approach is to utilize the knowledge gained through our studies of insect (both pest and beneficial) behavior and ecology to develop or enhance management strategies. I work on grower tools such as trapping systems and sampling programs. I am involved in a multidisciplinary research and demonstration program with cranberry growers and researchers in nutrition, weed science, plant pathology, and ecological physiology. My extension work in cranberry involves an education program to promote pest management programs and sustainable cultivation practices.
Selected Recent Publications
E.J. Wenninger and A.L. Averill. 2007. The roles of male size and mating history in the reproductive output of female oriental beetle, Anomala orientalis. submitted
E.J. Wenninger and A.L. Averill. 2006. Influence of body and genital morphology on relative male fertilization success in oriental beetle. Behavioral Ecology 17: 656-663.
P.S. Robbins, A. Zhang, A.L. Averill, C.E. Linn, Jr., W.L. Roelofs, M.M. Sylvia, and M.G. Villani. 2006. Sex pheromone of the cranberry root grub Lichnanthe vulpina. J. of Chemical Ecology. 32: 1663-1672.
E.J. Wenninger and A.L. Averill. 2006. Effects of delayed mating on reproductive output of female oriental beetle Anomala orientalis (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Agricultural and Forest Entomology. 8: 221-231.
L. A. F. Teixera and A.L. Averill. 2006. Evaluation of flooding for cultural control of Sparganothis sulfureana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in cranberry bogs. Environmental Entomology 35: 670-675.
E.J. Wenninger and A.L. Averill. 2006. Mating disruption of oriental beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in cranberry using retrievable point-source dispensers of sex pheromone. Environmental Entomology 35: 458-464.
C.J. DeMoranville, H.A. Sandler, D.E. Shumaker, A.L. Averill, F.L. Caruso, M.M. Sylvia, and D.M. Pober. 2005. Fall flooding for management of cranberry fruitworm (Acrobasis vaccinii) and dewberry (Rubus hispidus) in Massachusetts cranberry production. Crop Protection. 24: 999-1006.
D.C. Weber, P.S. Robbins, and A.L. Averill. 2005. Hoplia equina (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and non-target capture using 2-tetradeconone-baited traps. Journal Economic Entomology. 34: 138-153
M.S. Sisterson and A.L. Averill. 2004. Coevolution across landscapes: a spatially explicit model of parasitoid-host coevolution. Evolutionary Ecology. 18: 29-49.
B.B. Long and A.L. Averill. 2003. Compensatory response of cranberry to simulated damage by cranberry weevil (Anthonomus musculus Say) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 96: 407-412.
M.S. Sisterson and A.L. Averill. 2003. Interactions between parasitized and unparasitized conspecifics: parasitoids modulate competitive dynamics. Oecologia. 135: 362-371.
A. Zhang, P.S. Robbins, A.L. Averill, D.C. Weber, C.E. Linn, Jr., W.L. Roelofs, and M.G. Villani. 2003. Identification of the female-produced sex pheromone of the scarab beetle, Hoplia equina. Journal of Chemical Ecology 29: 1635-1642.
Sisterson, MS. and A.L. Averill. 2002. Costs and benefits of food foraging for a braconid parasitoid. J. Insect Behavior. 15: 571-588.
See Also: Dr. Anne Averill Bio