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This project aims to compare the behaviour of oak processionary moth populations in open and woodland habitats, to predict when and where damaging infestations are most likely to occur, and to identify which factors (microclimate, natural enemies or host phenology) are most important in determining the moth’s abundance.
Specific research objectives are to:
Fieldwork carried out in 2014 indicates significant differences in OPM populations between habitat types. Samples of OPM larvae and pupae collected during the summer are being analysed over the autumn and winter period to identify parasitoids and estimate mortality rates.
Studies on OPM populations in different habitats and factors that influence abundance are being carried out as part of a PhD studentship with the University of Southampton.
Molecular techniques to identify parasitoids of OPM and to quantify their impact are being developed by a research post at the University of Hull.
Tools and Resources webpages on OPM, including details of control action
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