Conrad Vispo and Claudia Knab-Vispo
Research: Meadow Establishment and Floral Resources Invertebrate Biodiversity and Crop Interactions
Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program
The Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program is part of the non-profit Hawthorne Valley Association, based in Columbia County, NY. It is dedicated to research and outreach focusing on -people’s interaction with nature in the mid-Hudson Valley.
Our Program’s collaboration with the Hudson Valley Farm Hub began in 2015 with the creation of an annotated vegetation map of the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. Since 2016, staff of the Farmscape Ecology Program co-coordinate the Applied Farmscape Ecology Research Collaborative with the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, consult with the Farm Hub on stewardship of wild nature on the farm, and offer ecuational programs for employees and the public at the Farm Hub. The Program also is responsible for much of the botanical and above-ground entomological research associated with the Collaborative and for some of the Collaborative’s administration and planning. Two of the Program’s central research projects at the Farm Hub are the installation (in 2017) of replicated native meadow test plots designed to assess the feasibility of establishing such on-farm habitats under organic management, to measure their effectiveness in supporting both biodiversity and agronomically beneficial creatures, and to build healthy soils. This has involved the botanical and entomological monitoring of the plots since their establishment. Since 2016, the Program has been following insect populations along three 600 foot long transects. This standardized monitoring is meant to both describe background population trends and explore changes in insect communities with increasing distance from forested edges. In 2021, we are hoping to begin a study of a roughly 1000 foot long beetle bank (a raised berm of perennial vegetation thought to support ground beetles and other beneficials).