Date of Award

Spring 2013

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

John E Carroll


Recently, there has been a growing effort to increase the availability of locally grown food in New England, and the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of these changes require careful consideration. This work consists of two experiments evaluating typical food production systems in New England. The high tunnel tomato cultivar trial evaluates indeterminate beefsteak tomatoes for important phenotypic differences. Understanding these differences will aid in the selection of different cultivars of tomatoes for local growers. Increasing the intraspecific diversity of high tunnel tomatoes may help balance the tradeoffs observed between cultivars. The broccoli-living mulch experiment is an evaluation of the competitive effects of in-field diversification. Interspecific diversification has many documented benefits through the enhanced provisioning of ecosystem services, but transitioning to diversified systems will expose certain tradeoffs when contrasted with conventional methods. Anticipating and managing those tradeoffs is an important step toward the successful application of diversity to production agricultural systems.