Connecting scales: Achieving in-field pest control from areawide and landscape ecology studies

  • Schellhorn N
  • Parry H
  • Macfadyen S
 et al. 
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Abstract

Areawide management has a long history of achieving solutions that target pests, however, there has been little focus on the areawide management of arthropod natural enemies. Landscape ecology studies that show a positive relationship between natural enemy abundance and habitat diversity demonstrate landscape-dependent pest suppression, but have not yet clearly linked their findings to pest management or to the suite of pests associated with crops that require control. Instead the focus has often been on model systems of single pest species and their natural enemies. We suggest that management actions to capture pest control from natural enemies may be forth coming if: (i) the suite of response and predictor variables focus on pest complexes and specific management actions; (ii) the contribution of “the landscape” is identified by assessing the timing and numbers of natural enemies immigrating and emigrating to and from the target crop, as well as pests; and (iii) pest control thresholds aligned with crop development stages are the benchmark to measure impact of natural enemies on pests, in turn allowing for comparison between study regions, and generalizations. To achieve pest controlwewill need to incorporate what has been learned from an ecological understanding of model pest and natural enemy systems and integrate areawide landscape management with in-field pest management

Author-supplied keywords

  • Ecosystem services
  • Entomophagous arthropods
  • Integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Natural enemies
  • Pest control
  • Predators and parasitoids

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