Supporting biological pest control with different agri-environment schemes

Biological pest control is a key ecosystem service in sustainable agriculture. In their latest research, Edina Török and colleagues investigated and evaluated the efficacy of two of the most popular agri-environment schemes (AES): organic farming and flower strips. Organic farming and flower strips both have features that are beneficial for the natural enemies of crop pests. Organic farming is considered to be an environmentally friendly … Continue reading Supporting biological pest control with different agri-environment schemes

Control de plagas a cambio de ayuda para anidar

This post is also available in English here En su última investigación, García y colaboradores evidencian que instalar cajas nido para aves insectívoras es una estrategia efectiva para incrementar el control de plagas en los cultivos de manzano de sidra de Asturias (España). Demostramos experimentalmente que los agricultores se benefician del incremento de control de plagas realizado por las aves insectívoras que anidan en sus … Continue reading Control de plagas a cambio de ayuda para anidar

Enhancing ecosystem services in apple orchards

This post is also available in Spanish here Sustainable agriculture can be achieved through farming systems that preserve ecosystem services. In their latest research, García and colleagues test the effectiveness of nest boxes in increasing pest control in cider apple orchards. Cider is an iconic product in the Asturias region of northern Spain, and cider apple growing is a key component of the region’s agricultural … Continue reading Enhancing ecosystem services in apple orchards

PODCAST: Forest restoration as a double-edged sword

In this podcast Simon Kärvemo discusses his paper ‘Forest restoration as a double-edged sword: the conflict between biodiversity conservation and pest control’ published today in Journal of Applied Ecology. Forest fires create open patches and dead wood – both factors that favour biodiversity, but using fire as a restoration tool is both risky and requires a lot of work and planning. What if we could … Continue reading PODCAST: Forest restoration as a double-edged sword

The rise and fall of a simple solution

In this post Anna-Sara Liman discusses her recent paper ‘Predator refuges for conservation biological control in an intermediately disturbed system: the rise and fall of a simple solution‘ The first so called willow “energy forests” were planted in Sweden (and the UK) in the early nineties and represent among the first steps towards development of a bioenergy sector and a future bioeconomy. Willows are fast-growing … Continue reading The rise and fall of a simple solution

The ecology behind mosquito–Wolbachia interactions: implications for a novel strategy for biocontrol of arboviruses

In this post Penelope Hancock discusses her paper ‘Density-dependent population dynamics in Aedes aegypti slow the spread of wMel Wolbachia‘ published in Issue 53:3 today. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the primary vector of dengue and zika, are the current target of a novel biocontrol strategy involving Wolbachia bacteria. Mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia are less able to transmit viruses to humans. Releases of Wolbachia bacteria into field … Continue reading The ecology behind mosquito–Wolbachia interactions: implications for a novel strategy for biocontrol of arboviruses

Applying fertilizer? Don’t forget about pollination

In this post Stijn van Gils discusses his paper with Wim van der Putten and David Kleijn. ‘Can above-ground ecosystem services compensate for reduced fertilizer input and soil organic matter in annual crops?’ You can also read this post in Dutch. Farmers often try to increase yield directly through ploughing, and the addition of fertilizers and agro-chemicals. Yield, however, is also affected by ecological interactions, … Continue reading Applying fertilizer? Don’t forget about pollination

A more natural method of biocontrol

In this post Associate Editor Yann Clough discusses a paper he recently handled by Mattias Jonsson and colleagues ‘Experimental evidence that the effectiveness of conservation biological control depends on landscape complexity’ Brassica crops worldwide are attacked by a range of herbivorous insects, and frequent insecticide use is common. New research shows that the natural biological control of pests can be achieved by establishing strips of … Continue reading A more natural method of biocontrol

Testing the effectiveness of multiple control methods for pest species

In this post Associate Editor Steven Vamosi discusses a paper he recently handled by Gareth D. Davies and J. Robert Britton ‘Assessing the efficacy and ecology of biocontrol and biomanipulation for managing invasive pest fish’ The threats to native biodiversity are manifold, with the “big three” generally agreed to be, in order of decreasing importance, habitat destruction (i.e. loss, degradation, fragmentation), introduced species, and overharvesting. … Continue reading Testing the effectiveness of multiple control methods for pest species

Natural vegetation and biocontrol in southern Africa

In this post Dominic Henri discusses his recent paper ‘Natural vegetation benefits synergistic control of the three main insect and pathogen pests of a fruit crop in southern Africa‘ You can also find a poster ‘Distance-dependent natural vegetation benefits to the biocontrol of multiple pests and pathogens in South Africa mango farms’ associated with the paper here. It is a widely held view among the … Continue reading Natural vegetation and biocontrol in southern Africa