Natural enemies and insect outbreaks in agriculture: A landscape perspective

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Natural enemies and insect outbreaks in agriculture: A landscape perspective

Publication Type:

Book Chapter

Source:

Insect Outbreaks, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, U.K., p.355-370 (2012)

Keywords:

Sustainability

Abstract:

In an early treatise on the use of insects for biological control in agriculture, the French scientist Paul Marchal noted that in modifying agricultural landscapes, humans frequently favor insect outbreaks (Marchal 1908). Moreover, he observed that to use natural enemies to prevent or suppress insect outbreaks we must not destroy them through inappropriate cultural practices. While significant progress in understanding these phenomena have been made in the intervening 100 years, insect ecologists and applied entomologists have yet to fully realize the potential of landscape management to suppress insect outbreaks in agriculture. In this chapter we summarize a modern understanding of the ways that natural enemies interact with landscape structure to reduce herbivore outbreaks, and outline approaches to managing landscapes to improve the reliability and effectiveness of this pest suppression service.