Biological Control / Edition 1

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This text provides readers with an in-depth exploration of how biological control functions and how it can be safely employed to solve pest problems and enhance nature conservation. It covers the principles behind biological control techniques and their implementation, and incorporates practical examples from the biological control of a variety of pests. It contains detailed chapters on conserving natural enemies through environmental management, importation of new natural enemies for control of pests, augmentation of natural enemies through rearing and release, and the development and application of pathogens and biopesticides.
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Editorial Reviews

This comprehensive text for students and resource guide for environmentalists, agriculturalists, and policy administrators, provides extensive coverage on how biological control functions and can be safely used to solve pest problems, enhancing nature conservation. Driesche (entomology, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Bellows (entomology, U. of California, Riverside) cover: the origins and scope of biological control, a review of organisms employed as agents, methods of implementation, evaluation and integration into pest management systems, natural enemy biology, and special chapters on grower education, government policy, and nature conservation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
'...this two authored book attempts to cover the full range of biological control topics for beginners and does so in a unified manner... useful tables and graphs throughout.'
Florida Entomologist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780412028618
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/29/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 1.25 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Pest Origins, Pesticides And The History Of Biological Control

Human Needs And The Origins Of Pests

The human population is large and still expanding. To gain more farmland, native ecosystems are being rapidly converted to human use, destroying forests, soil, and native plants and animals. To produce sufficient food, commercial and subsistence farming systems must be highly productive, but sustainable and nonpolluting. However, to preserve the world for the future, space must be left for wild animals and wild places. To do both of these things is the great challenge of the early twenty-first century. Part of the solution to this problem is biological control, the foundation on which sustainable, nonpolluting pest control for tomorrow's farms must be built.

Where do pests come from? Some pests are created because of how we grow crops. Crop defenses such as toughness or repellent compounds are decreased by selection. Crops are grown in large patches, with uniform planting and harvesting schedules. These practices have potential to reduce plant defenses against herbivores. Other pests arise because movement of organisms around the world creates new species combinations. Sometimes, local herbivores adopt crop species that are introduced into a country. In South Africa for example, 68% of 188 arthropod pests of 14 introduced crops are native species not previously in contact with the crops they now attack (Dennill and Moran 1989). In other cases, pest herbivores that attack crops accompany crop cultivars as stowaways when cultivars are moved to new locations. The natural enemies that suppress the herbivores, however, are likely to be left behind (Fig. 1.1), allowing herbivore populations to thrive in an enemy-free environment, reaching high, pest densities. Since 1850, the number of nonnative insect species in the United States has expanded over tenfold (Fig. 1.2). Of these, over 200 have become severe pests, and over 500 are lesser pests (Fig. 1.3). Origins of the adventive arthropods in the United States are discussed by Sailer (1983). In the United States, adventive species makes up 39% of the insect pests on crops, 27% of the insect pests of forests, 7% of the animal pests, 31% of the plant pathogens of vegetables, 73% of the weeds of cultivated crops, and 41% of the weeds of pastures (Pimentel 1993). Origins of many weeds are similar to those of pest arthropods in that many are adventive species no longer suppressed by specific herbivores. Unlike arthropods, however, many pest weeds are species deliberately introduced for various reasons (Foy et al. 1983).

Consideration of the origins of pests suggests that solutions for our pest problems lie in the modification of agriculture systems (where possible without loss of productivity) to conserve natural enemies of crop pests and in the reconnecting of herbivores with their natural enemies, where these have become separated. Methods to achieve these ends and to protect native species and ecosystems from the effects of aggressive adventive species, via conservation, augmentation, and introduction of natural enemies, are the subjects of this book.

Problems With Pesticides

Chemical pesticides are commonly used for the control of many pests. In contrast to biological control methods, use of such pesticides does not require information on the ecological origins of pests. Pest suppression is achieved temporarily by killing (or for plant pathogens, preventing the growth of) as many members of the pest population as possible through repeated applications of chemical products, as needed. Worldwide pesticide use has increased twelvefold since the early 1950s (Fig. 1.4), and costs paid by farmers in the United States for pesticides increased sixfold between 1951 and 1976 (Eichers 1981). Chemical pesticides have proved effective in many cases, particularly in controlling weeds and plant diseases, but have been ineffective in others, for example, controlling cotton insects in many countries (Bottrell and Adkisson 1977). Some of the problems associated with using pesticides include failure of pest control, contamination of the environment, and damage to human health. Concern over these issues has prompted some countries to seek to reduce pesticide use.

Pesticides create pest control problems when they fail to control the target pest or when they create new pests. Resistance to pesticides is the main way in which pesticide use can lead to pest control failure. Resistance develops in pest populations through the differential survival of members of the pest population that best detoxify or avoid exposure to the pesticide. Over several generations, pest populations may develop that can no longer easily be killed by one or more pesticides. Since 1945, the number of insects, weeds, and, most recently, plant pathogens that have become resistant to pesticides has increased dramatically (Brent 1987) (Fig. 7.5).

Another way in which pesticide use can foster outbreaks of pests is the destruction of the target pest's natural enemies (Trichilo and Wilson 1993). Many pests and potential pests are held in check, at least partially, by various predacious, parasitic, pathogenic, or antagonistic species...

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Table of Contents

Preface. Section I: Origins and scope of biological control. Pest origins, pesticides and the history of biological control. Kinds of biological control targets, agents, and methods. Section II: A review of the organisms employed as agents of biological control. Parasitoids and predators of anthropods and molluscs. Pathogens and nematodes of arthropods, and pathogens of vertebrates. Herbivores and pathogens used for biological weed control. Biological control agents for plant pathogens. Section III: Methods for biological control implementation. Natural enemy conservation. Introduction of new natural enemies: principles. Introduction of new natural enemies: methods. Augmentation of parasitoids, predators, and beneficial herbivores. Augmentation of pathogens and nematodes. Methods for biological control of plant pathogens. Section IV: Evaluation and intergration. Natural enemy monitoring and evaluation. Intergration of biological control into pest management systems. Section V: Natural enemy biology. Biology of arthropod parasitoids and predators. Biology and dynamics of pathogens. Biology of weed control agents. Section VI: Additional topics. Population regulation theory and implications for biological control. The role of grower education in biological control. Government policy and biological control. Biological control in support of nature conservation. Future prospects. References cited. Index.
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