The impact of field margins on biological pest control : a meta‑analysis

Crowther, Lucy and Wilson, Kenneth and Wilby, Andy (2023) The impact of field margins on biological pest control : a meta‑analysis. BioControl, 68 (4). pp. 387-396. ISSN 1386-6141

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Floral field margins are known to benefit invertebrate species diversity and abundance within agricultural landscapes, but variation in success limits widespread uptake. Understanding how variation within floral field margins can affect certain entomological groupings is lacking but would allow for a more individualised design of margins to enhance biological control. This meta-analysis aims to answer the question; do floral field margins benefit biological pest control over grassy field margins? We found that floral margins significantly benefit the natural enemy community and biological control services, relative to non-floral grass margins. We confirm that field mar-gin type is linked to higher abundance and diversity of natural enemies, lower numbers of herbivorous invertebrate pests, and reduced crop damage. We consider whether specific characterisations of natural enemies and pest communities vary between these margin types, finding key differences in the abundances of aerial and epigeal enemies, the diversity of parasitoid and predatory enemies and pest abundances found in naturally regenerating and sown floral field margins. The finding here cements the implementation of floral field margins as a legitimate control method for crop pests in the face of losses due to pesticides and high-lights design and management considerations for the success of floral margins.

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Journal Article
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Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? biological controlfloral field marginsnatural enemiesecosystem servicenatural regenerationyes - externally fundedinsect scienceagronomy and crop science ??
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13 Jul 2023 13:00
Last Modified:
14 Jun 2024 01:32