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      When natural habitat fails to enhance biological pest control – Five hypotheses

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          Habitat management to conserve natural enemies of arthropod pests in agriculture.

          Many agroecosystems are unfavorable environments for natural enemies due to high levels of disturbance. Habitat management, a form of conservation biological control, is an ecologically based approach aimed at favoring natural enemies and enhancing biological control in agricultural systems. The goal of habitat management is to create a suitable ecological infrastructure within the agricultural landscape to provide resources such as food for adult natural enemies, alternative prey or hosts, and shelter from adverse conditions. These resources must be integrated into the landscape in a way that is spatially and temporally favorable to natural enemies and practical for producers to implement. The rapidly expanding literature on habitat management is reviewed with attention to practices for favoring predators and parasitoids, implementation of habitat management, and the contributions of modeling and ecological theory to this developing area of conservation biological control. The potential to integrate the goals of habitat management for natural enemies and nature conservation is discussed.
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            Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming.

            An understanding of agroecosystems is key to determining effective farming systems. Here we report results from a 21-year study of agronomic and ecological performance of biodynamic, bioorganic, and conventional farming systems in Central Europe. We found crop yields to be 20% lower in the organic systems, although input of fertilizer and energy was reduced by 34 to 53% and pesticide input by 97%. Enhanced soil fertility and higher biodiversity found in organic plots may render these systems less dependent on external inputs.
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              Ecosystem service bundles for analyzing tradeoffs in diverse landscapes.

              A key challenge of ecosystem management is determining how to manage multiple ecosystem services across landscapes. Enhancing important provisioning ecosystem services, such as food and timber, often leads to tradeoffs between regulating and cultural ecosystem services, such as nutrient cycling, flood protection, and tourism. We developed a framework for analyzing the provision of multiple ecosystem services across landscapes and present an empirical demonstration of ecosystem service bundles, sets of services that appear together repeatedly. Ecosystem service bundles were identified by analyzing the spatial patterns of 12 ecosystem services in a mixed-use landscape consisting of 137 municipalities in Quebec, Canada. We identified six types of ecosystem service bundles and were able to link these bundles to areas on the landscape characterized by distinct social-ecological dynamics. Our results show landscape-scale tradeoffs between provisioning and almost all regulating and cultural ecosystem services, and they show that a greater diversity of ecosystem services is positively correlated with the provision of regulating ecosystem services. Ecosystem service-bundle analysis can identify areas on a landscape where ecosystem management has produced exceptionally desirable or undesirable sets of ecosystem services.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biological Conservation
                Biological Conservation
                Elsevier BV
                00063207
                December 2016
                December 2016
                : 204
                :
                : 449-458
                Article
                10.1016/j.biocon.2016.10.001
                e1ec4970-8eac-4eda-9d97-ec6a6f88c99b
                © 2016
                History

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