Arthropod pest management in organic crops

Geoff Zehnder, Geoff Gurr, Stefan Kühne, Mark, R. Wade, Steve Wratten, Eric Wyss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

416 Citations (Scopus)


Burgeoning consumer interest in organically produced foods has made organic farming one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture. This growth has not been supported adequately by rigorous research to address challenges such as arthropod pest management. The research that has been conducted, however, is complemented by research in aspects of conventional agriculture that may have applicability in organic systems, as well as by research in underpinning fields such as applied ecology. This article synthesizes the available literature in relation to a conceptual model of arthropod pest management strategies suitable for organic systems. The present work uses the four phases of the model to review the strategies in an agroecological context and provides a synthesis of the factors that influence the success of each phase. Rather than constituting a fringe science, pest management research for organic systems draws on cutting edge science in fields such as landscape and chemical ecology and has a bright future.Acronyms and Definitions Classical biocontrol: intentional introduction of an exotic, usually coevolved, biological control agent for permanent establishment and long-term pest control Conservation biological control: modification of the environment or existing practices to protect and enhance specific natural enemies or other organisms to reduce the effect of pests HPR: host plant resistance IBC: integrated biological control IFOAM: International Federation of Organic Agriculture MovementsInoculation biocontrol: intentional release of a biological control agent with the expectation that it will multiply and control the pest for an extended period, but not permanently Inundation biocontrol: use of living organisms to control pests when control is achieved exclusively by the released organisms themselves
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-80
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007


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