Ecological engineering for rice pest suppression in China: A review

Pingyang Zhu, Xusong Zheng, Anne C. Johnson, Guihua Chen, Hongxing Xu, Facheng Zhang, Xiaoming Yao, Kongluen Heong, Zhongxian Lu, Geoff M. Gurr

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Ecological engineering for pest suppression aimed at promoting ecosystem services of biological control, involves a range of environmentally-benign approaches to conserve and promote arthropod natural enemies and suppress pest populations, and thus reduce the need for insecticide use. Major components in rice pest management involve providing vegetation that favors parasitoid overwintering during the fallow seasons, growing nectar-producing flowering plants on the rice bunds to enhance the biocontrol function, and planting trap plants around rice fields to minimize the initial populations of pests. Complementary tactics involve using sex pheromone traps and mass-releasing Trichogramma spp. parasitoids to reduce the densities of Lepidoptera pests, and synergistically culturing ducks or fish to reduce other planthoppers. After a decade of laboratory and field research accompanied by on-farm demonstrations, ecological engineering for rice pest management has shown growth in both the underlying body of theory and practical adoption, especially in China. Ecological engineering approaches have been listed as a China National Recommendation by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (MARA) since 2014. We feel this is worth documenting, especially because only a portion of that work has been reported in English-language journals so would otherwise remain “invisible” to the international scientific community. This study is the first time to systematically review the research that has allowed this rapid development and uptake in China, highlighting priorities for future research that will enhance the prospects for ecological engineering in this and other agricultural systems internationally.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalAgronomy for Sustainable Development
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

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