Rice pest management by ecological engineering: A pioneering attempt in China

Zhong-Xian Lu, Ping-Yang Zhu, Geoffrey Gurr, Xu-Song Zheng, Guihua Cheng, Kong-Luen Heong

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Ecological engineering is a relatively new concept of environmental manipulation for the benefit of man and the environment. Recently, a pioneering attempt was made in China to see if rice insect pest problems could be solved through ecological engineering. Five years of experimentation at Jinhua, Zhejiang Province in eastern China involved habitat manipulation based on growing nectar producing flowering plants (preferably sesame) combined with trap plants on the rice bounds, reducing the intensity of pesticide use and nitrogenous fertilizers, and managing the vegetation in non-rice habitats including the rice-free season. These practices increased biodiversity in the ecosystem, significantly increased biological control of rice pests, and provided biological stability in the ecosystem. Experimentation with ecological engineering in China indicated that it offers immense opportunities to rice pest management using non-chemical methods leading to economic and environmental benefits. Ecological engineering is not a 'high-tech' approach so is simple and practical for rice farmers to implement. Having witnessed the benefits and utility of ecological engineering, the National Agriculture Technology Extension and Service Centre (NATESC) of Ministry of Agriculture has recommended it as the national rice pest management strategy in China.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRice planthoppers
Subtitle of host publicationEcology, management, socio economics and policy
EditorsKong Luen Heong, Jiaan Cheng, Monica M Escalada
Place of PublicationThe Netherlands
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789401795357
ISBN (Print)9789401795340
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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