Effective on-farm biological control can slow the pace of deforestation and avert biodiversity loss. This is what an international team involving entomologists, conservation biologists, agro-ecologists and geographers* has just revealed.
The results of this study have been published in Communications Biology – Nature.
Biological control of invasive species is often perceived as an environmentally risky practice. Yet it can restore crop yields and ease agricultural pressure on the environment, while contributing to forest conservation. This is the conclusion of an article just published by an international team, which includes CIRAD, in Communications Biology – Nature. This paper illustrates the positive impacts of a biological control process implemented in Southeast Asia against the cassava mealybug, Phenacoccus manihoti (Hemiptera).
Expansion of the agricultural frontier is reduced after biological control
The cassava mealybug, which arrived in Thailand in 2009, caused a decline of almost 20% in yields of cassava, a crop grown on around 4 million ha in Southeast Asia. This triggered sharp increases in cassava prices and an expansion of crop surfaces, to the detriment of forests. Deforestation rates subsequently doubled, and even increased six-fold in the neighbouring countries. In 2010, the authorities introduced the host-specific parasitic wasp Anagyrus lopezi (Hymenoptera): the damage caused by the mealybug was reduced, the area needed for cassava crops contracted, and the pace of deforestation slowed.
“Thanks to almost real-time satellite imagery combined with statistical analyses, we have observed a 31-95% reduction in deforestation”, says Kris Wyckhuys, an agro-ecologist at the University of Queensland (Australia) and IPP-CAAS (China), and coordinator of the study. The scientists conclude that well-targeted biological control of crop pests increases yields and thereby avoids agricultural expansion and deforestation.
Biological control to preserve biodiversity
“This study confirms the importance of collaboration between conservation biologists and crop protection scientists in order to address the pest problems encountered by farmers” , says Kris Wyckhuys. Such agro-ecological approaches reconcile invasive species mitigation, biodiversity conservation and profitable farming. “By opting for biological control rather than pesticides, farmers defuse pest problems, enhance the profitability of their operations and concurrently become stewards of the environment”, says Jean-Philippe Deguine of CIRAD, co-author of the paper.
The Latest on: Biological control
via Google News
The Latest on: Biological control
The variable quality of metadata about biological samples used in biomedical experiments
on February 19, 2019 at 6:14 am
in an effort to tighten the quality control of the metadata submitted to those repositories going forward. As for existing metadata, we are discussing with the EBI and the NCBI teams mechanisms to cle... […]
Study: Benefits of Some Genetically Engineered Seeds Extend Beyond Pest Control
on February 18, 2019 at 11:27 am
It’s providing environmental benefits, too, according to a new study in the journal Biological Control. Genetically engineered seeds inserted with proteins from soil bacteria called Bacillus thuringie... […]
Uncovering a ‘smoking gun’ of biological aging
on February 18, 2019 at 6:39 am
“Determining biological age is a central step to understanding fundamental ... hypothesized that the rDNA is a “smoking gun” in the genomic control of aging and might harbor a previously unrecognized ... […]
Heliospectra's helioCORE™ Light Control System Recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers with a 2019 AE50 Award
on February 15, 2019 at 5:40 am
Heliospectra AB (publ) (OTCQB: HLSPY, FIRST NORTH: HELIO), a world leader in intelligent lighting technology for greenhouse and controlled plant growth environments, is proud to announce that their in... […]
Scientists Discover a New Biological Clock
on February 14, 2019 at 10:21 am
Lemos and the study’s lead author Meng Wang, think that the rDNA is a “smoking gun” in the genomic control of aging. They think it could harbor a previously unrecognized clock. To determine how fast o... […]
Uncovering a 'smoking gun' of biological aging clocks
on February 14, 2019 at 10:03 am
"Determining biological age is a central step to understanding ... hypothesized that the rDNA is a "smoking gun" in the genomic control of aging and might harbor a previously unrecognized clock. […]
Drones of Mass Destruction: Drone Swarms and the Future of Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons
on February 14, 2019 at 1:08 am
Chemical or biological attack drones might strike first to force adversary ... Drone swarm platforms need to effectively coordinate actions when broadly dispersed and require control systems for detec... […]
Sustainable fall armyworm control measures needed
on February 7, 2019 at 4:01 pm
Investment in the research on biological control such as the use of locally available natural FAW pest enemies like wasps is also encouraged. Because of the negative environmental impact of pesticide ... […]
Early action can help control flies in manure
on February 7, 2019 at 2:46 pm
“Without these, the other types of control options that are available really aren’t going to be quite as effective, either biological or chemical control.” Flies can survive in manure that is 50 to 70 ... […]
The physics underlying complex biological architectures
on February 7, 2019 at 1:20 pm
"Alison taught me that with any biological system ... for example, they can control the shapes that form. These plants tend to have pollen spores that are smoother and more spherical. […]
via Bing News