Ecological engineering for IPM : from field to landscape

Ecological engineering for IPM: from field to landscape

Activity leader:

Graham BEGG (James Hutton Institute): Graham.Begg@hutton.ac.uk - 44 (0)1382 568817Photo: WUR   

Access to:

PUBLICATIONS

Objectives

This activity will

i) explore the ecological processes that underpin the response of pests to changes in habitat and

ii) design ecological engineering strategies based on the management of habitat to achieve pest suppression.

At the field scale, it will consider the action of soil microbes in suppressing pathogens, while at the farm scale the focus will be on the arthropod pests and their natural enemies. It will explore the response of these to existing management actions but in the detail necessary to derive new insight into the way these broad categories of pest respond and the mechanisms responsible. At the landscape scale, empirical and theoretical approaches will be combined to explore the response of pests to dynamic habitat mosaic that is presented by farmed landscapes.

Approach:

This research activity will focus on ecological engineering approaches to IPM through habitat manipulation at the field, farm and landscape scales. Experimental, observational, and theoretical approaches will be used to explore the ecological processes that underpin the response of pests to changes in habitat and to design ecological engineering strategies based on the management of habitat to achieve pest suppression. At the field scale the workpackage will consider the action of soil microbes in suppressing pathogens, while at the farm scale the focus will be on the arthropod pests and their natural enemies. It will explore the response of these to management actions in the detail necessary to derive new insight into the way these broad categories of pest respond and the mechanisms responsible. At the landscape scale, empirical and theoretical approaches will be combined to explore the response of pests to the dynamic habitat mosaic that is presented by farmed landscapes.

The research of this activity will address the key farming systems and regions of Europe with direct links to wheat-based, field vegetable and pomefruit systems. This close association with "Cropping systems" activities has been put in place to ensure the research of this research activity has the opportunity to address the existing and near term IPM requirements of EU farmers. This is complemented by the fundamental aspects of the research that will provide a deep understanding essential for the innovation of future IPM solutions across all farming systems.

Dissemination of the knowledge gained in this research activity will be actively pursued through the development of innovative IPM solutions that will include results and the publication of scientific and technical material. All three tasks will be elaborated in close interaction with the different "cropping systems" acitvities (Wheat-based rotations, Field vegetables, Pomefruit) to ensure that the intermediate and end-results of this research activity are implemented in the design-assessment-adjustment cycle of innovative IPM solutions

Description of Deliverables:

Meta-analysis of habitat based manipulation for conservation Biocontrol
Fill gaps in knowledge of conservation biocontrol processes leading to identification of novel strategies and novel deployments, i.e. to alternative farming systems.
ALREADY AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE IN PUBLICATIONS SECTION

Validated empirical model for the estimation and prediction of pest population response to local and regional landscape characteristics in wheat and orchard based farming systems
Empirical model describing the observed relationships between pests population levels and the landscape of contrasting (wheat and orchard based) farming systems.
ALREADY AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE IN PUBLICATIONS SECTION

Recommendations on the potential of cultivation methods to achieve pathogen soil suppression in wheat based farming systems
It will provide a comprehensive picture of the response of soil biota to the cultural and management aspects of existing and future innovations in wheat based rotations. It will establish the capacity to achieve disease suppression though these mechanisms
ALREADY AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE IN PUBLICATIONS SECTION

Verified spatially explicit model of pest dynamics in farming landscapes
Spatially explicit model of the dynamic interactions between pest populations and the composition and configuration of farming landscapes
ALREADY AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE IN PUBLICATIONS SECTION

Recommendation of manipulation of field margins to achieve pest suppression through conservation Biocontrol
A comprehensive understanding of the performance of field margin manipulation for conservation biocontrol with recommendations for applications to wheat, vegetable and pomefruit farming systems.
ALREADY AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE IN PUBLICATIONS SECTION

Landscape effects on pest populations and assemblages including recommendations for the design of pest suppressive landscapes for wheat and orchard based farming systems
Prediction of pest levels under alternative landscape and the design of pest-suppressive landscape characteristics for wheat and orchard based farming systems
ALREADY AVAILABLE ON THE WEBSITE IN PUBLICATIONS SECTION

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ 2007-2013) under the grant agreement n°265865- PURE