Biocontrol Science and Technology (2012) 22, 1442-1464

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Rakesh K. Gupta, Kuldeep Srivastava and Kamlesh Bali (2012)
An entomophage park to promote natural enemy diversity
Biocontrol Science and Technology 22 (12), 1442-1464
Abstract: Undisturbed habitats of natural vegetation near agricultural areas protect and enhance specific natural enemies and provide them with resources such as nectar, pollen, physical refuge, alternative prey, alternative hosts and mating sites. In order to reduce the pesticide-induced mortality of natural enemies and to improve natural enemy fitness and effectiveness, one such area (termed an `entomophage park ') was established at the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Jammu, at Chatha, India in 2007. Naturally occurring plants, weeds, cultivated crops and flowers were monitored regularly for natural enemies. Seven sampling methods were employed to compare the abundance of natural enemies in the entomophage park and adjoining crop fields. Both entomophage diversity and abundance in the park were much higher than in the adjacent agricultural fields of vegetables and cereals. A total of 61 species of natural enemies were recovered from the entomophage park, as compared to 22 and 20 species in cereal and vegetable fields, respectively. The abundance of parasitoids (ichneumonids, braconids, scelionids and chalcidoids) was significantly higher in the park as compared to surveyed agricultural fields, as was egg parasitism by scelionids (Telenomus spp.) and trichogrammatids, and parasitisation by the larval parasitoid Campoletis chlorideae on Helicoverpa armigera. The entomophage park also significantly enhanced the fecundity and survival of the ichneumonid C. chlorideae, when compared to individuals collected from vegetable and cereal fields. Seventeen species of plants were recorded as 'insectary plants' (one providing substantial floral resources) in the entomophage park. Such parks may play an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of natural enemies and enhancing natural pest control.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): R.K. Gupta

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Helicoverpa armigera India
Telenomus (genus - parasitoids) India
Trichogramma (genus - parasitoids) India
Campoletis chlorideae (parasitoid) Helicoverpa armigera India