, Volume 25, Issue 6, pp 825-838
Date: 19 May 2010

Designing agricultural landscapes for natural pest control: a transdisciplinary approach in the Hoeksche Waard (The Netherlands)

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Abstract

The green–blue network of semi-natural non-crop landscape elements in agricultural landscapes has the potential to enhance natural pest control by providing various resources for the survival of beneficial insects that suppress crop pests. A study was done in the Hoeksche Waard to explore how generic scientific knowledge about the relationship between the spatial structure of the green–blue network and enhancement of natural pest control can be applied by stakeholders. The Hoeksche Waard is an agricultural area in the Netherlands, characterized by arable fields and an extensive network of dikes, creeks, ditches and field margins. Together with stakeholders from the area the research team developed spatial norms and design rules for the design of a green–blue network that supports natural pest control. The stakeholders represented different interests in the area: farmers, nature and landscape conservationists, water managers, and local and regional politicians. Knowledge about the spatial relationship among beneficial insects, pests and landscape structure is incomplete. We conclude that to apply scientific knowledge about natural pest control and the role of green–blue networks to stakeholders so that they can apply it in landscape change, knowledge transfer has to be transparent, area specific, understandable, practical and incorporate local knowledge.