Chapter

An Ecological and Societal Approach to Biological Control

Volume 2 of the series Progress in Biological Control pp 13-25

SOCIOECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE OF BIOLOGICAL CONTROL

  • Ingeborg Menzler-Hokkanen

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Abstract

The different approaches to biological control (see Eilenberg et al., 2001) and their applications for widely varying target situations provide a wealth of opportunities for economic and societal analysis. While some applications are attractive even to big business (e.g., biopesticides based on Bacillus thuringiensis), and can be considered from a strictly economic point of view as any other saleable product, many others have no commercial value at all, but can provide huge public benefits (e.g., classical biological control preventing national parks from being overrun by exotic weeds). Sometimes biological control can save an industry after chemical pesticides have failed, and often biological control can be integrated into a farming system to complement the actions of other control measures.