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Intraguild predation does not necessarily have negative effects on pest biological control: insights from a multiple consumer-multiple resource food web population model


We develop a food web population dynamic model based on an experimental pest biocontrol setup consisting of thrips and aphids (pests) being consumed by two agents Macrolophus pygmaeus Rambur (Hemiptera: Miridae) and Orius laevigatus (Fieber) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), and with O. laevigatus being an intraguild predator of M. pygmaeus. By means of numerical simulations, we show that pest biocontrol disruption can be avoided depending on initial population densities of pests and agents, despite the intraguild predation (IGP) of O. laevigatus upon M. pygmaeus. This possible avoidance of pest biocontrol disruption is in accordance with the referred experimental setup. Moreover, the proposed model corroborates the importance of initial densities of pests and control agents in the determination of the failure or success of pest biocontrol found in this and other biocontrol experimental setups.

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The authors acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions made by the reviewers on an earlier version of this work. Lucas dos Anjos was supported by a fellowship from the Institutional Training Program (PCI) from the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (MCTIC) (Grant Number: 301327/2020-3), and the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) (Grant Number: 2019/14834-7).

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Correspondence to Lucas dos Anjos.

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Costa, M.I.S., dos Anjos, L. Intraguild predation does not necessarily have negative effects on pest biological control: insights from a multiple consumer-multiple resource food web population model. BioControl 67, 263–274 (2022).

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  • Greenhouse-crop system
  • Intraguild predation
  • Supplemental food input
  • Population dynamical model
  • Macrolophus pygmaeus
  • Orius laevigatus