Agroecology pp 70-82 | Cite as

Diversification of Agroecosystems for Insect Pest Regulation: Experiments with Collards

  • Miguel A. Altieri
  • David L. Glaser
  • Linda L. Schmidt
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 78)


Many studies have been conducted on agricultural systems to test the hypothesis that increased vegetational diversity fosters stability in the insect community. In a recent review of the available world literature, Andow (1983) found that in a total of 617 examples, the population densities of 66% of the monophagous herbivores studied decreased in the diversified system when compared to the corresponding monoculture. Many studies reported that predator and parasite diversity and abundance paralleled an increase in plant diversity. Others reported that the associated plant species had direct effects on the ability of herbivores to find and utilize their host plants (Table 5.1).


Ground Beetle International Rice Research Institute Vegetational Diversity Flea Beetle Aphid Density 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altieri, M.A., J.W. Todd, E.W. Hauser, M. Patterson, G.A. Buckman, and R.H. Walker. 1981. Some effects of weed management and row spacing on insect abundance in soybean fields. Protection Ecology. 3: 339–343.Google Scholar
  2. Altieri, M.A., and J.W. Todd. 1981. Some influences of vegetational diversity on insect communities of Georgia soybean fields. Protection Ecology 3: 333–338.Google Scholar
  3. Altieri, M.A., and W.H. Whitcomb. 1980. Weed manipulation for insect pest management in corn. Environ. Manage. 4: 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Altieri, M.A., and W.H. Whitcomb. 1979. The potential use of weeds in the manipulation of beneficial insects. Hort. Science. 14: 12–18.Google Scholar
  5. Altieri, M.A., A. Schoonhoven, and J.D. Doll. 1977. The ecological role of weeds in insect pest management systems: A review illustrated with bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) cropping systems. Pest Articles and News Summaries (PANS). 23: 185–206.Google Scholar
  6. Altieri, M.A., C.A. Francis, A. Schoonhoven, and J. Doll. 1978. Insect prevalence in bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and maize (Zea mays) polycultural systems. Field Crops Research. 1: 33–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Altieri, M.A., and L.L. Schmidt. 1985. Population trends and feeding preferences of flea beetles (Phyllotreta cruciferae) in collard-wild mustard mixtures. Crop Protection. 4: 201–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Altieri, M.A., and D.K. Letourneau. 1982. Vegetation management and biological control in agroecosystems. Crop Protection. 1: 405–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Altieri, M.A., and D.K. Letourneau. 1984. Vegetation diversity and insect pest outbreaks. CRC Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences. 2: 131–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Altieri, M.A., and S.R. Gliessman. 1983. Effects of plant diversity on the density of the flea beetle, Phyllotreta cruciferae, in California collard, Brassica oleracea, cropping systems. Crop Protection. 2: 497–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Andow, D. 1983. Plant diversity and insect populations in experimental agroecosystems: Interactions among beans, insects and weeds. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Bach, C.E. 1980. Effects of plant density and diversity on the population dynamics of a specialist herbivore, the striped cucumber beetle, Acalymma vittatta (Fab.). Ecology. 61: 1515–1530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bobb, M.L. 1939. Parasites of the oriental fruit moth in Virginia. J. Econ. Entomol. 32: 605–607.Google Scholar
  14. Chumakova, B.M. 1960. Supplementary feeding as a factor increasing the activity of parasites of harmful insects. Trud. vsesoyumm. Inst. Zashch. Rast. 57–70.Google Scholar
  15. Cromartie, W.J. 1981. The environmental control of insects using crop diversity. In CRC Handbook of Pest Management in Agriculture, edited by D. Pimentel. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc.Google Scholar
  16. Dempster, J.P. 1969. Some effects of weed control on the numbers of the small cabbage white (Pieris rapae L.) on brussels sprouts. J. Appl. Ecol. 6: 339–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dempster, J.P., and T.H. Coaker. 1974. Diversification of crop ecosystems as a means of controlling pests. In Biology in Pest and Disease Control, edited by D.P. Jones and M.E. Solomon. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Dickler, E. 1978. Influence of beneficial arthropods on the codling moth in an orchard with green covered and cultivated soil. Joint FAO/IAEA and IOBC/ WPRS meeting, Heidelberg, Germany.Google Scholar
  19. Feeny, P. 1976. Plant apparency and chemical defense. Recent Adv. Phytochem. 10: 1–49.Google Scholar
  20. Gliessman, S.R., and M.A. Altieri. 1982. Polyculture cropping has its advantages. Calif. Agric. 36: 14–16.Google Scholar
  21. Horn, D.J. 1981. Effect of weedy backgrounds on colonization of collards by green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, and its major predators. Environ. Entomol. 10: 285–289.Google Scholar
  22. Kareiva, P. 1982. Exclusion experiments and the competitive release of insects feeding on collards. Ecology. 63: 696–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kareiva, P. 1983. Influence of vegetation texture on herbivore populations: Resource concentration and herbivore movement. In Variable Plants and Herbivores in Natural and Managed Systems, edited by R. Renno. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kjaer, A. 1976. Glucosinolates in the Cruciferae. In The Biology and Chemistry of the Cruciferae, edited by J.G. Vaughn and A.J. MacLeod. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  25. Leius, K. 1967. Influence of wild flowers on parasitism of tent caterpillar and codling moth. Can. Entomol. 99: 444–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Marcovitch, S. 1935. Experimental evidence on the value of strip cropping as a method for natural control of injurious insects, with special reference to plant lice. J. Econ. Entomol. 28: 62–70.Google Scholar
  27. O’Connor, B.A. 1950. Premature nutfall of coconuts in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. Agric. J. 21: 1–22.Google Scholar
  28. Peppers, B.B., and B.F. Driggers. 1934. Non-economic insects as intermediate hosts of parasites of the oriental fruit moth. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 27: 593–598.Google Scholar
  29. Perrin, R.M. 1977. Pest management in multiple cropping systems. Agro-Ecosystems. 3: 93–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Peterson, A. 1926. Oriental fruit damage in cultivated and uncultivated orchards. Proc. Ann. Meeting, New Jersey State Hort. Soc. 3: 83–86.Google Scholar
  31. Pimentel, D. 1961. Species diversity and insect population outbreaks. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Amer. 54: 76–86.Google Scholar
  32. Raros, R.S. 1973. Prospects and problems of integrated pest control in multiple cropping. International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Saturday Seminar, Los Banos, Philippines.Google Scholar
  33. Risch, S.J. 1981. Insect herbivore abundance in tropical monocultures and polycultures: An experimental test of two hypotheses. Ecology. 62: 1325–1340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Risch, S.J. 1980. The population dynamics of several herbivorous beetles in a tropical agroecosystem: The effect of intercropping corn, beans and squash in Costa Rica. J. Appl. Ecol. 17: 593–612.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Risch, S. 1979. A comparison, by sweep sampling, of the insect fauna from corn and sweet potato monocultures and dicultures in Costa Rica. Oecologia. 42: 195–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Root, R.B. 1973. Organization of a plant-arthropod association in simple and diverse habitats: The fauna of collards (Brassica oleracea). Ecol Monogr. 43: 95–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ryan, J., M. Ryan, and F. McNaeidhe. 1980. The effect of interrow plant cover on populations of the cabbage root fly Delia brassicae. J. Appl. Ecol. 17: 31–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Smith, J.G. 1976a. Influence of crop background on natural enemies of aphids on brussels sprouts. Ann. Appl. Biol. 83: 15–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Smith, J.G. 1976b. Influence of crop background on aphids and other phytophagous insects on brussels sprouts. Ann. Appl Biol. 83: 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Speight, H.R., and J.H. Lawton. 1976. The influence of weed cover on the mortality imposed on artificial prey by predatory ground beetles in cereal fields. Oecologia. 23: 211–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Steinsiek, J.W., L.R. Oliver, and F.C. Collins. 1982. Allelopathic potential of wheat straw on selected weed species. Weed Sci. 30: 495–497.Google Scholar
  42. Syme, P.D. 1975. The effects of flowers on the longevity and fecundity of two native parasites of the european pine shoot moth in Ontario. Environ. Entomol. 4: 337–340.Google Scholar
  43. Tahvanainen, J.C., and R.B. Root. 1972. The influence of vegetational diversity on the population of a specialized herbivore Phyllotreta cruciferae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Oecologia. 10: 321–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Telenga, N.A. 1958. Biological control of field and forest pests in U.S.S.R. (in Russian). 9th Inter. Conf. Quarantine and Plant Protection, Moscow.Google Scholar
  45. Theunissen, J., and H. den Ouden. 1980. Effects of intercropping with Spergula arvensis on pests of brussels sprouts. Entomol. Exp. & Appl. 27: 260–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Turnbull, A.L. 1973. The ecology of the true spiders. Ann. Rev. of Entomol. 18: 305–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. van Emden, H.F. 1977. Insect-pest management in multiple cropping systems-a strategy. In Proc. Symp. on Cropping Systems Research and Development for the Asian Rice Farmer, IRRI.Google Scholar
  48. van Emden, H.F., and G.F. Williams. 1974. Insect stability and diversity in agro-ecosystems. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 19: 455–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel A. Altieri
  • David L. Glaser
  • Linda L. Schmidt

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations