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Vegetational Designs to Enhance Biological Control of Insect Pests in Agroecosystems

Abstract

A key strategy in agroecology is to restore functional biodiversity in agroecosystems at field and landscape levels. Biodiversity performs essential ecological services, and, if correctly assembled in time and space, it can lead to agroecosystems capable of sponsoring their own crop protection. Diversity can be enhanced in crop fields by means of cover crops, intercropping, agroforestry, crop/livestock mixtures, and, in the surrounding landscapes, using shelterbelts, hedgerows, corridors, etc. Correct agroecosystem diversification strategies usually regulate pests by restoring the natural control of insect pests. This chapter provides a number of studies performed around the world, including Neotropical regions, about the effects of crop diversity on the enhancement of natural enemies and its impacts on the densities of herbivore pests in various crop systems.

Keywords

  • Agroecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Natural enemies
  • Natural pest regulation

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Correspondence to Miguel A. Altieri .

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Altieri, M.A., Nicholls, C.I. (2019). Vegetational Designs to Enhance Biological Control of Insect Pests in Agroecosystems. In: Souza, B., Vázquez, L., Marucci, R. (eds) Natural Enemies of Insect Pests in Neotropical Agroecosystems. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24733-1_1

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