Ecological Insights into Factors Affecting the Non-Target Impact of Microbial Control Agents

  • Matt B. Thomas
  • Liam D. Lynch
Part of the Progress in Biological Control book series (PIBC, volume 1)


The current book covers a diversity of methods and approaches for evaluating environmental impacts of microbial insecticides. Though there are numerous specific problems and attributes which apply to the individual taxa discussed, there are a number of common features which characterise inundative biocontrol using microbial agents, and the risks associated with this. In this chapter we use some simple population models to explore some of these common features. Our intention was not to conduct an exhaustive analytical investigation of the range of ecological factors which can affect the outcome of particular host-pathogen interactions, but rather, to examine some general scenarios relevant to applications of microbial insecticides in the field. In particular we wished to use the models to illustrate how different features of host (both target and non-target) and pathogen biology, and use strategy can affect the extent of non-target impact of a biopesticide treatment. In this way we hope to begin to reveal how basic measures of non-target impact (as might be derived from simple lab assays) might be extended to understanding potential impact in the field, and how impact might be mitigated. Our aim was to be illustrative and raise some possibilities, rather than exhaustive.


Transmission Function Microbial Agent Equal Exposure Microbial Insecticide Microbial Control Agent 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matt B. Thomas
  • Liam D. Lynch

There are no affiliations available

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