Biologically based methods for pest management in agriculture under changing climates : challenges and future directions
CITATION: Chidawanyika, F., Mudavanhu, P., & Nyamukondiwa, C. 2012. Biologically based methods for pest management in agriculture under changing climates : challenges and future directions. Insects, 3(4):1171-1189, doi:10.3390/insects3041171.
The original publication is available at http://www.mdpi.com
The current changes in global climatic regimes present a significant societal challenge, affecting in all likelihood insect physiology, biochemistry, biogeography and population dynamics. With the increasing resistance of many insect pest species to chemical insecticides and an increasing organic food market, pest control strategies are slowly shifting towards more sustainable, ecologically sound and economically viable options. Biologically based pest management strategies present such opportunities through predation or parasitism of pests and plant direct or indirect defense mechanisms that can all be important components of sustainable integrated pest management programs. Inevitably, the efficacy of biological control systems is highly dependent on natural enemy-prey interactions, which will likely be modified by changing climates. Therefore, knowledge of how insect pests and their natural enemies respond to climate variation is of fundamental importance in understanding biological insect pest management under global climate change. Here, we discuss biological control, its challenges under climate change scenarios and how increased global temperatures will require adaptive management strategies to cope with changing status of insects and their natural enemies.