Conservation Biological Control of Arthropods using Artificial Food Sprays: Current Status and Future Challenges

Wade, M. R., Zalucki, M. P., Wratten, S. D. and Robinson, K. A. (2008) Conservation Biological Control of Arthropods using Artificial Food Sprays: Current Status and Future Challenges. Biological Control, 45 2: 185-199. doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2007.10.024

Author Wade, M. R.
Zalucki, M. P.
Wratten, S. D.
Robinson, K. A.
Title Conservation Biological Control of Arthropods using Artificial Food Sprays: Current Status and Future Challenges
Journal name Biological Control   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1049-9644
Publication date 2008-05-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2007.10.024
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 45
Issue 2
Start page 185
End page 199
Total pages 15
Place of publication United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject C1
960413 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
060808 Invertebrate Biology
Abstract The use of artificial food sprays to increase the abundance and impact of natural enemies of arthropod pests has been recognized for over 40 years. Nevertheless, artificial food sprays are applied in relatively few conservation biological control programs, possibly because of inconsistent performance. To consider this explanation, using a hierarchical classification approach ranging from altered foraging behavior at the simplest level to profitability of farm production at the highest level, we quantitatively reviewed 234 trials from 77 publications. The levels of assessment of food sprays most commonly found in the publications were the densities of arthropod pests (59 trials) and their natural enemies (124). Although the density of natural enemies increased in 108 of the 124 trials (or 87% of cases) and pest populations declined in 28 of the 59 trials (or 47%), increased profit was not demonstrated in the five trials where it was examined. The most commonly studied natural enemies belonged to the order Neuroptera (104 trials). Nevertheless, the parasitic Hymenoptera had the highest proportion of positive successes (56 of the 69 trials or 81%). Contrary to predictions, the likelihood of a successful result was not affected by the duration of food spray provision, management intensity, application frequency, or replenishment interval. However, success was more likely as spray concentration increased. When analyzed separately, the Coleoptera showed the greatest response to carbohydrates alone, such as honey and sucrose, compared with a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins. To achieve greater success with artificial food sprays, and therefore overcome a major impediment to their adoption, we contend that researchers should: (i) demonstrate greater success across several levels in the hierarchy, especially profit; (ii) consistently demonstrate success in field trials replicated across regions and years; and (iii) combine artificial food sprays with other compatible elements of an integrated pest management strategy. Until these outcomes are demonstrated, it is envisaged that artificial food sprays will form only a small part of future conservation biological control programs.
Keyword Artificial food supplements
Biological Control
Habitat manipulation
Integrated pest management
Plant-provided food
Plant-derived food
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2009 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
Ecology Centre Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 65 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 74 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 18 Nov 2008, 00:10:32 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences