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Research Project: Biological Control of Invasive Wood-Boring Insect Pests such as Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorned Beetle

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Title: Environmental Impacts of Arthropod Biological Control: An Ecological Perspective

item JENNINGS, DAVID - University Of Maryland
item Duan, Jian
item Follett, Peter

Submitted to: Pest Management within the Environment
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2016
Publication Date: 8/30/2017
Citation: Jennings, D.E., Duan, J.J., Follett, P.A. 2017. Environmental Impacts of Arthropod Biological Control: An Ecological Perspective. In: Coll M. and Wajnberg E. (eds). Pest Management within the Environment, 2017, John Wiley Sons, Ltd, Chester, United Kingdom.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Arthropod biological control has long been used against insect and mite pests in agriculture production systems, forests, and other natural ecosystems. Depending on the methods of deploying natural enemies and the type of control agents (herbivores, parasitoids, and/or predators), potential environmental impacts of this pest control technology in ecosystems affected by invasive species may vary. Conservation biological control, involving deployment of various methods to conserve and enhance naturally occurring native herbivores, parasitoids, and/or predators has minimal negative impacts on the environment and ecological services. In contrast, classical biological control, involving introduction and establishment of specialized non-native natural enemies, can sometimes lead to unexpected ecological consequences in the targeted ecosystem. The risk of augmentative and inundative releases of natural enemies will depend on the host specificity of the agents involved. All types of biological control result in increased numbers of natural enemies, and, in the case of classical biocontrol, an introduced natural enemy can potentially develop new associations with novel non-target hosts via host range expansion in its new environment. New associations can be discussed in terms of invasion biology and community ecology (e.g., top-down effects on the target pest). In this chapter, we analyze the community-and population-level processes typical of classical biological control, and assess their possible environmental impacts, particularly those associated with the planned introduction of non-native arthropod natural enemies to a new ecosystem. Risk analysis and assessment for different types of arthropod biocontrol are examined in the context of pest management. Two case studies are presented to assess their risks and benefits relative to other pest control methods such as no action, chemical control and mechanical control.