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                                                 INTRODUCTION AND SCOPE OF

 

                                             BIOLOGICAL PEST CONTROL

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Economics

 

Important Terms

 

Exercises

 

References

            

             [Please refer also to:

              Selected Reviews  &

 

             Detailed Research ]

 

                   List of Indexes

Introduction

 

          From the 1900’s the partial, substantial and complete biological control of a large number of insects, mites, weeds and mammals has been attained in over 70 countries.  As an adjunct to other methods, it is safe, effective and usually permanent.  Emphasis on the biological control method can act to restore the erosion of the human environment by de-emphasizing such disruptive methods of pest control as some cultural practices, and notably the use of broad-spectrum pesticides.

 

          California took an early lead and continues to be one of the major centers for biological control work.  By 1961, approximately 1/3d of all the beneficial insects established in the continental United States had been introduced by California-based organizations. --- During the 1980's and early 1990's UC Riverside and Berkeley had maintained a total of about 18 full-time professional staff plus several emeriti, and about 10 research associates, and graduate students that varied from 10-20.

 

          On a national scale, the U. S. Department of Agriculture employs varying numbers (25-40) of entomologists in biological control work, depending on active programs.  On the world scene, it is estimated that there have been aver 300 entomologists engaged in classical practical biological control work in any one year.  This does not include persons engaged in fundamental research only.

 

Economics

 

Some examples of individual projects give fairly accurate figures for the damage caused by a pest of and the cost of biological control work as follows:

 

Permanent control of the coconut scale, Aspidiotus destructor, on the Portuguese Island of Principe off the west coast of Africa was achieved by the introduction of the coccinellid predator Cryptognatha nodiceps from Trinidad in 1955.  Losses in copra production, the principal crop of Principe, caused by the coconut scale were estimated at 900 tons annually, which was then worth about #72,000 (English pounds).  At a cost of #200, Cryptognatha was collected and shipped to Principe by the CIBC, which also supplied an entomologist who for one year bred the predator, supervised its release, establishment and spread, etc. at an additional cost of #3,500.  The total cost of this project, therefore, was about #3,700.  The financial return from the complete control has been about #1,000,000 as of 1970, or a 1,800% return per annum.  Not a bad investment!

 

Introduced natural enemies have very successfully controlled the sugar cane moth borers, Diatraea spp., in certain areas of the West Indies and South America.  For example, in Antigua the cost of liberations of Lixophaga diatraeae during 1931 and 1945 was about #8.500.  The case return from this project in terms of increased sugar at the factory and increased yields in the field has been about #16,000 annually since 1934, or about 200% per annum and about #552,000 to 1961.  The later acquisition of Apanteles flavipes Cameron from India further increased the magnitude of biological control so that savings soared beyond this level.  On the island of St. Kitts, where permanent control was achieved, the total cost of introducing Lixophaga in 1934 was #200.  The resulting benefits have accrued to about #50,000/annum or #1,700,000 by 1970, a return of 15,000% per annum!

 

There are many other examples where estimates are not so simple.  Evaluation of the worth of many of the successes listed in Chapters 23 & 24 of the DeBach (1964) text is, unfortunately, impossible.   Chapter 1 of the DeBach (1964) shows a rough balance for biological control work carried out in California for the interval 1923-1959.  Considering a total budget outlay of about $4,300,000 against about $115,800,000 benefits realized from just five successful biological control projects, the citrophilous mealybug, the black scale, the grapeleaf skeletonizer, the spotted alfalfa aphid and the Klamath weed, it is obvious that the economic returns from funds invested have been of the nature that any businessman would consider extremely satisfactory.  An estimate of the present benefits being derived from these five successes is about $10,500,000 annually, not to mention the reduction of pesticidal threats to the environment.

 

It must be kept in mind that many more than five successes are registered, but economic data is difficult to derive.  However, this does indicate that biological control, though by no means a panacea for all our pest problems can be a sound investment and extremely profitable venture.

 

Important Terms

 

Natural Enemies (predators, parasitoids, pathogens, parasites.  Organisms that prey upon other organisms, parasitize them, or cause disease).  Predators are organisms that consume more than one host individual or prey during the course of their development.  Predators are usually free-living in all stages except the egg stage.  They kill and consume their prey either immediately or within a relatively short period of time.  Some predators feed indiscriminately upon various developmental stages and kinds of prey; other are more selective.  Parasites are organisms that live within the body of their hosts without killing the host, but usually debilitating them to various degrees.  Parasitoids are insects that reach maturity by developing upon a single host individual, eventually killing same.  Three insect orders contain many species that have adopted the parasitoidal habit, namely Hymenoptera, Diptera and Strepsiptera, with Hymenoptera being the largest representative.  Pathogens include viruses, bacteria, protozoa, fungi and nematodes.  They cause diseases of arthropods.

 

Biological Control is a term that has been used both in a fundamental ecological sense and in the utilitarian sense to designate a field of human endeavor.  Originally, the term was defined for use in the applied sense.  Biological control can be considered a phase of natural control or limitation.  Natural Control is the balance of nature, natural balance, population balance or what Darwin called "the struggle for existence."  Natural control has also been considered as "The maintenance of a fluctuating population density of an organism with certain definable upper and lower limits over a protracted period of time, by the action of abiotic and biotic environmental factors."

 

If we plot the density of any organism (D) against time (T), we see that over a protracted period of time its population density will fluctuate within certain limits and about a characteristic mean density, that of its general equilibrium level.

 

Natural control is essentially permanent in the absence of gross permanent environmental changes.  It is characteristic of all plant and animal populations on the face of the earth.  Therefore, "biological control" can be considered as representing the action of natural enemies (biotic factors) in maintaining another organism's population density at a lower average level than would occur in the absence. 

 

In 1919, Harry Scott Smith <PHOTO> first used the term biological control to denote "the utilization of organisms for the control of population densities of animals and plants."  Since then many definitions have been offered, generating considerable discussion and argument.  Some expand the meaning to cover such things as breeding resistant plants and genetic engineering.

 

An extreme case was presented by Pollard in the 1966 Bulletin Entomological Society of America:  "Parasites, predators, viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, pathogens, birds, mice, skunks, fish.....heat, light, sound, genetics, metabolism, X-rays, laser beams, chemosterilants, nutrition, attractants, sex lures, gamma irradiation, diapause and ecology.

 

The International Biological Program gave the simplest definition:  "Using biota to control biota."  Dr. Jost M. Franz <PHOTO> of the Institut für Biologische Schädlingsbekämpfung offered the following modification of Smith's definition in his 1961 text:  "Biological control denotes the active manipulation of antagonistic organisms by man to reduce pest population densities, both plant and animal, to non-economically important levels."

 

Autocidal Control is the mass release of artificially sterilized or genetically inferior individuals which are used to inundate and possibly eradicate geographically isolated pest populations.

 

Other Controls include chemical, cultural, resistant varieties of crops and legislative control (quarantine)

 

The modern approach to pest control considers, and in various ways utilizes, all of the eight kinds of control.  As a result we have gravely suffered in the execution of the classical approach in that only a fraction of the control research funds has been spent on it during the past several decades.  Hopefully we are entering a new era of awareness and will elevate the classical approach to a higher priority, since history shows that it nest the greatest permanent effects in pest control.

 

 

Exercises:

 

Exercise 1.1--  Is the biological control approach cost effective?  Explain.

 

Exercise 1.2-- Name and describe four kinds of natural enemy.

 

Exercise 1.3-- What is natural control?  Biological control?

 

Exercise 1.4-- What is the modern approach to pest control?

 

 

REFERENCES        [Additional references may be found at  MELVYL Library ]

 

Aliniazee, M. T. & B. A. Croft.  1999.  Biological control in deciduous fruit crops.  1999. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 28, 743-759, Handbook of Biological Control:   Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Altieri, M. A. & C. I. Nicholls.  1999.  Classical biological control in Latin America:  past, present and future. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 39, p. 975-991, Handbook  of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Bellows, T. S.  1999.  Controlling soil-borne plant pathogens.  1999. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 26, p. 699-711, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and  Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Bellows, T. S.  1999.  Foliar, flower and fruit pathogens.  1999. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 32, p. 841-851, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and  Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Bellows, T. S.  1999.  Whither, hence, prometheus?  The future of biological control. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 1011-1015, Handbook of Biological Control:Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Bellows, T. S. & T. W. Fisher (eds.).  1999. Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Bellows, T. S. & D. H. Headrick.  1999.  Arthropods and vertebrates in biological control of plants. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 17, p. 505-515, Handbook of  Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Bellows, T. S. & R. G. Van Driesche.  1999.  Life table construction and analysis for evaluating biological control agents. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 8, p. 199 223.,  Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Cooper, B.  1999.  Genetic mechanisms for engineering host resistance to plant viruses.  1999. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 20, p. 557-573, Handbook of Biological  Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Dahlsten, D. L. & R. D. Hall.  1999.  Biological control of insects in urban environments. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 36, p. 919-933, Handbook of Biological  Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Dahlsten, D. L. & N. J. Mills.  1999.  Biological control of forest insects. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 29, p. 761-787, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles  and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

DeBach, P. (ed.).  1964.  Biological Control of Insect Pests and Weeds.  Reinhold Publ. Co., New York.  844 p.

 

Dodds, J. A.  Cross-protection and systemic acquired resistance for control of plant diseases. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 19, p. 549-555, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Elzen, G. W. & E. G. King.  1999.  Periodic release and manipulation of natural enemies. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 11, p. 253-269, Handbook of Biological  Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

264. Etzel, L. K. & E. F. Legner.  1999.  Culture and Colonization.  In:  T. W. Fisher & T. S. Bellows, Jr. (eds.), Chapter 15, p. 125-197, Handbook of Biological Control:   Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, CA  1046 p.

 

Federici, B. A.  1999.  A perspective on pathogens as biological control agents for insect pests.  1999. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 18, p. 517-547, Handbook of  Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Federici, B. A.  1999.  Bacillus thuringiensis in biological control.  1999. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 21, p. 575-592, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles  and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Flaherty, D. L. & L. T. Wilson.  1999.  Biological control of insects and mites on grapes. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 33, p. 853-869, Handbook of Biological  Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Franz, J. M.  1961.  Biologische Schädlingsbekämpfung.  Paul Parey, Berlin & Hamburg.  302 p.

 

Fulbright, D. W.  1999.  Hypovirulence to control fungal pathogenesis.  1999. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 25, p. 691-697, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

 Garcia, R. & E. F. Legner.  1999.  Biological control of medical and veterinary pests. In:  T. W. Fisher & T. S. Bellows, Jr. (eds.), Chapter 15, p. 935-953, Handbook of Biological   Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, CA  1046 P.

 

Goeden, R. D.  & L. A. Andrés.  1999.  Biological control of weeds in terrestrial and aquatic environments. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 34, p. 871-889, Handbook of  Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Gordh, G. & J. W. Beardsley.  Taxonomy and Biological Control.  1999.  In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher, Jr. (eds.), Chapter 3, p. 45-55, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles  and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Gordh, G., E. F. Legner & L. E. Caltagirone.  1999.  Biology of parasitic Hymenoptera.  In:  T. W. Fisher & T. S. Bellows, Jr. (eds.),  Chapter 15, p. 355-381, Handbook of  Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, CA  1046 p.

 

Greathead, D. J. (ed.).  A Review of Biological Control in Western and Southern Europe.  Tech. Commun. No. 7, Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, Farnham Royal, Slough SL2 3BN, England.   182 p.

 

Gutierrez, A. P., L. E. Caltagirone & W. Meikle.  1999.   Evaluation of Results.  In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 10, p. 243-251, Handbook of Biological Control Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Hoddle, M. S.  1999.  Biological control of vertebrate pests. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 38, p. 955-973, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Johnson, M. W. & B. E. Tabashnik.  1999.  Enhanced biological control through pesticide selectivity. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 13, p. 297-317, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Kennett, C. E., J. A. McMurtry & J. W. Beardsley.  1999.  Biological control in subtropical and tropical crops. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 713-741, Handbook of  Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Kogan, M., D. Gerling & J. V. Maddox.  1999.  Enhancement of biological control in annual agricultural environments. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 30, p. 789 817,  Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

 Legner, E. F.  1995.  Biological control of Diptera of medical and veterinary importance.  J. Vector Ecology 20(1): 59-120.

 

 Legner, E. F.  2000.  Biological control of aquatic Diptera.  p. 847-870.  Contributions to a Manual of Palaearctic Diptera, Vol. 1, Science  Herald, Budapest.  978 p.

 

 Legner, E. F. & T. S. Bellows, Jr..  1999.  Exploration for natural enemies.  In:  T. W. Fisher & T. S. Bellows (eds.), Chapter 15, p. 87- 101., Handbook of Biological Control: Principles  and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, CA  1046 p.

 

Letourneau, D. K. & M. A. Altieri.  1999.  Environmental management to enhance biological control in agroecosystems. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 14, p. 319 353,  Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Luck, R. F., L. Nunney & R. Stouthamer.  1999.  Sex ratio and quality in the culturing of parasitic Hymenoptera:  a genetic and evolutionary perspective. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher  (eds.), Chapter 23, p. 653-671, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Nicholson, A. J.  1933.  The balance of animal populations.  J. Anim. Ecol. Suppl. 2:  132-78.

 

Parrella, M. P., L. Stengård Hansen & Joop Van Lenteren.  1999,.  Glasshouse environments. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 31, p. 819-839, Handbook of Biological  Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Perkins, J. H. & R. Garcia.  1999.  Social and economic factors affecting research and implementation of biological control. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 40, p. 993-1009,  Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Pimentel, D.  1966e.  Beneficial insects.  Ecology (1966).  p. 162-63.

 

Rosskopf, E. N., R. Charudattan & J. B. Kadir.  1999.  Use of platn pathogens in weed control. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 35, p. 891-917, Handbook of Biological  Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Simmonds, F. J.  1967.  The economics of biological control.  J. Roy. Soc. Arts 115:  880-98.

 

Smith, H. S.  1919.  On some phases of insect control by the biological method.  J. Econ. Ent. 12:  288-92.

 

Smith, H. S.  1929.  Multiple parasitism:  its relation to the biological control of insect pests.  Bull. Ent. Res. 20:  141-49.

 

Smith, H. S.  1935.  The role of biotic factors in the determination of population densities.  J. Econ. Ent. 28:  873-98.

 

Tabashnik, B. E. & M. W. Johnson.  1999.  Evolution of pesticide resistance in natural enemies. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 24, p. 673-689, Handbook of Biological  Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Taylor, T. H. C.  1955.  Biological control of insect pests.  Ann. Appl. Biol. 112:  190-196.

 

Thompson, S. N. & K. S. Hagen.  1999.  nutrition of entomophagous insects and other arthropods. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 22, p. 594-651, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Unruh, T. R. & J. BV. Woolley.  1999.  Molecular methods in classical biological control.  In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Chapter 4, p. 57-85, Handbook of Biological Control: Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.

 

Whitten, M. J. & M. J. Hoy.  1999.  Genetic improvement and other genetic considerations for improving the efficacy and success rate of biological control. In:  T. S. Bellows & T. W. Fisher  (eds.), Chapter 12, p. 271-295, Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p.