Biodiversity enhancement and utilization – Pest control in brassicas

Henryk Luka, Guendalina Barloggio


In cabbage fields parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera) use the eggs or larvae of pest butterflies and moths for their own reproduction, ultimately killing them, playing an important role in the biological plant protection strategy. An efficient way to promote this parasitoids in the crop field is to provide them with flower strips as well as companion plants, e.g. cornflower (Centaurea cyanus), that will provide them with food (nectar) and shelter. Between 2007 and 2010 we conducted experiments to test the olfactory attractiveness of different flowers as well as the influence of their nectar on the regulation of the cabbage moth (Mamestra brassicae) as well as on the lifespan and parasitation performance of its antagonists (egg and larval parasitoids).

Keywords: functional biodiversity, cabbage, flowering plants, natural enemies

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