Integrated Protection in Viticulture


The group was set up in 1974. It comprises approximately 120 active scientists.


The activities are organised within 3 subgroups:


The group meets as a whole every two years, whereas the subgroups can meet more frequently depending on the progress made by the participants.
The main research activities concern:

  • Biology of insects
  • Biological and biotechnical control methods
  • Spider mites – sucking insects – predacious mites – host plant interactions
  • Epidemiology of diseases and forecast modelling
  • Side effects of pesticides on beneficials
  • Rational use of herbicides and green covers
  • Biodiversity in viticulture

Watch the video, created as teaser for the Meeting 2019 in Vila Real, Portugal:


Creation of a network to observe and experiment parameters which govern epidemic developments of diseases. Validation of forecast models. Collaboration with ETIC (European Training in Integrated Crop Protection) for technology transfer. Establishment of IOBC guidelines for Integrated Production in viticulture.

The results of the working group’s activities are published in the IOBC-WPRS Bulletin:


viticulture, IPM, guidelines, pests, diseases, natural enemies, epidemiology, forecast, modelisation, side effects of pesticides, weed control, soil management

Multitrophic Interactions in Soil


This is a multidisciplinary group of over 70 scientists coming from over 15 countries. We meet every two years to discuss new developments integrated control of soil-borne diseases, nematodes and insects. Stress is placed having scientist representing a wide range of disciplines at the meetings so that a holistic view of the problems affecting the plant root system can be discussed. The working group was established in 1998 and works in close collaboration with the working group – Integrated control of fungal and bacterial plant pathogens.


Coordination of research activities is accomplished at biennial meetings of the group. The main research thrusts and interests are:

  • Estimation, isolation and identification of microbial agents for pest and disease control
  • improvement of bioassay tests for determination of control efficacy
  • technology designed to increase efficacy
  • biology and mode-of-action studies
  • mass rearing and formulation development
  • risk assessment
  • understanding the holistic nature of soil suppressiveness
  • management of the antagonistic potential in soils
  • solutions to industrial production of antagonists
  • integration of biological control agents into integrated management

The meetings are attended by a broad spectrum of scientists representing the fields of mycology, bacteriology, nematology and entomology along with scientist interested in soil organic matter and soil ecology. Industrial partners have been active at all the meetings. The meetings are also a platform for the development of collaborative projects for submission to the EU and with other funding agencies.


The working group has held the following meetings:

  1. 1999: Bad Honnef, Germany
  2. 2001: Reading, England
  3. 2003: Einsiedeln, Switzerland
  4. 2005: Wageningen, The Netherlands
  5. 2007: Dijon, France
  6. 2009: Uppsala, Sweden
  7. 2011: Córdoba, Spain

The meetings attracted a very large group of scientist interested in the multitrophic interactions existing in the soil ecosystem as it impacts plant health. The number of scientist attending has ranged from 64 to 110 in the past and attendance is expected to remain high due to the importance of soil-borne pests and diseases and the common lack of alternative control measures. In addition the holistic nature of the meeting is a learning experience for all those attending.

The papers presented at the meetings of the subgroups are regularly published as IOBC-WPRS Bulletins.

Pheromones and Other Semio-Chemicals in Integrated Production


  • Improvement of existing mating disruption control systems towards more reliable and economic applications

  • Development of new applications of semiochemicals for pest control: Attract-and-kill, push-and-pull, push-pull-kill and others

  • Managing beneficial insects by semiochemicals

  • Using plant volatiles for monitoring natural enemies of pest insects

  • Improvement in dispenser materials and methods

  • Measurement of airborne pheromone concentrations in the field

  • Field and laboratory tests on behavioural mechanisms

  • Improvement of efficiency and selectivity of monitoring traps and mass trapping devices found on the market

  • Chemists and entomologists cooperate in establishing standards for the chemical composition and behavioral activity of lures, and in assuring their availability

  • Studying the impact of fundamental determinants of climate change on the chemically mediated interactions between pests and cultivated plants

  • A long-term study concerns agricultural production in the context of chemical ecology as it affects the entire consumer-crop-pest complex


Insect control by synthetic pheromones has become a reality over the past decades.The area under mating disruption has increased almost exponentially from the 1990s, and it is reported that the crop area being managed for pests using mating disruption worldwide was 770,000 ha in 2010 (Ioriatti et al., 2011; Witzgall et al., 2010).
The species with the highest land area under mating disruption were the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) in North American forests, the codling moth (Cydia pomonella) on apple and pear trees worldwide, and the grapevine moth (Lobesia botrana) in grape in the EU and Chile (Witzgall et al., 2010). The Internet database “Pherobase” (El Sayed 2019) currently lists 149 species, for which mating disruption techniques have been proven, and 133 of these are Lepidoptera (Gross and Gündermann 2016). The use of pheromone traps for detection and monitoring is a well-established part of most pest control programs.


sex pheromones, semiochemicals, mating disruption, monitoring, environmentally safe insect management

Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms


The group was founded in 1974.

  • It comprises about 50-80 scientists
  • Sub-groups with a small number of experts are established when needed to work on selected topics related with side-effects


The WG

  • organizes bi-annual meetings (usually in October odd years) (until 2003 annual ones)
  • develops and optimizes standard methods according to a sequential scheme (laboratory to field) to evaluate the side-effects of pesticides on important beneficial organisms
  • generates accurate data on pesticide selectivity on a wide range of beneficials with standard methods
  • compiles knowledge about side-effects on beneficial organisms through pesticide selectivity database and transfer the information to the practice
  • ring tests and validates methods with the objective to achieve global recognition of IOBC standard test methods, especially in the context of pesticide registration
  • stimulates cooperation between scientists, regulatory authorities and industry
  • exchanges ideas and expertise among group members with EPPO, EU and BART and stimulate international collaboration, also with other IOBC WGs


Since 1980, standard guidelines to test the side-effects of pesticides on natural enemies, rearing methods for beneficial arthropods, comparison of results of laboratory, semi-field, field experiments and results of the joint programs to test the side-effects of pesticides on beneficial organisms have been published in the IOBC wprs Bulletin, the EPPO Bulletin, and various international scientific journals (see below).

The methods developed by the group have been accepted by the EU for use in the registration of pesticides. Validated and ring-tested methods have been published in 2000 (see below).

The results of testing the side-effects of about 140 pesticides on 20 beneficial organisms within the Joint Pesticide Testing Programs are being used world-wide by the extension services.

All side-effect results of the WG have been compiled and are available here: IP & IPM, IOBC IP Tool Box ( = Toolbox: Selectivity of pesticides)

WG Publications:

1988-1999: Publications (pdf)


pesticides, natural enemies, beneficial organisms, selectivity, side-effects, biological control, IPM (integrated pest management)

Integrated Protection of Fruit Crops


Within the frame of the group there are five subgroups covering the following specialised topics:

WG and SG convenors, 2016
The WG and SG convenors, 2016 (from left side): Petros Damos, Claudio Ioriatti, Lucía-Adriana Escudero-Colomar, Christian Linder and Arne Stensvand. Lucía-Adriana Escudero-Colomar stepped down as convenor of the SG "Pome Fruit Arthropods" in 2016 after 8 years - her successor is Tim Belien.


The group meets as a whole every 4 years, the sub groups meet every two years in the intervening years.


Intensive work on methods and strategies for integrated plant protection in orchards, especially in the fields of pests and diseases, are the focal point of the working group activities. Technical guidelines for integrated pome, stone and soft fruit production have been published. These and results of specialised workshops are published in the IOBC-WPRS Bulletins:

February 2009: The Working Group „Integrated Protection of Fruit Crops“ is celebrating its 50th Anniversary
Historic Review (pdf) by Ernst F. Boller, Albert K. Minks, Jerry V. Cross, Joop C. van Lenteren & Theo Wildbolz 


IPM in fruit crops, biological control, technical guidelines

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