Landscape Management for Functional Biodiversity

Structure

We aim attract approximately >50 participants from research (from fundamental to applied) and local stakeholders. Each meeting has a local organizer supported by a scientific committee. The group meets in principle every other year to discuss research activities of its members. There are usually two days of presentations, topical discussions and one or two field visits to local projects along with social activities. Papers are published in the IOBC Bulletin in time for the meeting.

Activities

  • The first meeting of the group was held in Bologna in May 2003. Local organizer was Dr Giovanni Burgio. Over 60 participants from Europe attended, as well as a guest from New Zealand.
  • The second meeting took place in Zürich-Reckenholz in May 2006. Local organizers were Drs. Lisa Eggenschwiler and Katja Jacott. At the meeting, which was attended by some 65 researchers, recent research results were presented both on agro-ecological and landscape ecological topics, and on institutional aspects which are major determinants for success of Functional Biodiversity schemes.
  • The third meeting was held in May 2008 at ENITAB in Bordeaux. Local organizers were Drs Maarten van Helden, Guillaume Pain and Joséphine Pithon. The meeting attracted 65 participants and had a dual focus exploring basic interactions between landscape structure and functional biodiversity including methodological aspects as well as implementation of agri-environment schemes.
  • The fourth meeting was held in May 2010 in Cambridge, UK and the local organizers were Dr John Holland and the Association of Applied Biologists. The 52 participants presented papers on natural pest and weed control from field to landscape scales, manipulation of uncropped land for functional biodiversity and how models can be used to interpret some of these processes. There was also a special session with outcomes from the Endure project followed by a lively discussion.
  • The fifth meeting was held in Lleida, Spain from 7-10th May 2012 organized by Jesus Avilla and Oscar Alomar with the teams at the University. It was attended by 73 researchers from 17 countries. Sessions were held on Companion planting, Landscape studies, Biodivine: Setting up biodiversity conservation actions in viticulture and Natural enemy ecology.
  • The 2014 meeting took place in Poznan, Poland from 21 – 23rd May 2014. We had 54 attendees from 12 countries and besides a diverse array of oral and poster presentations had an interactive session on landscape scale management tools for more effective biocontrol to sustain IPM. A group of Polish ecologists from Warsaw organised the meeting.
  • After an exceptional break of three years the 2017 meeting was held in conjunction with the British Ecological Society Agricultural Ecology Special Interest Group, in Dundee, Scotland, UK, 29th to 31st March 2017.
  • The 2019 meeting took place in Wageningen. 40 participants from 11 countries (including overseas) attended. A special session was dedicated to The Netherlands Delta-Plan for Biodiversity. Seven sessions like e.g., Pollination or Feeding and Foraging built an attractive programme. Organised by Felix Bianchi and his team at Wageningen University an excursion on bikes (the original Dutch style) was a special experience to all participants.
  • The next meeting will be hosted by The University of Milan, Italy in spring 2021, Daniela Lupi as a continuous editor and presenter volunteered to organise. Our meetings general include field visits, typically to local sites demonstrating use of functional biodiversity.

Achievements

The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins:

Keywords

landscape ecology, functional biodiversity, agri-environment, ecosystem services, ecology, organic farming, IPM

Benefits and Risks of Exotic Biological Control Agents

Structure

This group was founded at a meeting in Brussels in 2007 attended by some 35 researchers from 9 European countries and Russia.

Specific aims:

  • To assess the characteristics of exotic natural enemies which are considered to be successful biological control agents

  • To assess the characteristics of exotic natural enemies introduced into a country as biological control agents which subsequently become invasive alien species

  • To highlight research areas requiring attention and develop strategies for supporting priority research

  • Ongoing development of guidelines on assessing environmental benefits and risks of releasing exotic biological control agents to increase cogency of decision making on classical biological control initiatives

Activities

Biennial WG meetings:

  1. 2009: Engelberg, Switzerland
  2. 2011: Hluboká, Czech Republic
  3. 2015: Bornholm, Denmark
  4. 2018: Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal

Achievements

The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins:

BioControl - Official journal of IOBC

Unravelling the Ecology of an Invasive Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis: From Populations to Communities

Special issue of BioControl (2017): BioControl 62(3) Brown, P.M.J.; Nedved, O.; Lawson Handley, L.-J.; De Clercq, P.; Roy, H.E. (Eds.)

Invasive Alien Arthropod Predators and Parasitoids: An Ecological Approach

Special issue of BioControl (2012): Roy, H.; De Clercq, P.; Lawson Handley, L.-J.; Sloggett, J.J.; Poland, R.L.; Wajnberg, E. (Eds.)

From Biological Control to Invasion: the Ladybird Harmonia axyridis as a Model Species

Special issue of BioControl (2008), Dordrecht, Springer. Roy, Helen E.; Wajnberg, Eric (Eds.)

Keywords

exotic natural enemies, invasive alien species

Integrated Control of Plant-Feeding Mites

Structure

This is a new group that was approved at the January 2006 Council Meeting.

Activities

The emphasis within the group is to develop methods that help to reduce the amounts of pesticides, as well as other chemicals that may harm beneficial organisms, which are used for mite control in protected crops. This will include determining how to manipulate crop systems, use physical barriers and microbial control, augment predators and promote resistant crop varieties, all of which should be integrated into future systems of pest control. In efforts to improve mite control we shall promote cooperative projects, training courses and publications.

Achievements

The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins:

Keywords

IPM, biological control, spider mites, false spider mites, broad mites, russet mites, bud mites, Eriophyidae, Tetranychidae, Tenuipalpidae, Tarsonemidae, Acaridae

Modern Biotechnology in Integrated Plant Production

Structure

Since the establishment of the working group in 2003, the following objectives have been followed (see Profile 34, pdf):

  1. Exchange and dissemination of scientific knowledge on the ecological impact of GM crops and other applications of modern biotechnology in agriculture
  2. Evaluation of the compatibility and integration of products derived from modern biotechnology with biological control and IPM
  3. Resistance management of the target organisms
  4. Development and harmonisation of methods for testing the ecological impact of products derived from modern biotechnology

The group is open to basic and applied scientists from public research institutions, regulatory agencies, and the private sector.

To maintain independence from commercial interests, meetings and other activities of this working group have been organized without funding from the private sector (read open letter to EFSA, pdf).

Activities

Working group meetings are organized at two- to three-year intervals. An organizing committee is installed for each meeting. Meeting proceedings are published in the IOBC-WPRS Bulletin.

The convenor of the WG from 2003 to 2013 was Jörg Romeis from Agroscope, Switzerland. Since 2013, Michael Meissle from the same institution is leading the group.

In 2021, the WG was renamed from “GMOs in integrated plant production” to “Modern biotechnology in integrated plant production” to broaden the scope for agricultural applications of biotechnology that do not lead to genetically modified organisms.

Achievements

Eight working group meetings have been organized between 2003 and 2018.

  1. 2003: Prague, Czech Republic
  2. 2005: Lleida, Spain
  3. 2007: Warsaw, Poland
  4. 2009: Rostock, Germany
  5. 2011: České Budějovice, Czech Republic
  6. 2013: Berlin, Germany
  7. 2015: Sofia, Bulgaria
  8. 2017: Ghent, Belgium

Guidelines for non-target risk-assessment of GMOs and regulation were the focus of a special WG activity from 2006 to 2013. The participants developed a generic risk assessment concept for non-target organisms (Romeis et al., 2008), guidance and recommendations on experimental design for early tier laboratory studies (Romeis et al. 2011, open access), and criteria for the selection of non-target organisms for risk assessment (Romeis et al. 2013, open access).

The proceedings of the WG meetings have been published in IOBC-WPRS Bulletins:

Keywords

Bacillus thuringiensis, beneficial organisms, environmental risk assessment, IPM, monitoring, regulation, resistance management

Induced Resistance in Plants Against Insects and Diseases

Structure

The group was initiated in 1998.

Activities

In 2001 the first conference of the Working Group was held from 26 to 28 April in Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Achievements

The conference was attended by about 115 scientists, working on fundamental and applied aspects of IR and IT, from 17 countries. It was the first time that entomologists, phytopathologists and plant physiologists met to discuss the reaction that herbivore arthropods and plant pathogens induce in attacked plants.

The congress was structured into three sessions:

    1. Cross-talk among herbivore- and pathogen-induced signal cascades
    2. Risks and benefits of induced resistance and induced tolerance
    3. General aspects of induced resistance and tolerance

A total of 36 oral contributions and 27 posters covering theses topics were presented. One evening, a workshop was organised with the title “Practical implication of induced resistance / induced tolerance into crop protection programmes: Were are we and were can we go?”

The concept of bringing together entomologists, phytopathologists, as well as plant physiologists proved to be very fruitful and the discussion with colleagues in other, but related, fields of research created many new ideas and laid ground for new links and co-operations.

The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins:

Keywords

induced resistance, biological control, entomology, phytopathology, plant pathogens, insect pests

Integrated Control in Citrus Fruit Crops

Structure

This group is one of the first groups of IOBC-WPRS and is active mainly in the Mediterranean area. The group comprises approximately 80 scientists.

Activities

The group deals with beneficial organisms (acclimatisation, mass rearing, introduction, maintenance, selectivity) and other non-chemical control methods. It is engaged in common, basic research programmes, applied research for control strategies, technology transfer and training.

Achievements

Since 1960, a network of scientists from different regions has been set up. A considerable number of beneficials have since been studied and introduced in the Mediterranean area. New control strategies have been applied to regional cropping conditions.

The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins:

Keywords

citrus fruit crops, IPM, pests, diseases, biological control, natural enemies, non-chemical control

Integrated Protection of Olive Crops

Structure

The WG “Integrated Protection of Olive Crops” was initiated as a Study Group in 1991. It is composed of scientists, advisors and other stakeholders from the Mediterranean basin, other European countries and overseas. In September 2003, the Council decided to transform the Study Group into Working Group and endorsed the election of Dr Argyro Kalaitzaki as convenor. The group consists of approximately 40 active members.

Activities

Members of the group target their activities towards the development, evaluation and implementation of all aspects of integrated and biological control methods for olive pests, diseases and weeds. The WG meets to discuss new findings on the following main research activities:

  • Sampling methods, monitoring, epidemiology
  • Damage assessment, establishing of economic thresholds
  • Bio-ecology of pests
  • Invasive diseases and pests
  • Development of population models
  • Side effects of pesticides
  • Natural enemies, biological control
  • Biotechnical control methods
  • Conservation biological control

Achievements

The working group has organized nine meetings. The 1st meeting in Chania, Hellenic Republic, in May 2003, the 2nd in Florence, Italy, October 2005, the 3rd in Bragança, Portugal, October 2007, the 4th in Córdoba, Spain in June 2009, the 5th in Jerusalem, Israel in May 2011, the 6th in Budva, Montenegro in May 2013, the 7th in Kalamata, Hellenic Republic, in May 2015, the 8th in Florence, Italy, in June 2018 and the most recent one in Lisbon, Portugal, in October 2021.
Participants from academic and government research institutions, industry and extension services from the Mediterranean countries, other countries in EU but also from overseas regularly attend the WG meetings.
Attendance is expected to remain high due to the importance of pests and diseases, which include some of the most extensively studied in crop protection, the several innovative management approaches that have been developed, the new invasive diseases and pests and the economic importance of the crop in Mediterranean countries but also in new remote areas.
Since the initiation of the WG, new techniques, tools, control strategies and cropping systems have been developed, studied and evaluated in regard to more effective and more environmentally sound pest and disease management. The WG has much enhanced the cooperation on development and application of IPM in olive groves worldwide.

The results of the working group’s activities appear in the following IOBC-WPRS publications:

Keywords

olive crops, IPM, pests, diseases, weeds, natural enemies, biological control, biotechnical methods, sustainability, conservation biological control

Integrated Protection of Stored Products

Structure

The group was founded in 1992. It comprises more than 100 scientists from about 30 countries of all continents.

Activities

The WG “Integrated Protection of Stored Products” organizes bi-annual meetings and activities related with co-ordination, co-operations and networking (COST Actions, EUREKA, ERA NET, International Working Conference of Stored Product Protection, International Congress of Entomology, European Congress of Entomology, International Plant Protection Conference, etc.)

The WG meets to discuss new findings regarding the following topics:

  • Biology of stored product pests
  • Methods of pest prevention during storage, transportation and handling
  • Semiochemicals, traps and other methods to detect stored product pests
  • All aspects of biological control
  • Prevention of microflora infection and development of mycotoxins
  • Physical, chemical and other techniques for stored product pest control
  • Wood-boring, urban, quarantine and museum pests
  • Futurology: overviews and future trends on all aspects of storage pest control

Achievements

The proceedings of the group meetings were published in the IOBC-WPRS Bulletins:

Keywords

stored products, Food industries, pests, natural enemies, prevention, monitoring, IPM, control, food safety, urban entomology

Integrated Protection in Oak Forest

Subgroups

The working group was founded in 1993. It comprises actually 44 actives members. The activities are organised within 2 subgroups:

Activities

The 2nd meeting took place in 1998 in Morocco, which is particularly concerned with the aggravation of oak forest decline. 6 European and 3 North African countries were represented. Many research programs are focused on cork-oak but the group persists to pay attention to all oak species because they endure several identical decay factors.

The main research activities concern:

  • Decay factors (climatic, biotic, anthropic) and their impact on oak forests biodiversity and conservation
  • Biology and impact of pathogenous fungi with particular emphasis on Diplodia mutila which induces a high oak mortality in Morocco, Portugal and Sardinia
  • Oak regeneration and acorn conservation: Sowing procedures and seedlings protection, modes and efficiency of cutting back practices
  • Biology and impact of insect pests (defoliators, xylophagous insects, cockchafers)
  • Insect natural enemies, biological and integrated control
  • Modelling and forecasting of the pest population dynamics
  • Forest management

In particular future common projects of the pathologists and entomologists concern:

  • The creation of a service for identification of the cork-oak pathogenous fungi.
  • The creation of a survey grid of oak forest in Maghreb countries. This grid would be elaborated on the basis of the European survey to which it would be connected.
  • The elaboration an action plan concerning the strategies of planning, development and protection of the oak forests principally in the Mediterranean region.

Achievements

The study plays an important role in making both the authorities and the public aware about the serious and widespread decline of cork-oak forests. It is necessary to ensure an effective and efficient integrated protection of this precious natural resource.
A directory list of 112 European and North African scientists and managers involved in oak forest protection was drawn up. It will be published on internet.

The research reports, conclusion and recommandations of the group are reported in:

Keywords

oak decay factors in Mediterranean region, insect pests, pathogenous fungi, biological control, forest management

Biological and Integrated Control of Plant Pathogens

Structure

The group is associated with the working group “Biological Control” of the European Foundation for Plant Pathology (EFPP) through a joint management committee consisting for the IOBC-WPRS of C. Alabouvette (France), Y. Elad (Israel), J. Köhl (The Netherlands) and for the EFPP of G. Défago (Switzerland), D. Funk-Jensen (Denmark) and J. Whipps (U.K.). The group comprises about 200 active scientists.

Activities

Organisation of annual workshops for scientists and extension people as well as (potential) producers and users of biocontrol products. These workshops focus on specific aspects of biocontrol of plant pathogens and also of particular groups of pathogens e.g. soilborne pathogens, above-ground pathogens (biotrophic/necrotrophic) or sclerotial pathogens, each of them differing ecologically and demanding specific control strategies. Workshops have also been oriented on specific cultivation conditions such as soilless cultures or the use of specific molecular techniques for better understanding mechanisms of interaction and establishment of the biocontrol agent.

Achievements

The main result so far is the creation of a scientific platform for the development of realistic biocontrol strategies. The workshops have demonstrated an intensification of research and implementation, and of cooperation between research groups often resulting in successful EU-R&D-projects and other international projects on biological control.
Several promising biocontrol products against diseases have become commercially available. An increase in the involvement of growers’ organisations and producers of biocontrol products in our working group is noticed. A major obstruction in the implementation of microbial biocontrol agents are the costs related to meeting the requirements for registration as (bio)pesticide.

The results of the group’s activities are published in bulletins:

Keywords

fungal phytopathogens, bacterial phytopathogens, viruses, nematodes, biological control

Microbial and Nematode Control of Invertebrate Pests

Structure

The group was founded in 1985, in response to a need for a forum for scientists in the field of insect pathology in Europe. It has about 100-120 active members.

Subgroups

The activities of the group are organised within 5 subgroups:

Activities

Every second year, a 4-day meeting is organised, generally around a specific topic. The meetings are a mixture between conference and a roundtable discussion, the balance being kept by splitting the group, at least for part of the meeting, into sections fungi, bacteria and viruses, and insect-parasitic nematodes, and by putting additional focus on posters. The group meets also with the sister working group on insect pathogens of IOBC-EPRS. Many insect pathologists participate in other working groups of IOBC-WPRS.

Achievements

The group has allowed an exchange of information in the field of microbial control of insect pests, has stimulated collaborative research between members of the group and provided information to other more crop and pest oriented IOBC-WPRS working groups on the possibilities of using microbial control in their field of interest. Since 1992, workshops on identification/diagnosis of entomoparasitic nematodes and insect pathogens have been organised within meetings. Contacts between scientists and commercial companies have stimulated development of microbial control agents. Contacts and cooperation between researchers on insect pathogens and insect parasitic nematodes between Eastern and Western Europe have been strengthened.

The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins:

The results of the sub-group’s activities are also published in bulletins:

Keywords

insect pathology, fungi, bacteria, virus, nematode, microbial control

Integrated Control in Protected Crops, Mediterranean Climate

Structure

Owing to the different climatic and methodological conditions in the North and the South, the “Integrated Control in Glasshouses” group, one of the oldest in the IOBC-WPRS’s history, has been divided into two working groups, based on temperate and mediterranean climates respectively. The working group comprises approximately 70 entomologists and plant pathologists from the Northern and Southern Mediterranean basin.

Activities

The Mediterranean area holds the highest acreage of protected crops in the world. In close cooperation with the group “Integrated Control in Protected Crops, Temperate Climate” the group stimulates IPM programmes for vegetable and ornamental protected crops. The group meets regularly to discuss scientific results and recent advances in the design and implementation of IPM techniques, particularly those based on non-chemical methods. Cooperative projects, training courses, and publications are some of the group’s efforts to improve the integrated control of pests and diseases in protected crops of the Mediterranean area.

Achievements

In the traditional growing areas, the group has brought about noticeable advances in the reduction of pesticide use and the effective control of pests and diseases.
Several new beneficial species and strains adapted to Mediterranean conditions have been studied and evaluated for biological control of arthropod pests and soil and foliar pathogens. Some are now sold for commercial use and it can be expected that the number will increase in the future.
In cooperation with the group “Integrated Control in Protected Crops, Temperate Climate” international training courses on IPM in protected crops have been organized in the last few years.
Other IPM tools, such as plant resistance, climate and crop management, physical barriers, soil solarization, etc, which are especially relevant for Mediterranean protected crops, have been designed, implemented, and published by members of the group:

Keywords

protected crops, IPM, biological control, natural enemies

Integrated Control in Protected Crops, Temperate Climate

Structure

Owing to the different climatic and methodological conditions in the North and the South, the “Integrated Control in Glasshouses” group, one of the oldest in the IOBC’s history, has been divided into two working groups, based on temperate and mediterranean climates respectively. The group comprises approximately 80 active scientists.

Activities

The group designs commercially applicable IPM programmes based on biological control of pests and diseases in combination with host-plant resistance and other non-chemical control methods. It initiates, coordinates, and evaluates fundamental and applied research for the development of biological and integrated control programmes. It develops scientific criteria for the selection of natural enemies, assists in the development of mass production methods for natural enemies, and devises quality control methods for natural enemies.

Achievements

The group has realised large-scale practical use of biological control through intensive advisory and public relations work. Commercial producers of biological control agents have cooperated with the working group since its initiation. 50 species of natural enemies are commercially available for control of 25 pest species. The greenhouse area on which biological control is used has increased to 50% of the current potential area for biological control. Around 20 new species of natural enemies are in the process of being evaluated for future use.

For updates on WG activities:
The WG has formed a discussion group in LinkedIn under the name IOBC goodbugs. Please join the Discussion group via www.linkedin.com.
The WG old website will be closed down after 2014 and it is not updated regularly any more. It can still be accessed at https://portal.mtt.fi/portal/page/portal/iobc. The old GoodBugs mailing list will stop functioning at the same time.

The results of the working group’s activities are published in IOBC publications:

Keywords

protected crops, IPM, biological control, natural enemies, mass production, quality control methods

Integrated Protection of Field Vegetable Crops

Structure

The group consists of approximately 50 active members.

Activities

The emphasis within the group is to develop methods that help to reduce the amounts of insecticide applied to control pest insects in field vegetable crops. The group recognises the importance of retaining considerable expertise on insecticides, as insecticidal control is the standard against which all alternative methods have to be judged. Group members are working currently to determine how manipulation of cropping systems, physical barriers, microbial control, the augmentation of predators/parasitoids and resistant crop varieties can be integrated into future systems of pest control. The three major themes being studied are 1) accurate systems for monitoring and modelling the population dynamics of insect pests, 2) understanding the behaviour of pest insects to develop alternative methods of control, and 3) the impact of intercropping or undersowing crops on pests and diseases. A subgroup has produced “Guidelines” on how crops should be produced for minimum environmental disturbance.

Achievements

The focus is on pests of brassica, carrot and leek/onion crops. Collaborative experiments have been successful on a small scale when two or three scientists have been involved. Members have used several different approaches to produce pest forecasting systems that are now used commercially to ensure that insecticides are applied only when necessary. Another important approach is to understand how pest insects colonise crops to develop cultural or physical methods which, together with other measures, could help to reduce pest numbers and enhance the action of beneficials. The third approach has been to develop intercropping systems to deter pest insects. Although we have discussed such systems for the last 20 years, it is only recently that systems acceptable to commercial growers have been developed.
The group has played a pivotal role in stimulating scientific, advisory and commercial members to discuss openly the problems encountered in producing high quality vegetable crops using reduced amounts of pesticide.

The results of the working group’s activities appear in IOBC-WPRS publications:

Keywords

vegetable crops, IPM, pests, cabbage root fly, Delia radicum, carrot fly, Psila rosae, parasitoids, predators, undersowing, intercropping, cabbage aphid, cabbage caterpillars, Thrips tabaci

Integrated Control in Oilseed Crops (ICOC)

Structure

The group was set up by a number of rape crop pathologists and entomologists in 1982. In 1990 the group’s activity was expanded to linseed, sunflower and false flax. It comprises approximately 30 active scientists.

Subgroups

The activities of the group are organised within 2 subgroups:

Activities

To keep up with rapid progress made in this field of research, meetings are held regularly. The group exchanges experiences and maintains a close collaboration with experts in crop protection and the production of oilseed crops, as well as with other international oilseed crop organisations such as the Groupe Consultatif International de Recherche sur le Colza (GCIRC), the European Association for Research on Plant Breeding (EUCARPIA) and the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO). Joint field experiments are carried out in different member countries to study the interaction between varietal resistance and disease control in order to minimize the use of fungicides in rape.
Research is made into the occurrence and distribution of pests and diseases, monitoring, forecasting, establishment of damage thresholds, plant resistance biofungicides, seed pathology and seed quality, crop rotation, parasitoids, use of bait plants for pest control, possible pest control by entomophagous fungi and on pheromones.
Exchanges of scientists assure dissemination and sharing of knowledge and expertise. Many members of the group are involved in EU research projects and concerted actions such as Biocontrol of Oilseed Rape Insect Pests (BORIS and MASTER), Integrated Strategies for the management of Stem Canker of Oilseed Rape in Europe (IMASCORE), Stem Canker of Oilseed Rape: Molecular Tools and Mathematical Modelling to deploy durable Resistance (SECURE) and alternative oil-seed crop Camelina saliva.

Achievements

The results of the working group’s activities are published in bulletins, scientific journals, and proceedings.

Meeting reports are available here: https://wwwuser.gwdg.de/~iobc/index.php

Keywords

durable disease resistance of cultivars, early identification of pathogens and pests, biological control, biodiversity, gene technology, IPS-strategies

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