Identification of resource bottlenecks in agro-ecosystems and quantifying their impacton biological pest control
Abstract: Insect predators and parasitoids can provide valuable ecosystem services by acting asbiological pest control agents in agro-ecosystems. The natural enemies of pest species oftenrequire a greater diversity of resources than the crops themselves provide, and in conventionalfarm management these beneficial species may be compromised by lack of floral resources,alternative prey, or suitable overwintering sites. While previous studies have shown that fieldmargin management can influence the population dynamics of beneficial insects, the particularmechanisms involved remain unclear. The study aims to disentangle the mechanisms contributingto the supporting of beneficial species population, and provide quantitative data to assist in thedesign of optimum integrated management prescriptions.