Insects and globalization: sustainable control of exotic species in Italian agro-forestry ecosystems
Abstract: One of the negative consequences of globalization is the increased introduction of exotic pests into new areas. Italy, in particular, is at high risk of introduction, because of its geographical position and climate, which allows the settlement of (even subtropical) exotic species. In this context, native natural enemies may play a major role in the biological control of exotic species. The mechanisms involved in adaptation processes, which are crucial in studies of biological invasions, are only partially known. A joint effort by researchers operating in Italy and abroad is needed to deeply investigate this phenomenon and to develop appropriate strategies for sustainable control of exotic species. The present work illustrates the objectives and preliminary results of the project “Insects and globalization: sustainable control of exotic species in agro-forestry ecosystems (GEISCA)” focused on control of exotic species by native entomophagous insects. The overall goal of the project is to gain, at the end of three years, useful knowledge on the development of appropriate procedures for sustainable control of target pest species.