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Plants for predators - a participatory experiment

Sievwright, H C; Sutton, G L and Rosenfeld, A (2006) Plants for predators - a participatory experiment. In: Atkinson, C; Ball, B; Davies, D H K; Rees, R; Russell, G; Stockdale, E A; Watson, C A; Walker, R and Younie, D (Eds.) Aspects of Applied Biology 79, What will organic farming deliver? COR 2006, Association of Applied Biologists, pp. 121-124.

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Summary

Encouraging natural enemies by growing attractant plants is a highly effective method of pest control in organic systems. However, it is important to establish which plants are most effective at attracting benefi cial insects. Experiments were carried out by 179 HDRA members, who grew four plant species (Coriander, Corn Marigold, Fennel and Phacelia) in their gardens and allotments. Over the course of the growing season, assessments were made on the growth and flowering of the plants and the presence of four key groups of beneficial insect (ladybirds, hoverflies, lacewings and parasitic wasps). Phacelia established quickly and its long flowering period meant it attracted insects throughout the summer. However, Phacelia was only the most attractive plant at the end of the season and insects preferred the other trial plants when they were in flower. Results highlight the importance of growing a range of flowering plants to provide resources for beneficials throughout their activity period.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:Benefi cial insects, attractant plants, organic pest control, Coriandrum sativum, Glebionis segetum/Chrysanthemum segetum, Foeniculum vulgarum, Phacelia tanacetifolia
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Research affiliation: UK > Garden Organic (HDRA)
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2006
Deposited By: MILLMAN, Mrs Carol A
ID Code:10202
Deposited On:14 Dec 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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