Plant Species Diversity and Crop Pest Control

An Analytical Review
  • C. W. Baliddawa


This paper reviews and analyses literature on the effect of plant species diversity on crop pests. It is observed that populations of several crop insect pest species are depressed under conditions of plant species diversity. The factors responsible for this depression are: parasites, predators, masking, camouflage, repellency, less colonization, resource concentration, unfavourable microclimate, physical obstraction and trap cropping. Natural enemies account for more than half of the cases where the pest population was claimed to be regulated in the weed-diversity systems. However, under conditions of crop-crop diversity, natural enemy action accounted for less than a third of the cases reviewed. It is further observed that most of the reviewed crop-crop diversity systems were of annual crops. It is therefore concluded that under conditions of annual cropping natural enemies are probably of lesser importance than other regulating factors.

Key Words

Plant species diversity crop border diversity within field diversity crop-crop diversity and weed-crop diversity 


Le présent article analyse la littérature sur l’effet de la diversification des espèces de plantes comme moyen de lutte contre l’effet nocif des insectes. On observe que la population de plusieurs insectes nocifs aux cultures est réduite lorsqu’il y a diversification des espèces de plantes. Les facteurs qui déterminent cette réduction sont: les parasites, les rapaces, le camouflage, la repulsion, la colonisation réduite, la concentration des resources, un microclimat défavorable, encombrement et cultures pièges. Les ennemis naturels représentent plus de la moitié des cas où la population des insectes était censée être sous contrôle dans les systèmes de diversification des mauvaises herbes. Cependent, dans les conditions de diversification culture-culture, l’action de l’ennemi naturel ne représentait que moins d’un tiers des cas étudiés. Il est aussi à observer que la plupart des systèmes de diversification culture-culture étudiés étaient des systèmes de cultures annuelles. On doit donc conclure que dans des conditions de récoltes annuelles, les ennemis naturels’sont peut-être d’une importance moindre que en cas de contrôle par d’autres facteurs.

Mot Clefs

La diverification des espèces de plantes diversité des cultures diversification culture-culture et diversification mauvaises herbes-culture 


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Copyright information

© ICIPE 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. W. Baliddawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Crop ScienceMakerere UniversityUganda

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