Biological control of locusts and grasshoppers using a fungal pathogen: The importance of secondary cycling

Matthew Brian Thomas, S. N. Wood, C. J. Lomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Persistent chemical pesticides can provide an effective means of control against locusts and grasshoppers due to prolonged activity of the spray residue. However, use of these pesticides is now prohibited, and nonpersistent chemical alternatives are substantially less successful. Here we show why it is expected that biological pesticides based on the fungal pathogen Metarhizium flavoviride will be highly effective in the control of both locust and grasshopper. We demonstrate, using novel population dynamic models containing measured estimates of horizontal transmission coefficients, that secondary cycling of the pathogen after a single spray application provides a biological substitute for chemical persistence. This has significant consequences for the economics of biopesticide use in pest control. Furthermore, by identifying that secondary cycling acts in a density-dependent manner, this study also highlights fundamental differences between conventional pesticides and biopesticides and how they might be used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-270
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume259
Issue number1356
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

Fingerprint

Biological Control Agents
Grasshoppers
biopesticides
locust
grasshopper
Pathogens
locusts
grasshoppers
Pesticides
biological control
pesticides
pathogen
pesticide
biopesticide
pathogens
Metarhizium flavoviride
Pest control
spray
Population dynamics
Metarhizium

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

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Biological control of locusts and grasshoppers using a fungal pathogen : The importance of secondary cycling. / Thomas, Matthew Brian; Wood, S. N.; Lomer, C. J.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 259, No. 1356, 01.01.1995, p. 265-270.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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