[permaculture] Fwd: Interesting snippet about forest gardening, pest control through insect diversity in agroforestry systems

Lawrence F. London, Jr. lfl at intrex.net
Thu Sep 12 18:41:06 EDT 2002

University of Missouri
Faculty and Student Research
Research Abstracts

Plant diversity and arthropod communities: implications for agroforestry
Stamps, W. T., Marc J. Linit
Polyculture in crop agroecosystems has been examined in numerous studies with the aim of reducing
pest populations by increasing diversity among insect populations over those found in traditional
monoculture. Resource concentration and enemies hypotheses predict decreased pest populations
in more diverse plant communities. Although results have been mixed, insect diversity has been
generally increased in polyculture over traditional monoculture. Maintaining natural insect
diversity in managed forests to limit possible pest outbreaks has been the goal in forestry
systems. Increased arthropod diversity with increased tree diversity has been observed,
though fewer studies have been conducted in forestry compared to agriculture.
Agroforestry holds promise for increasing insect diversity and reducing pest problems
because the combination of trees and crops provides greater niche diversity and complexity
in both time and space than does polyculture of annual crops.

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