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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Plantes et Système de cultures Horticoles

Zone de texte éditable et éditée et rééditée

Team 3 : Biological control by Conservation

The general framework for the CBC team is that of conservation biological control in orchards in a context of pesticide reduction. Conservation biological control aims to promote the control of pests by the community of naturally occurring pest enemies in agro-ecosystems, in combination with other biological control practices. To this end, we are interested in the dynamics of pest and pest enemy populations throughout their life cycles, including when the species use resources outside the orchards. This implies considering sometimes a scale greater than that of the plot. Our work focuses mainly on two main apple pests, the codling moth (Cydia pomonella, Lepidoptera) and the rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea, Hemiptera) and on arthropods and birds as pest enemies. Our objective is to increase knowledge on conditions that are favorable to the natural control of pests to contribute to the design of sustainable horticultural systems (together with team 4). Our approach is to make a back and forth between theoretical questions, methodological developments and their specific applications to our study systems, using modeling when relevant.
verger expérimental sous filet anti carpocapse pour page 1

The general framework for the CBC team is that of conservation biological control in orchards in a context of pesticide reduction. Conservation biological control aims to promote the control of pests by the community of naturally occurring pest enemies in agro-ecosystems, in combination with other biological control practices. To this end, we are interested in the dynamics of pest and pest enemy populations throughout their life cycles, including when the species use resources outside the orchards. This implies considering sometimes a scale greater than that of the plot. Our work focuses mainly on two main apple pests, the codling moth (Cydia pomonella, Lepidoptera) and the rosy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea, Hemiptera) and on arthropods and birds as pest enemies. Our objective is to increase knowledge on conditions that are favorable to the natural control of pests to contribute to the design of sustainable horticultural systems (together with team 4). Our approach is to make a back and forth between theoretical questions, methodological developments and their specific applications to our study systems, using modeling when relevant.

The research of the CBC team focus more specifically on the impacts of agricultural practices, in particular phytosanitary practices, and semi-natural elements, at the level of plots (hedges, flowering strips) and landscapes (wooded areas, hedges, grasslands ...) on natural pest control. Numerous studies have shown the adverse effect of chemical pesticides on biodiversity in plots. Contrarily, the presence of semi-natural elements at the edges of plots tends to increase it. For example, hedgerows can be barriers to movement, provide shelter or provide alternative resources to species that are active in the orchards. Beyond the plot, the complexity of the landscape and the intensity of agricultural practices affect the dynamics of the pest and pest enemy populations, and their interactions.

In addition, populations of pests and pest enemies are likely to adapt to the most intensive agricultural practices, which raises the issue of the sustainability of control methods. Research is also being carried out in our team on both chemical and biological insecticide resistance and on the effects of these resistances on the life history traits of pests or pest enemies.

coccinelle à 7 point dans une colonie de pucerons- page 1

To address these topics, we rely on experimental orchard systems from INRA Avignon and Gotheron (Drôme), as well as on a network of orchards from producers in our study area in the lower valley of the Durance (Bouches-du-Rhône). The tools and skills present at the PSH insect rearing platform (insectarium) and within the regional molecular biology platform (LBM, Avignon) also support methodological developments (eg molecular analyzes of gut contents, mass protein labeling, sentinel prey…) to better characterize the ecology of pests and pest enemies and their trophic relationships. We are also interested in innovative cropping systems that are potentially more favorable to conservation biological control based on plant diversification within plots, including mixing trees and annual crops (on the Durette farm or within the Safir project at Gotheron).

Three lines of investigation structure our research questions:

     > Understanding how the dynamics and genetics of pest and pest enemy populations depend on landscape structures and farming practices.

     > Characterizing insecticide resistance and understanding the causes of their distributions in agricultural landscapes.

     > Understanding the structure of trophic networks around pests and the impacts of pest enemies on predation and parasitism rates.

Our work is developed in the context of several research projects and collaboration networks.

The team