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Trends Ecol Evol. 1990 Jun;5(6):196-9. doi: 10.1016/0169-5347(90)90210-5.

Evaluation of natural enemies for biological control: A behavioral approach.

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  • 1Robert Luck is at the Dept of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


The success of biological pest control has stimulated the development of analytical models that explore the dynamics of natural enemies and their hosts or prey. These models seek to identify those general characteristics o f the natural enemy, host or prey population that lead to economic pest control. Because the models are strategic in nature, they are of limited value in identifying the specific attributes of an effective biological control agent prior to its introduction. Empirically developed criteria have also been of limited predictive value because they too provide only general guidelines. Behavioral ecology and foraging and sexratio theories may be useful adjuncts to these approaches, by identifying the evolutionary constraints and thus helping to define better the attributes of an effective natural enemy.

Copyright © 1990. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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