CBC success is partly determined by the degree to which the agro-ecosystem permits appropriate levels of natural control. Since most natural enemies have ecological requirements beyond the field edge, the agricultural landscape plays a principal role in setting natural control potential within farmers’ fields. We quantified the opportunities for efficient FAW management existing within the agro-landscape. Pest outbreaks were associated with a number of a-biotic and biotic factors, including the abundance of natural enemies. Abundance of key natural enemies was linked to within-field management and specificities as to features of the agricultural landscape. For each of these natural enemies, appropriate spatial scale was determined using Focus 2.1 (Holland et al., 2004) and ecological neighborhoods were identified accordingly. Through slash-and-burn agriculture, most of Central America’s agro-landscapes have been converted into mosaics of habitats at different successional stages. We proved that the overall successional stage, physiognomy and diversity of the agro-landscape affect the assemblage of generalist predators and parasitoids available for natural FAW control and as such farmers’ likeliness to adopt CBC technologies.
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See more of The 2004 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition