Managing natural enemies Anna Fiedler and Doug Landis Michigan State University
Pollination Decomposition Biological Control Ecosystem Services
Biological Control Use of natural enemies to keep unwanted pest populations low
Three types of Natural Enemies • Predators: eat many prey in a lifetime, feeding both as young and as adults. • Parasitoids: specialized insects that develop as a young in one host, eventually killing it. • Pathogens: nematodes, viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoans.
Types of Biological Control • Classical: introduction of non-native natural enemy to control a pest population. • Augmentative: periodically increase natural enemy population with an artificially reared release. • Conservation: maintain or enhance existing natural enemy populations.
What do beneficial insects need? Alternate host/prey Shelter Moderated microclimates In-season refuges Overwintering sites Food Nectar Pollen Sap, honeydew
Prairie Oak savanna Historical Landscapes Diverse habitats provide - Biodiversity - Pest suppression - Pollination
Native Plant Project Goals Use native plants to provide beneficial insects with nectar and pollen. Decrease pesticide use and increase pollination.
alyssum buckwheat phacelia coriander Exotic Plants Benefits • Reliable seed or plant sources • Prolific floral display • Previous success in other locations Disadvantages • Do not enhance native biodiversity • May be invasive
Native Plants Benefits • Enhance native biodiversity • Re-creation of imperiled habitats • Less likely to be invasive • Adapted to local climate • Habitat permanency Disadvantages • Greater initial cost • Longer establishment time
Natural Enemies Collected at Flowers 30% 25% 2005 data
Incorporating native plants on your farm • Use local native plants. • Choose several colors of flowers. • Plant flowers in clumps. • Select flowers to provide bloom through the season. • More flower area = more beneficial insects! • Include native grasses for structural support
Beneficial Insect Friendly Practices • Provide nesting and overwintering resources. • Avoid insecticide use. • Provide flowers through growing season.
Establishing native plants Select a site Analyze the site Consider planting options Size of area Time to flowering Cost Plan and design the planting Plant Maintenance Short term Long term
Analyze the site Consider Light availability Soil type Soil moisture Soil pH
Select Plant species Suited to conditions Variety of bloom periods Include wildflowers and grasses Local seed or plant source Seed vs. plant material Michigan Wildflower Farm
Site Preparation Yard – Treat with roundup fall or mid-spring – Smother 2-3 months when growing Typical ag field • 1 year fallow • Repeated light tillings Weedy site (old field) • Burn or plow • 1 year fallow
Maintenance Weed your native planting OR 1) Mow a seeding 2-4 times in year one 1-2 times in year two 2) Burn or mow annually
Learn More Native Plants to Enhance Beneficial Insects website E-2985 www.nativeplants.msu.edu E-2973 E-2949
Learn More Contact a native plant producer: Acorus Native Plant Nursery www.ecologyart.com Native Plant Source www.nativeplantsource.com – may not be local seed
Acknowledgements Research collaborators Bill Schneider, Wildtype Native Plant Nursery Esther Durnwald, MI Wildflower Farm Jerry Stewart, Native Connections Gene Vogel, Richard Stuckey Rufus Isaacs, Julianna Tuell USDA NRCS Ingham County Soil Conservation District MSU IPM Identification support Gary Parsons Dr. Debra Trock Undergraduate research assistants Jessica Steffen Dawn Richards Emily Knoblock Funding Support USDA Sustainable Agriculture Special Grant www.nativeplants.msu.edu