Cider-apple Farmers’ Perceptions and Knowledge of Biological Control

SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Agricultural production is reliant on regulating ecosystem services. One important yet underexplored regulating service is biological control, the reduction of one organism population by another one. While biological control can benefit agriculture in diverse ways, it is decreasing worldwide. In a recent study, Martínez-Sastre et al. (2020) used questionnaires to examine farmers’ perceptions and knowledge of the biodiversity underpinning biological control in cider-apple orchards in northern Spain.

Graphical abstract representing that those farmers with higher levels of local ecological knowledge and education are able to recognize more diversity of species that provide biological control than those who use insecticides and see farming as a leisure activity. (Martínez-Sastre et al. 2020, p.1).

Biological control refers to the process by which beneficial organisms, so-called natural enemies, reduce the occurrence of pest organisms without any human intervention. Here, high biodiversity of natural enemies is known to enhance biological control. However, as not all…

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