The theory and practice of Biocontrol of invasive species have long emphasized the importance of climate because it is one of the major elements impacting plants, insects, and their interactions. For instance, the selection of places used for turf education of specialized pests in their natural series is mostly based on factors such as weather resemblance by the region where the flies would be brought for biocontrol.
What are Biocontrol and Control Agents
Biocontrol, short for biological control, is a method of managing pests, diseases, and invasive species through the use of natural organisms. It involves the introduction, augmentation, or conservation of beneficial organisms, such as predators, parasites, or pathogens, to suppress the populations of target pests or organisms that cause harm. These natural enemies act by preying upon or parasitizing the pests, disrupting their life cycles, or outcompeting them for resources.
Biocontrol offers several advantages over chemical pesticides, including reduced environmental impact, minimal harm to non-target organisms and long-term sustainability. It is an important component of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies and plays a significant role in promoting ecological balance and sustainable agriculture practices.
Biocontrol agents” specifically refers to the living organisms that are utilized in biocontrol strategies. These agents can include predators, parasitoids, pathogens, competitors, or herbivores that are intentionally introduced or encouraged to control target pests or organisms causing harm. They act as the natural enemies of the pests, disrupting their life cycles, preying upon them, or inducing diseases to reduce their populations.
Global Warming and Biocontrol
Due to global warming, herbivore activity on non-target plants in biocontrol may increase. These findings suggest that the insect’s negative effects are expected to be more pronounced under heating situations. Many plants, like insects, change their life histories and development strategies in response to a rising climate, expanding their geographic range. This could potentially have an impact on how biocontrol agents behave non-target, or off-target.
Biological Invasions and Climate Change
The two primary drivers of global change are biological invasions and climate change, which have a profound impact on the distribution, abundance, and biotic interactions of species. The expansion of the geographic variety of aggressive plants, natural congeners, and familiarized insects as well as changes in insect host use are all effects of climate warming.
The Role of Traditional Bio-control
Traditional bio-control is anticipated to play a bigger part in the fight against invasive species. In light of these changes in plants and insects, as well as the changing connections between these species, it will be crucial to screen prospective bio-control agents and evaluate their efficacy.
The Impact on Ecosystems and Populations
The effects of these biocontrol introductions on ecosystems and populations have now come to light, It is crucial to account for any changing interactions brought on by climate change as well as cascading non-target impacts for those systems.
Managing Biological Invasions
Predicting the effectiveness of bio-controls and their ecological effects will become more complex and challenging under climate change. To manage biological invasions in the future and preserve native species, it is crucial to learn more about the responses of related native species, attacking species and biocontrol agents to climate change.
Biological Management as a Pest Control Method
Biological management, potentially inexpensive and chemical-free, could be used to manage pests. However, traditional biological control entails the unknown and is therefore inherently risky, just like any species introduction into a new environment.
The Unpredictability of Biological Control
The degree to which the realized niche is transformed in the new environment is the most erratic component of biological control. Some of the terrible outcomes of conventional biological control can be attributed to this phenomenon.
The Need for Ecological Techniques in Biological Control
Since testing an agent’s host range is the most expensive part of any weed biological control, it is likely to save resources and be safer, in the long run, to know which of the available control agents will be the most effective.
Traits Favouring Biological Control
It was shown that traits such as tiny extent, tall voltinism, tall fertility and long-lasting adults, which widely predicted success, were traits that also predicted the potential to establish.
Optimizing Traits for Adaptation to Bio-control
The mean and variance of a characteristic can be optimized to help a trait become adapted to bio-control agents. It might be advantageous for organisms to have offspring with a variety of phenotypes when biocontrol application is uncertain.
Hafiz Muhammad Rizwan Mazhar1, Dr. Muhammad Atiq2, Muhammad Ehetisham Ul Haq3
- 1. NIAB, Faisalabad
- 2. Dept. of Plant Pathology University of Agriculture Faisalabad
- 3. AARI, Faisalabad