Theory and Practice of Biological Control by Huffaker and Messenger

Bibliographic Information:
Title: Theory and Practice of Biological Control
Editor: C. B. Huffaker
Division of Biological Control
Department of Entomological Sciences
University of California
Berkeley, California
P. S. Messenger
Division of Biological Control
Department of Entomological Sciences
University of California
Berkeley, California
Edition: Illustrated
Publisher: Academic Press
Length: 768 pages
Size: 13.5 MB
Language: English

The world's looming food shortage demands maximum food productivity. Heavy use of
pesticides have played a significant role in meeting food demands as well as in alleviating
insect-borne human disease. However, the extensive, often excessive, use of these
powerful, broad-spectrum chemicals, some of which are nonbiodegradable, has resulted
in a variety of harmful and undesirable effects on wildlife, man, and the environment.
The documenting and publicizing of these effects have led to widespread public concern and
considerable moral and legal opposition to the continued unrestricted use of these
materials. Moreover, a shortage of synthetic pesticides makes it mandatory that we
use limited supplies wisely. This must be done not only to help alleviate the pesticide-induced
environmental problems but to conserve the limited supplies of the much-needed pesticides themselves, for chemicals, remain the most effective immediate
solution to most pest problems.
Chemicals are not the only, or indeed the best, solution to the problem. Biological
control (the use of a pest's own natural enemies) has permanently solved many pest
problems throughout the world. This book concerns, to a large extent, the introduction
of such natural enemies (parasites, predators, and pathogens), for the purpose of suppression,
from the pests' native environments to new environments in which the pests
have become established as alien species. But the natural enemies of pest species often
face insurmountable obstacles in accomplishing this purpose in areas where powerful,
broad-spectrum chemicals are used without regard to their effects on these beneficial
species. Indeed, in highly developed agricultural areas, chemicals are commonly used
for the control of one or more pests of a crop. Yet existing biological control agents or
potentially available ones could, if not restricted by these chemicals, control or help
to control other pest species on the same crop for which these chemicals are ineffective.
There are also other biological forms of pest control that have not been conventionally
classed "biological control" which, however, act in similar, ecologically
nondisturbing ways to those of the natural enemies. The utilization of the varied
spectrum of wild and crop plant germplasm to develop varieties of crop plants
resistant to pests is one such additional biologically-based control. This tactic has
been widely used in the control of plant diseases and, to a lesser extent, in insect
control, but its full potential is only beginning to be tapped. The use of cultural
methods of pest control, while not biological per se, is often employed in a manner to
augment the effectiveness of such truly biological forms of control as the natural
enemies and crop plant resistance, or to expose the pests to weather stress. Even the
chemicals themselves, while inherently disruptive to conventional biological control,
may be used in ways less disruptive, and sometimes as an aid to pest control by the
natural enemies themselves by establishing a more favorable ratio of natural enemies
to pests. Moreover, various special types of chemicals, pheromones, kairomones,
juvenile hormones, etc., may be used, i.e., their special biological roles may be utilized
in ways to substitute for, augment, or make more selective the conventional broadspectrum
insecticides. Finally, a number of special forms of perhaps truly biological
control agents or competitors about which we know very little seem to play significant
roles in the suppression of many soil-borne plant pathogens damaging to crops. These
are collectively termed "antagonists."
This book was planned to supplement, not to replace, existing texts on biological
control. It was designed (1) to satisfy the need for a book that covers conventional
biological control achievements in the major crop types or in public health problem areas
(which has not been done before), as well as to treat fully the basic features in philosophy,
theory, basic biology, ecology, and practice of conventional biological control; (2) to
include basic information concerning developments in other biologically based alternatives
to chemical pesticides; and (3) to show how all these approaches can be
combined to achieve practical integrated pest control systems that are sound both
economically and ecologically.
A system of integrated pest control is dynamic and must be considered a unit in
respect to the application of ecological principles in the use of various methods
employed for pest suppression. Integrated control is usually centered on nature's two
principal biological forces for containing an excessive abundance of any species, or the
severe stress of herbivores on plants, for example. These are the genetic resistance
factors in the plants and control of the pests and potential pests by their own natural
This book is divided into five sections. Sections I and II deal with the philosophy,
theory, scope, history, and the biological and ecological basis of biological control.
Section ÉÐ is concerned with methodology in biological control. Section IV details the
accomplishments of conventional biological control in various types of crops, forests,
and public health areas. Section V deals with various components of integrated pest
control other than conventional biological control which forms, along with conventional
biological control, the essential tactics used in the integrated control approach.
An attempt was made to unify the contributions into a comprehensive work, each
to be consistent with the others. This was not entirely possible because not all the
authors have the same viewpoints. However, we asked the authors to consider the
opposing viewpoints expressed in an effort to minimize the existing differences. The
remaining ones should prove a challenge to other researchers.
We take this opportunity to thank the many contributors, both the authors and
their invaluable assistants, without whose efforts this book could not have been
produced. We wish especially to thank the Division of Biological Control, University of
California, Riverside, for permitting us to refer to "Introduced Parasites and Predators
of Arthropod Pests and Weeds: A World Review" by C. P. Clausen (ed.), which is being
published as a U. S. Department of Agriculture Handbook. We also express our
appreciation to Dr. Paul DeBach who helped us plan the book but whose health did not
permit his continuing as an editor, and to Drs. Robert van den Bosch and K. S. Hägen,
who also had much to do with its planning. Finally, we express our deepest appreciation
to Mrs. Nettie Mackey for her tireless efforts and dedication in bringing this work
to fruition, and to Dr. J. E. Laing for much of the indexing.

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