Pros and Cons of Biological Control

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-36920-2_23

ABSTRACT This chapter will briefly review the positive aspects of biological control and will highlight a few examples. It will further
review negative aspects of biological control introductions. One of the examples where biological control led to detrimental
environmental effects was the introduction of the ladybeetle Harmonia axyridis, and this case will be outlined in more detail. This example will also be used to explore some of the population biology
mechanisms which can contribute to the net effects of introduced natural enemies. Finally, some information on recent developments
and improvements in risk assessment of biological control agents is provided.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: During 1994 -1999 several hundred thousands of Harmonia axyridis adults were released at various cultivations infested by aphids (citrus, vegetable and bean crops, maize, etc.) or in urban places on ornamental plants in central and southern Greece (mainly Attica and Peloponnessos region) as well as on several islands. During 1995-2007, samplings were conducted in some areas, in spring just before any new releases, in order to determine if H. axyridis overwintered in the field. In spring 1995 (the year that followed the first releases) as well in spring 1996-97 and 2000-07, no presence of H. axyridis was recorded in any of the orchards where the predator had been released. Only in spring 1998 and 1999 small colonies (
  • BIORISK ? Biodiversity and Ecosystem Risk Assessment 07/2010; 4. DOI:10.3897/biorisk.4.60
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Reproductive potentials were compared for a large invasive lady beetle, sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), and a set of four smaller native North American species that have been displaced from alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., fields in Utah. The invader rapidly attained predominance in these fields during years when aphid populations were high. In a laboratory experiment, females were provided with excess numbers of their principal prey in these fields, pea aphids, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris). Among the five species, both the number and total volume of eggs (number × mean egg volume) produced per day increased with increasing female size and were greatest for C. septempunctata. Rates of reproduction also increased with increasing female size within species. Similarly sized females of C. septempunctata and transverse lady beetle, Coccinella transversoguttata richardsoni (Brown), laid similar total volumes of eggs per day, but females of the invasive species had more ovarioles and laid larger numbers of individually smaller eggs. In summary, when feeding on abundant prey in a habitat in which it predominates, the invasive C. septempunctata gains reproductive advantage over native, North American lady beetles, from its large body size and its investment in many small eggs. The results support the generalization that high fecundity linked with large body size may often be one important factor that promotes the dominance of introduced species over native competitors in resource-rich environments.
    Annals of the Entomological Society of America 08/2010; 103(5):750-756. DOI:10.1603/AN10071 · 1.17 Impact Factor


Available from