Biological control in ornamental plants: from basic to applied knowledge

Brígida de Souza, Rosangela Cristina Marucci


Biological control is a worldwide trend and has been prominent as an effective and compatible strategy for use in Integrated Pest Management programs. In Brazil, the control of these organisms using biological agents has been used in several agricultural systems, including floriculture. This paper approaches biological control from the perspective of the interaction between organisms in nature, applied as a pest management strategy. Knowledge about the dependence and reciprocity among populations in a natural environment is fundamental to understanding that this control method is nothing more than an exploiting of a natural ecological service. Considering that, for the biological control of a pest we must increase the population density of natural enemies, we report on the two main ways to achieve this increase: conservative biological control and augmentative biological control. The first is done by modifying the environment’s vegetation structure to favor natural enemies’ maintenance or their attraction to the crops. The second is done by mass rearing entomophagous and entomopathogen species with attributes that can ensure their function as control agents when released in crops. Among such agents, we emphasize those produced and marketed in Brazil for application in ornamental plants. Finally, we report on the technologies most recently employed to increase the appropriate use and the efficiency of these biological control agents.



Natural enemies, Integrated Pest Management, floriculture, technological innovations

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ISSN: 2447-536X

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