Skip navigation

Pesticidal plant extracts improve yield and reduce insect pests on legume crops without harming beneficial arthropods

Pesticidal plant extracts improve yield and reduce insect pests on legume crops without harming beneficial arthropods

Tembo, Yolice, Mkindi, Angela G., Mkenda, Prisila A., Mpumi, Nelson, Mwanauta, Regina, Stevenson, Philip C. ORCID: 0000-0002-0736-3619, Ndakidemi, Patrick A. and Belmain, Steven R. ORCID: 0000-0002-5590-7545 (2018) Pesticidal plant extracts improve yield and reduce insect pests on legume crops without harming beneficial arthropods. Frontiers in Plant Science, 9:1425. ISSN 1664-462X (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01425)

[img]
Preview
PDF (Publisher's PDF - Open Access)
21596 BELMAIN_Pesticidal_Plant_Extracts_Improve_Yield_(OA)_2018.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

In the fight against arthropod crop pests using plant secondary metabolites, most research has focussed on the identification of bioactive molecules. Several hundred candidate plant species and compounds are now known to have pesticidal properties against a range of arthropod pest species. Despite this growing body of research, few natural products are commercialised for pest management whilst on-farm use of existing botanically-based pesticides remains a small, but growing, component of crop protection practice. Uptake of natural pesticides is at least partly constrained by limited data on the trade-offs of their use on farm. The research presented here assessed the potential trade-offs of using pesticidal plant extracts on legume crop yields and the regulating ecosystem services of natural pests enemies. The application of six established pesticidal plants (Bidens pilosa, Lantana camara, Lippia javanica, Tephrosia vogelii, Tithonia diversifolia and Vernonia amygdalina) were compared to positive and negative controls for their impact on yields of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) and pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) crops and the abundance of key indicator pest and predatory arthropod species. Analysis of field trials showed that pesticidal plant treatments often resulted in crop yields that were comparable to the use of a synthetic pesticide (lambda-cyhalothrin). The best-performing plant species were Tephrosia vogelii, Tithonia diversifolia and Lippia javanica. The abundance of pests was very low when using the synthetic pesticide, whilst the plant extracts generally had a higher number of pests than the synthetic but lower numbers than observed on the negative controls. Beneficial arthropod numbers were low with synthetic treated crops, whereas the pesticidal plant treatments appeared to have little effect on beneficials when compared to the negative controls. The outcomes of this research suggest that using extracts of pesticidal plants to control pests can be as effective as synthetic insecticides in terms of crop yields while tritrophic effects were reduced, conserving the non-target arthropods that provide important ecosystem services such as pollination and pest regulation. Thus managing crop pests using plant secondary metabolites can be more easily integrated in to agro-ecologically sustainable crop production systems.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright © 2018 Tembo, Mkindi, Mkenda, Mpumi, Mwanauta, Stevenson, Ndakidemi and Belmain. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Uncontrolled Keywords: pest control, pesticidal plants, botanical products, ecosystem services, agro-ecological intensification, sustainable agriculture
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Chemical Ecology Research Group
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Pest Behaviour Research Group
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2019 08:39
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 5
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/21596

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics