New diseases, Good Practices

Benefits and risks of exotic biological control agents

16 Feb 2012

“Benefits and risks of exotic biological control agents”, Patrick De Clercq, Peter G. Mason and Dirk Babendreier, Article from Biocontrol Volume 56, Number 4, 681-698, DOI: 10.1007/s10526-011-9372-8

From the issue entitled “Special Issue: Invasive Alien Arthropod Predators and Parasitoids: An Ecological Approach”

The use of exotic (=alien) arthropods in classical and augmentative biological control programs is generally considered as positive. However, adverse non-target effects of exotic biological control agents have been observed.

In this paper, the authors briefly review both the benefits of biological control as well as the associated risks. They also make an attempt at identifying the major challenges for assessing risks and for balancing benefits and risks. There is general agreement that sound risk assessment procedures should precede the release of exotic invertebrate biological control agents. However, overly stringent regulations that would preclude promising agents from being developed must be avoided.

Presentation and abstract (in English)