Trait-based approaches to predicting biological control success: challenges and prospects

Michal Segoli*, Paul K. Abram, Jacintha Ellers, Gili Greenbaum, Ian C.W. Hardy, George E. Heimpel, Tamar Keasar, Paul J. Ode, Asaf Sadeh, Eric Wajnberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Identifying traits that are associated with success of introduced natural enemies in establishing and controlling pest insects has occupied researchers and biological control practitioners for decades. Unfortunately, consistent general relationships have been difficult to detect, preventing a priori ranking of candidate biological control agents based on their traits. We summarise previous efforts and propose a series of potential explanations for the lack of clear patterns. We argue that the quality of current datasets is insufficient to detect complex trait–efficacy relationships and suggest several measures by which current limitations may be overcome. We conclude that efforts to address this elusive issue have not yet been exhausted and that further explorations are likely to be worthwhile.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)802-811
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • crop plant
  • importation biological control
  • insect pest
  • natural enemy
  • trade-offs
  • trait-based approach

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