About this Research Topic
The production of food crops helps us meet the basic need of human nutrition. The world's population now exceeds 7 billion people and continues to grow. Alongside this growth, the human demand for food also increases rapidly. Crop production is becoming increasingly intensive and large-scale and, as a result, simplified landscape-systems form. Crop production in simplified agricultural landscapes often face or suffer from various threats, such as pest damage (caused by diseases, insect pests, weeds and rodents) or a shortage of pollinators. These pests can cause serious damage to seeds, germination, growth, breeding and maturity during crop production and food storage, however, effective pest management can help to reduce crop loss. Most crops, in particular fruit trees and vegetables, require insect pollination to ensure high yields and high quality. Research into ecosystem services and their potential impact on pest control and pollination in agricultural landscapes is of great significance to sustainable crop production.
Simplified and intensive agricultural landscapes can support crop production, but often have reduced biodiversity as monoculture cropping systems have limited surrounding natural habitat. This lack of natural surrounding habitat leads to the loss of ecosystem service benefits such as natural pest control and pollination. Over the past few decades, pest control has largely relied on chemical pesticides which can control pests and reduce crop losses in the short term. However, chemical pesticides cause a number of problems in the long run, for example, pest resistance to pesticides, and residues of pesticides in soil, water, and agricultural products. Excessive, improper, and long-term use of pesticides during crop production ultimately harms human health and biodiversity, especially beneficial microbes, natural enemies and pollinators. To achieve and ensure food security, food safety and ecological security, new theories, methods, practice, and application patterns need to be developed for environmentally friendly pest control and maintenance of pollination in agricultural landscapes for sustainable food production.
The aim of this Research Topic is to promote the sustainable management of crop production and ecological environment protection through the discussion of crop pest control and pollination, and the publication of original research articles and reviews of research and theory. We welcome high-quality and original contributions that present original papers on basic and applied research covering aspects of natural pest control and pollination.
Coverage for this Research Topic includes the biology and ecology of pollinators (including wild and managed), organisms (including parasitoids, invertebrate and vertebrate predators of insect pest and plants, mites, plant and insect pathogens, nematodes, and weeds) used for biological control, and aspects of use including biological control agents for integrated pest management on food crops, fruits and vegetables in agricultural landscapes. Natural pest control is an environmentally beneficial and effective means of reducing or mitigating pests and pest damage through the use of natural enemies. Ecological, ethological, molecular, and biotechnological approaches to the understanding of natural pest control and pollination in agricultural landscapes are welcome. Such as, by maintaining and increasing crop genetic diversity (not including genetically engineered crops), crop diversity, species diversity (not including genetically altered insects) and landscape diversity in cropping systems.
Keywords: Natural pest control, Pollination, Genetic diversity, Species diversity, Crop diversity, Landscape diversity
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.