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Biological control of lepidoptera pests through functional biodiversity in cabbage crops


Field cabbage is attacked by a broad range of pests and necessitates an intensive use of insecticides. A habitat management strategy consisting in the introduction of wild flower strips and other non-crop vegetation may foster the survival of natural enemies i.e. the control of these pests. The objective of this project is to develop and introduce functional biodiversity in the model crop field cabbage.

The selection of highly attractive wildflowers by Y-tube olfactometer studies and the assessment of the longevity and the reproduction of parasitoids are conducted in a laboratory. The quantification of larval parasitism rates is done by PCR (polymerase chain reaction)., The impact of wild flower strips and companion plants on parasitism, pest populations and yield reduction are evaluated in field experiments. The methods used include the exposure of pest eggs and larvae as well as the assessment of olfactory attractiveness of selected companion plants using Y-tube field olfactometers.

Project website

Project website

Financing/ Donor
  • Bristol-Stiftung
  • Bundesamt für Umwelt (BAFU)
  • Coop Fonds für Nachhaltigkeit
  • Ernst Göhner Stiftung
  • Fenaco Genossenschaft, Hauptner-Dietlikon-Zürich
  • Parrotia-Stiftung
  • Schöni Finefood AG
  • Singenberg Foundation
  • Spendenstiftung Bank Vontobel
  • Stiftung Wirtschaft und Ökologie (SWO)
  • Stiftung zur internationalen Erhaltung der Pflanzenvielfalt
  • Gamil-Foundation
  • Werner Steiger Stiftung
(Research) Program
  • Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) - Research and consultation
  • Partnership Coop and FiBL
Project partners
  • University of Basel
  • Lancaster University
  • Syngenta AG Stein
  • University of Insbruck
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
  • Fataar Shakira (Department of Crop Sciences)
(people who are not linked are former FiBL employees)
Research area
FiBL project number 25006
Date modified 12.11.2019
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