Improving integrated pest management in horticulture. Edited by Professor Rosemary Collier, Warwick University, UK. ISBN-13: 9781786767530, 486 pages, 15 March 2022

Opinion Article in "Trends in Ecology & Evolution":

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

Editors: 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

Published: May 16, 2023. Free Download.
Published in: OPINION| VOLUME 38, ISSUE 9, P802-811, SEPTEMBER 2023


  • Across many organisms, there is clear evidence that there are traits associated with successful establishment after being moved to new regions by human activities.
  • Among predatory and parasitoid insects that have been, for decades, intentionally imported to combat insect pests, there is little clear evidence that any particular traits influence their success as biological control agents.
  • We argue this is not due to traits having no influence on success but more likely to the insufficiency of existing data and consequent constraints on analyses used.
  • We provide a roadmap towards improved predictions of how traits, and combinations of traits, affect natural enemy suitability as biological control agents.
  • More accurate forecasting of outcomes of biological control introductions would aid importation decisions based on potential risks and benefits of such interventions.

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