Concepts in Integrated Pest Management

Article excerpt

Concepts in Integrated Pest Management By Robert F. Norris, Edward P. Caswell-Chen, and Marcos Kogan, Pearson Education of Prentice Hall, 2003, 586 pages, hardcover $88.20

This first edition textbook presents a broad overview of the philosophy and practice of integrated pest management (IPM) in agriculture. The authors define IPM as an integration of basic biological and ecological concepts in the design, delivery, and evaluation of pest control systems in food, fiber, and ornamental crops. Pest information is organized and typically addressed by category: weeds, insects, plant pathogens, as well as nematodes, mollusks, and vertebrates.

The authors have combined their experience in entomology, weed science, and nematology/plant pathology to organize this textbook into 20 logically sequenced chapters. The first three chapters are an introduction to IPM. Chapter one is a general overview of pest organisms by category and their interaction with humans and society, and also presents a conceptual framework for IPM that serves as a basic foundation for the entire textbook. A more in-depth review of the biological and economic impact of pests on crops and society is described in chapter two. A well-organized and worthwhile review of the history of pest control is presented in chapter three, with particular emphasis on pest management strategies during the seventeenth though twentieth centuries.

Chapters four through seven cover the biology and ecology of pests, and include: agro ecosystems and pest organisms (chapter four); the basic biology of pest organisms (chapter five); the ecological interactions between pests and their effects on host crops (chapter six); and the relationship between biodiversity in agriculture and IPM (chapter seven). In chapter eight, the topics include diagnosing pest problems and information gathering techniques that are used to make pest management decisions, and also the economic impact of IPM and crop production.

Chapter nine presents a general introduction to IPM strategies and tactics. Chapters 10 through 17 expand on those practices in more detail: invasive pest organisms and government regulatory issues (chapter 10); comprehensive coverage of pesticides and pesticide issues (chapter 11); pest resistance and resurgence issues (chapter 12); biological pest control (chapter 13); behavioral control strategies based on how a pest organism responds to the environment (chapter 14); physical and mechanical pest control tactics (chapter 15); an in-depth evaluation of cultural management practices for pest control (chapter 16); and host-plant resistance, plant breeding, genetics, and genetic engineering issues (chapter 17). …