top of page

Msc. in plant biology

Promote the biodiversity of biological control agents in greenhouses: evaluation of four attractive plants


The use of attractive plants in conservation biological control consists of the introduction of an uncultivated plant offering multiple benefits for biological control agents such as shelter, food and an egg-laying site. This technique aims to support predator populations in the agricultural landscape, thus leading to better biological control potential. Among these reservoir plants, sea alyssum (Lobularia maritima), common buckwheat (Fagopyron esculentum), coriander (Coriandrum sativum) and marigold (Calendula officinalis), are excellent candidates. With this in mind, sea alyssum and marigold were introduced into five pepper greenhouses in Quebec and an inventory of biological control agents was carried out. Subsequently, an assessment of the relative attractiveness of sea alyssum, coriander and buckwheat for five commercial biological control agents (Eupeodes americanus, Anystis baccarum, Harmonia axyridis, Orius insidiosus  and Chrysoperla carneae) was carried out in experimental greenhouse.

Messelink, G. J., Bennison, J., Alomar, O., Ingegno, B. L., Tavella, L., Shipp, L., Palevsky, E., & Wäckers, F. L. (2014). Approaches to conserving natural enemy populations in greenhouse crops: current methods and future prospects. BioControl, 59(4), 377-393. 


Messelink, G. J., Lambion, J., Janssen, A., & van Rijn, P. C. (2021). Biodiversity in and around greenhouses: Benefits and potential risks for pest management. Insects, 12(10), 933. 


Pineda, A., & Marcos-García, M. Á. (2008). Use of selected flowering plants in greenhouses to enhance aphidophagous hoverfly populations (Diptera: Syrphidae). Annales de la Société entomologique de France, 44(4), 487-492. 


Van Lenteren, J. C., Alomar, O., Ravensberg, W. J., & Urbaneja, A. (2020). Biological control agents for control of pests in greenhouses. Integrated pest and disease management in greenhouse crops, 409-439. 


Wäckers, F. L., & Van Rijn, P. C. (2012). Pick and mix: selecting flowering plants to meet the requirements of target biological control insects. Biodiversity and insect pests: key issues for sustainable management, 139-165.


bottom of page