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Reducing production variability by better management of biotic threats

Managing biotic threats in farming systems

Variability in the amount and quality of crop produced each year can be due to biotic threats such as attack by invertebrate pests, pathogens and weeds. To reduce crop losses from these species in our farming systems we need to better understand factors that drive outbreaks at a range a range of spatial scales. Our research team integrates evolutionary biology, ecology, genetics, conservation and quantitative biology into a focused unit that employs novel approaches to manage biotic interactions in agroecosystems.

We engage in highly collaborative research and extension efforts that offer practical solutions to current challenges in agronomy, pathology and entomology.

We use a range of approaches, including systems thinking, novel analytical and modelling approaches. Our research findings are used to derive practical solutions that are adoptable in intensive production landscapes.

We specifically address issues around:

  • Minimising crop losses from biotic threats (invertebrate pests, pathogens and weeds).
  • Reducing pesticides.
  • Optimising the deployment of new technologies in agricultural systems (e.g. resistance development in pests and the breakdown of resistance in crop plants).
  • Management of ecosystem services at the landscape-scale to benefit farmers.

 

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