Ecological engineering in gourds and melons (Cucurbitaceae) for pest management and conservation of beneficial insects

Authors

  • E Sree Latha
  • S Jesurajan
  • Ch. Sreenivasa Rao

Keywords:

Ecological engineering, Gourds, Melons, Beneficial insects, Pollinators, Sticky traps, fruit fly lures.

Abstract

The family Cucurbitaceae has most of the species of crops used as human food worldwide. Insect pests are major constraints in cucurbit cultivation. The use of synthetic chemicals to control the pests in cucurbits consequently leads to a decline in the beneficial insect population. In the agriculture ecosystem, beneficial insects like natural enemies and pollinators are very important and interlinked with sustainable crop production. The natural enemies control pests and protect the crop whereas the pollinators play a key role in pollination especially in cucurbits. Gourds and melons are monecious and are mainly dependent on bees for pollination. The current experiment was designed to study the complete ecosystem of bottle gourd, ridge gourd, and watermelon that were maintained with ecological engineering techniques to enhance beneficial insect population. Ecological engineering techniques like polyculture, border crops, attractant plants, repellent plants, and companion plantings were used in the entire organic field to study the ecosystem. Biofertilizers, biopesticides, sticky traps and pheromone traps were used based on need. The study of the interaction of pests and beneficial insects revealed that ecological engineering keeps pests under control by providing food and shelter to beneficial insects and enhances bee activity for pollination which in turn leads to the development of a sustainable ecosystem.

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Published

2021-04-06

How to Cite

Sree Latha, E., Jesurajan, S., & Sreenivasa Rao, C. (2021). Ecological engineering in gourds and melons (Cucurbitaceae) for pest management and conservation of beneficial insects. Indian Journal of Plant Protection, 48(3). Retrieved from https://epubs.icar.org.in/index.php/IJPP/article/view/111528

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Section

Articles