This project surveyed plant and invertebrate biodiversity in bean ecosystems in Tanzania and Malawi to evaluate their ecologies. The project identified field margin plant species that (i) attract, nourish and provide habitat for natural enemies of pests; (ii) promote the activity of pollinator insects in crops and (iii) provide environmentally-benign ‘botanical insecticides’ as additional control for pests. This required a systematic analysis of roles and interactions of pest and biological control species/habitats, supporting development of management systems that increase productivity through strategic integration of biodiversity. Using this knowledge we are developing interventions that maintain and optimise these ecosystem services.
- Darwin Initiative, UK
- Closely interconnected project supported by McKnight Foundation (USA-Africa)
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK
- Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, UK
- Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, Tanzania
- Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Malawi