Two new co-authored papers

Excited to see these two papers out!

Facing the gap: exploring research on local knowledge of insect-provided services in agroecosystems

Andrea Rawluk & Manu Saunders

This paper took a while to make it through the editorial/publication processes! It was a fun side project Andrea and I started when we met at Charles Sturt Uni a few years’ ago. Ecosystem services is a social-ecological concept – this means that scientific/ecological knowledge is only one side of the picture. Understanding people’s perceptions about particular services, or what they know about the organisms that contribute to the supply of those services, is important groundwork before implementing successful management strategies.

Insects contribute to many ecosystem services in agricultural systems, like pollination, pest control, decomposition, soil formation etc. We were interested in knowing how much research had investigated what farmers/land managers in agricultural systems knew about beneficial insect ecology (what we call ‘local knowledge’), and whether it influenced their farm management practices. We were surprised at how few studies explicitly documented local knowledge. Most studies were from the global south, or so-called ‘developing countries’, and most were focused on pest control services.

Our review shows there’s a big research gap on local knowledge of how insects contribute to ecosystem services, particularly the less visible services (e.g. nocturnal animal activity, indirect benefits).

Engaging urban stakeholders in the sustainable management of arthropod pest

Elizabeth Lowe, Tanya Latty, Cameron Webb, Mary Whitehouse, Manu Saunders

Thanks to Lizzy for developing this awesome paper idea and bringing us all together as co-authors!

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has a long history of success in agriculture, but is rarely discussed in urban systems. Household pesticide use is largely unregulated, with implications for public health, environmental pollution, biodiversity loss and more. In addition, misinformation about what insects are truly urban pests (hint: most aren’t) can lead some people to kill insects unnecessarily. There is huge opportunity for greater policy, planning, education and regulation to support sustainable pest control in urban areas.

This paper summarises how IPM is relevant to urban systems and reviews some of the key challenges to implementing urban IPM strategies.

© Manu Saunders 2019


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