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Principles and Tools for Decision Making in Integrated Pest Management

Ferran Garcia Marí

Mediterranean Agroforestal Institute. Polytechnic University of Valencia

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is generally considered to have three components.

First, IPM must consider a number of economic, ecological, and toxicological issues, and requires an understanding of the biology and population dynamics of the main pests and their natural enemies. Rather than focus on the target pest alone, IPM considers the influence of any intended action throughout the agroecosystem as a whole.

Second, IPM uses or applies a broad range of cultural, varietal, mechanical, chemical, and above all, biological techniques, but always gives priority to interventions which are more environmentally sustainable.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is generally considered to have three components.

First, IPM must consider a number of economic, ecological, and toxicological issues, and requires an understanding of the biology and population dynamics of the main pests and their natural enemies. Rather than focus on the target pest alone, IPM considers the influence of any intended action throughout the agroecosystem as a whole.

Second, IPM uses or applies a broad range of cultural, varietal, mechanical, chemical, and above all, biological techniques, but always gives priority to interventions which are more environmentally sustainable.

Third, the aim of IPM is to keep  phytophagous pest populations below a pre-established tolerance threshold determined through sampling techniques. Integrated management systems therefore seek both economic and environmental benefits, and apply decision-making heuristics based on continually updated knowledge of biology and population dynamics, as well as information obtained from local sampling and regional monitoring networks. With its holistic approach to action, IPM considers all crop-related aspects instead of focusing narrowly on controlling specific pests; the scope of the management process expands to encompass the complete holding, rather than a single plot.

A fundamental tool of IPM is the setting and accurate determination of economic thresholds for pests on the basis of their economic damage levels. Simple and adequately precise methods to sample and predict arthropod populations are required, and the relationship between insect population density and damage level needs to be known. In addition, major beneficial organisms also need to be identified and their numbers known, so that they can be protected; and information on environmental factors and population numbers must be obtained from weather networks and regional monitoring networks to help with forecasting. All of these tools and strategies need to be defined and adapted on a local level.

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Data protection policy

In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
- Statement of the purpose of the request.
- Address for notification purposes.
PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.