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P Parolin
C Bresch
C Poncet

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P Parolin
C Bresch
C Poncet

International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research
ISSN 2350-1561
Vol.3 (4), pp. 198-212, April 2015
Available online at
Article 15/ID/JPR124/15pages/
Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 International License.


Biocontrol plants and functional diversity in biological control of the red spider mite Tetranychus urticae : A review

Pia Parolin*,Cécile Bresch and Christine Poncet

INRA Sophia Antipolis – Department of Theoretical and Applied Ecology in Protected Environments and Agrosystems (TEAPEA); France.

*Corresponding Author E-mail: pia.parolin(at)
Tel: +33 4 92 38 65 96
Fax: +33 4 92 38 66 77

date Received:     date Accepted: March 20, 2015     date Published:


This review aims at better understanding the employment of biocontrol plants in order to enhance the stability of populations of predatory mites in crop systems, with the ultimate goal to reduce pesticide use and to control pest mites on roses. We analyzed if plant species used in a banker plant system influenced the success in terms of quality of the harvested plant and of pest/predator numbers under greenhouse conditions, aiming at using conditions which correspond to the practice of the local producers in Southern France. The main hypothesis was that the presence of different species of biocontrol plants causes the presence of different numbers of predators and pests with a consequent different impact on crop health in a crop-pest-predator system, depending on the plants’ functional attributes. Mainly plants with domatia were efficient. They increased the number of predators, stabilized their presence throughout the weeks of experiments, and reduced numbers of spider mites. The function of domatia was analysed through additional experiments which lead to the conclusion that plants with domatia can significantly enhance biological control of the red spider mite, and that especially Viburnum tinus is suited to be employed under the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean area.

Key words: biological pest control, biocontrol plants, banker plants, integrated pest management (IPM), domatia, Neoseiulus californicus, Phytoseiulus persimilis, Tetranychus urticae, Viburnum tinus.

Parolin et al