Organic management promotes natural pest control through altered plant resistance to insects

The study is published on Nature Plants.  Reduced insect pest populations found on long-term organic farms have mostly been attributed to increased biodiversity and abundance of beneficial predators, as well as to changes in plant nutrient content. However, the role of plant resistance has largely been ignored. Here, we determine whether host plant resistance mediates decreased pest populations in organic sys-tems and identify potential underpinning mechanisms.

Configurational crop heterogeneity increases within‐field plant diversity

Increasing landscape heterogeneity by restoring semi‐natural elements to reverse farmland biodiversity declines is not always economically feasible or acceptable to farmers due to competition for land. We hypothesized that increasing the heterogeneity of the crop mosaic itself, hereafter referred to as crop heterogeneity, can have beneficial effects on within‐field plant diversity.

Mitigating crop yield losses through weed diversity

Reconciling crop productivity and biodiversity maintenance is one of the main challenges of agriculture worldwide. Moreover, the importance of weed diversity in mitigating yield losses has been identified as one of the top five research priorities in weed science. We tested the hypotheses that (1) not all weed communities generate yield losses and (2) that more diversified weed communities can mitigate yield losses.