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Biological control

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Definition

noun, plural: biological controls

A method of controlling a group of organisms by another set of organisms




Supplement

Biological control is a method of controlling a group of organisms (e.g. pests) with another set of organisms, e.g. natural predators of the former. This method of control makes use of parasitism, predation, or herbivory.

An example of biological controls is the introduction of nematophagous fungi to control the population of certain nematodes. These fungal species are also referred to as carnivorous fungi. They have various trapping mechanisms (e.g. hyphal traps, immobilizing toxins, parasitic spores, etc.) to trap nematodes and feed on them. This makes use of parasitism as a means of controlling nematodes.

Another example of a biological control agent is the cats to get rid of rats or rodent pests. In this case, this employs predation. Other predators that are introduced to control certain population are the insectivores. For instance, larvae of lady beetles are active predators of aphids, especially between the months of May and July.

One of the issues that may arise using biological control of certain organisms is the upsurge of the population of the biological control agents resulting in them becoming pests as well. They may cause unanticipated adverse effects to biodiversity.


Synonym(s):

  • biocontrol

See also: