Mr Abdul-Salam Mahamud Baba, a UNU-LRT fellow in 2017, has just published the results of his individual research project at UNU-LRT as a short communication article in the journal Icelandic Agricultural Sciences! Baba conducted a field experiment in Iceland to assess how insect pests, in combination with reduced water availability, can influence crop production. Insect pests are a main constraint to vegetable production in Ghana, Baba’s home country. The incidence of pests is also likely to be exacerbated by ongoing environmental changes, like the increased frequency and intensity of droughts, so an understanding of the combined effects of pest damage and environmental conditions can help in mitigating crop losses.
Baba used as a model system for his study the cabbage root fly and cauliflower plants. The larvae of cabbage root flies feed on roots of plants of the cabbage family and are a horticultural pest in many parts of the world. His results suggest that reduced water availability and insecticide application can significantly reduce the density of the insect pest, although this did not translate in to plant biomass reductions in the short term. However, in the longer term, the potential combined effect of higher loads of larvae and less mitigation of root damage under water-limited conditions may pose a challenge in plant protection.
You can access the article here: http://ias.is/icelandic-agricultural-sciences-32-2019/
FULL CITATION: BABA ASM, BARRIO IC, HALLDÓRSSON G (2019) Effects of reduced water availability and insecticide on damage Icelandic Agricultural Sciences 32:17-20. doi.org/10.16886/IAS.2019.02