Pesticides are a ubiquitous component of conventional crop production but come with considerable economic and ecological costs. We tested the hypothesis that variation in pesticide use among crop species is a function of crop economics and the phylogenetic relationship of a crop to native plants because unrelated crops accrue fewer herbivores and pathogens. Comparative analyses of a dataset of 93 Californian crops showed that more valuable crops and crops with close relatives in the native plant flora received greater pesticide use, explaining roughly half of the variance in pesticide use among crops against pathogens and herbivores. Phylogenetic escape from arthropod and pathogen pests results in lower pesticides, suggesting that the introduced status of some crops can be leveraged to reduce pesticides.
|Title||Phylogenetic escape from pests reduces pesticides on some crop plants|
|Authors||Ian Pearse, Jay Rosenheim|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Fort Collins Science Center|