Alternative landscape design and management and insect diversity in residential landscapes

Alfredo B. Lorenzo, Jesusa C. Legaspi, Manuel Pescador, James J. Muchovej, Edwin R. Duke


An analysis of data collected from several residential landscapes in Tallahassee, Florida, revealed positive and negative relationships between the number of predator insects and pests in the landscape and the richness, evenness and abundance of plant species at the site. Increasing the diversity of plants in a residential landscape may increase the number of predators while decreasing the number of pests that will be found in a site for two likely reasons. First, relatively few plants harbored pests throughout the period of the study. Therefore, adding plants of the same species had little effect on altering the number of predator insects and pest in a landscape. Also, pests tend to be relatively specialized in their key host range. Adding different species of plants to a landscape creates more opportunities for specialized insects to colonize the site and alters the richness and abundance of the insect population. These results can provide landscape designers and managers information to make decisions on plant usage more efficiently and effectively.


landscape design; landscape management; pest diversity; plant diversity; predator diversity

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283