Increasing crop diversification with flower strips to improve natural pest control and pollination
Conventional pest control based on the use of synthetic insecticides is very effective, however this has important negative effects on the environment such as the loss of farmland biodiversity, especially in the group of invertebrates, including many beneficial organisms. Another key problem is the presence of insecticide residues in surface and ground water or, potentially, in harvested products.
Flower strips, adapted to particular crops, soil quality and pedoclimatic conditions, can significantly support natural pest control and pollination. Flower strips are a type of ecological compensation area and are defined as strips of species-rich plant mixtures on arable lands. They are aimed of delivering different ecosystem services (mainly natural pest control and pollination) and conserving biodiversity.