Intercropping is one of the important components of habitat management based on the principle of reducing insect pests by increasing the diversity of an ecosystem. A field experiment was conducted to find the influence of different intercropping systems in relation to pests and natural enemy incidence. Mean insect numbers, percent damage and natural enemy counts across sampling intervals were determined in order to provide a single index of pest/natural enemy populations. This index would be useful for making comparisons across intercropping systems. The diversity created by introducing intercrops viz., onion, radish and coriander with two different pattern of planting, recorded significantly lower insect pests population than cauliflower monocrop. The cauliflower + coriander intercropping system proved superior over other intercropping systems. This system was recorded as having the highest build-up of natural enemies, which resulted in a reduction of insect pests and also the highest cauliflower head weight. The cauliflower + radish intercropped system was more attractive to insect pests and suffered from a high infestation of aphids.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 29, 2016
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