A more inclusive biovigilance approach to pest management: Case study of the strawberry blossom weevil and implications for plant disease monitoring strategies

Citation

MacDonald JL, Franklin MT, Hann S, Makela K. 2023. A more inclusive biovigilance approach to pest management: Case study of the strawberry blossom weevil and implications for plant disease monitoring strategies. The Canadian Tri-Societies Meeting: Agroecosystem Resiliency Under a Changing Climate. Ottawa ON, Canada. 20 June 2023.

Résumé

Biovigilance is an ecosystems-based approach to understand and reduce the negative effects of climate change, pest movements and changes in behaviour, and new crops and farming practices on plant health. Anticipating and understanding how pests, their natural enemies, and environmental conditions will evolve allows for adapting agricultural practices to cope with changing conditions, and results in increased agroecosystem resilience and crop health. This approach relies on a continuum of science-based activities to ensure that mitigation strategies are efficient and do not create new problems. These steps start with awareness and detection, particularly when invasive species are involved, then build towards understanding, mitigating, and anticipating unintended consequences of mitigation efforts. Biovigilance requires a holistic, de-silo’d approach in order to be successful. Monitoring and understanding the effects of insects, disease, and reactionary management practices beyond our agro-ecosystems, into the broader landscape is fundamental. A pilot project based in in British Columbia is working to apply a biovigilance approach to the establishment and management of the newly established insect pest, Anthonomus rubi (strawberry blossom weevil), and involves a diverse group of stakeholders to collectively address the issues surrounding it. This effort and organization should be replicated with emerging disease and disease vectors in the future.