Pest management through tropical tree conservation

Pest management through tropical tree conservation


Deforestation and crop monocultures in Veracruz, Mexico are leading to the disappearance of indigenous trees and the animal species that depend on them. This is particularly troubling to local agricultural workers who benefit from species like hymenopteran parasitoids that attack pest fruit flies. This research evaluates the relationship between hymenopteran parasitoids, pest fruit flies and their fruit hosts and proposes potential strategies for conservation and pest management.

Conclusions & Takeaways

The authors conclude that the addition and maintenance of fruit fly host plants in orchard agroecosystems could increase the number of naturally produced fruit fly parasitoids and could help manage tephritid pests in deforested areas. They recommend 3 categories of trees be considered to be included in commercial plantations: parasitoid multiplier plants which serve as alternate hosts for fruit fly pests in the absence of commercial hosts while leaving them vulnerable to parasitism, parasitoid reservoir plants in which non-pest fruit flies serve as hosts to parasitoids that are able to attack pest tephritids in other species of commercially grown fruit; and pest-based parasitoid reservoir plants, native or introduced species that harbor non-pest fruit flies and that serve as hosts for parasitoids of the important pests in the vicinity.



Aluja M, Sivinski J, Van Driesche R, Anzures-Dadda A, Guillén L. Pest management through tropical tree conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation. 2014;23:831–853. doi:10.1007/s10531-014-0636-3.


  • Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Office of International Cooperation and Development
  • Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología-Sistema Regional Golfo de México
  • Campaña Nacional Contra las Moscas de la Fruta