Pest Suppressive Landscapes

Linking IPM and natural resource management


Natural pest control is an important ecosystem service which directly benefits grain growers. There is a strong interest in developing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at large scales because mobile pests do not recognise field or farm boundaries, and attempts at controlling them using field based approaches have often failed. Furthermore, it appears that some landscapes are less prone to invertebrate pest infestations than others, suggesting that there are features of landscapes that may be managed to create more pest suppressive landscapes.

Some of the findings of our study have been developed into PDF documents you can print. Go here to download.


Characteristics of pest suppressive landscapes

To understand how the population dynamics of pests are affected by landscape composition we focused on the the following areas (click on the links below to find out more):


Led nationally by CSIRO, the study has involved two years of extensive field work in Western Australia’s Great Southern region, Dalby in Queensland and Cootamundra in New South Wales. The field data has been used to identify habitats with high and low abundance of grain pests and their beneficials, as well as measuring movement between habitats. Our results are being used to address the following questions:

  1. What landscape features contribute to sustained control of pest populations in crops?
  2. What landscape-scale IPM options have the best potential to improve the pest suppression capacity of these landscapes (e.g. change relative crop acreage, spatial arrangement of crops, revegetation)?

Benefits of this research

Making the most of the environment: using ecosystem services to benefit growers.

Grain growers can benefit from effective IPM by becoming less dependent on the use of chemical pesticides, potentially reducing the number of sprays, and therefore reducing labour and application costs.

Helping the community, environment and fellow growers.

Whilst reducing the reliance on chemical pesticides, growers can simultaneously benefit the environment, the community and fellow growers by reducing the environmental pesticide load, enhancing biodiversity conservation and counteracting resistance development.


»Management Advice»     »Thinking beyond the crop»     »Solving Problems and win-win»     »Ecosystem services»     »Sustainability»     »Multi-functional landscapes»



For further information, check our contacts page here

Dalby team


Project Team


BrisbaneHazel Parry, Andy Hulthen & Nancy Schellhorn (Project leader)

Southern NSWSarina Macfadyen & Mick Neave

Perth –  Paul Yeoh


Svet Micic, Tony Dore, Art Diggle & Mike Grimm

University of Queensland:

Myron Zalucki

Queensland Government:

Jamie Hopkinson, Adam Quade & Matt Davis



Many thanks go to the land holders for participating in the project and GRDC for funding (CSE00051).