Naturally occurring beneficial insects offer important ecosystem services and their function can be enhanced through appropriate habitat management in agroecosystems. The provision of all resources for the survival and reproduction of these insects is of fundamental importance. Our focus is primarily on hoverflies and parasitoid wasps. We are monitoring and determining the abundance, species diversity and fitness of these insects. We also study the suitability of certain alternative flowering crops (energy, medical and spice plants) as alternative food resources for adult stages in the agricultural landscape. In another project, the effects of undersowing or establishing tailored flower strips as nectar and pollen sources for beneficial insects in vegetable crops and their integration into cultivation practices are research topics.
Dr. Annette Herz