Aarhus Universitets segl

Exploring how flower strips can provide biological control of black bean aphid (Aphis fabae) in faba bean (Vicia faba)

Main subject area: Biodiversity, Conservation biological control, Biological control of aphids in faba bean, Eco system service providers

Short project description

Faba bean has the potential to become the protein crop of the future. The crop is plagued by pests, especially aphids, where early attack has major consequences for the yield, primarily in organic production. There are beneficial against aphids, but they only arrive after the damage has been done. By using flower strips with early flowering species, the project will attract beneficials early, so that aphids can be limited below their damage threshold. In 2024 a flower strip with annual and perennial species are sown in between a faba bean field (0.2ha) and a spring sown barley field (0.2ha). Based on flowering annual species evaluation of beneficials and their impact on the black bean aphid on faba bean will be conducted. In 2025 faba bean will be sown in the barley field to evaluate the flowering on perennial species on the attraction of beneficials and their impact on the pest in the faba bean. Shift of focus to pests and beneficials in spring barley is also possible.

Department and supervisor

Project start

Summer 2024 or spring 2025

Physical location of project and students work

Department of Agrobiology, AU, Flakkebjerg, 4200 Slagelse

Extent and type of project

45 ECTS, 60 ECTS: The student will be able to decide on the extend on the study and on the number of field observations.

Additional information

Hansen L. M., L. Lorentsen and B. Boelt. 2008. How to reduce the incidence of black bean aphids (Aphis fabae Scop.) attacking organic growing field beans (Vicia faba L.) by growing partially resistant bean varieties and by intercropping field beans with cereals, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B – Soil and Plant Science, 58:4, 359-364.

Skovgård, H., and F. L. Stoddard. 2023. Reproductive potential of the black bean aphid (Aphis fabae Scop.) on a range of faba beans (Vicia faba L.) accessions. Legume Science 5.

Tschumi, M., M. Albrecht, M.H. Entling and K. Jacot. 2015. High effectiveness of tailored flower strips in reducing pests and crop plant damage. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282.