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Ecologically Based Pest Management: New Solutions for a New Century
the macroscopic level where population ecology and predator-prey models are understood. Progress at the microscopic level has been slow because microbial ecology is still relatively poorly understood.
Research must also extend beyond basic to applied research. The need for applied research is compounded by the site-specificity of many ecologically based approaches. Ecologically based management systems with universal applicability are rare. Site specificity places unusual research, development, and extension burdens on local institutions. EBPM strategies adaptable to local conditions for each arthropod, weed, or pathogen pest are needed. Sharing research responsibilities between states can help reduce costs, but each locality will need to independently identify and optimize procedures for each of the major pests of the region.
The base of ecological information necessary to develop and implement EBPM is much greater than that for conventional chemical pesticides. Widespread implementation of EBPM will come only as a result of political processes through which the public makes it known that alternatives to conventional pesticides must be found.