Pesticides are a ubiquitous component of conventional crop production but come with considerable economic and ecological costs. We tested the hypothesis that variation in pesticide use among crop species is a function of crop economics and the phylogenetic relationship of a crop to native plants because unrelated crops accrue fewer herbivores and pathogens. Comparative analyses of a dataset of 93 Californian crops showed that more valuable crops and crops with close relatives in the native plant flora received greater pesticide use, explaining roughly half of the variance in pesticide use among crops against pathogens and herbivores. Phylogenetic escape from arthropod and pathogen pests results in lower pesticides, suggesting that the introduced status of some crops can be leveraged to reduce pesticides.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Phylogenetic escape from pests reduces pesticides on some crop plants|
|Series title||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|