Alyokhin, A., B. Nault, and B. Brown. 2020. Soil conservation practices for insect pest management in highly disturbed agroecosystems – a review. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 168: 7-27.

 Decline in soil health is a serious worldwide problem that decreases complexity and stability of agricultural ecosystems, commonly making them more prone to outbreaks of herbivorous insect pests. Potato (Solanum tuberosum L., Solanaceae) and onion (Allium cepa L., Amaryllidaceae) production is currently characterized by high soil disturbance and heavy reliance on synthetic inputs, including insecticides. Evidence suggests that adopting soil conservation techniques often (but not always) increases mortality and decreases reproductive output for the major insect pests of these important vegetable crops. Known mechanisms responsible for such an effect include increases in density and activity of natural enemy populations, enhanced plant defenses, and modified physical characteristics of respective agricultural habitats. However, most research efforts focused on mulches and organic soil amendments, with additional research needed on elucidating effects and their mechanisms for conservation tillage, cover crops, and arbuscular mycorrhizae.