Advancing Levels Of Integration In Ipm Implementation

A hierarchical structure results from the ecological foundation of IPM that lends itself to viewing IPM as progressing in scope through a series of ecologically rooted steps. These steps are characterized by ascending levels of complexity and spatial scale: from focus on a single-species population in a restricted locale to focus on a community of pest and other organisms in a larger area to focus on a whole ecosystem. Coincident with this ecocentric hierarchy is another stepwise hierarchy conceived of as a vehicle for measuring progress in achieving the goals of IPM. This hierarchy comprises a succession of levels from single-tactic (almost invariably based on pesticide use) to multitactic measures of pest and habitat management. The steps further involve ascending from focus on a single pest species in a single class of pests (e.g., insects) to multiple pest species across all classes of pests (insects, microbial pathogens, vertebrates, and weeds). These distinctive hierarchies can be blended in the form of a continuum of advancing levels of integration in IPM implementation. Three more or less distinctive levels along the continuum are described here (Fig. 1). Degree of success in integration at each level is shaped not only by ecological processes but also by government policy, regulatory legislation, social relations, economic forces, and cultural background that may enhance or constrain progress.

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