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Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL, 33199. USA

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL, 33199, USA



The use of weeds as insectary plants is an emerging management tactic by agroecologists to sustain beneficial insect species. Fallow lands have always been used by insects, and are an important part of their diet in fragmented ecosystems. Weeds provide nectar and floral resources to beneficial insects, and provide resources to keep those insects within a field in between flowering events. Using weeds as a tool in agricultural production reliant on pollination allows farmers to increase yield, end herbicide use, and increase biodiversity of both plants and insects. Native weeds expand the range of native insects from natural areas into agroecosystems, supporting insects that buffer against lapses in pollination by agricultural honey bees. Weeds also support parasitoid and predatory insects by providing nectar and pollen to adults, as well as alternative prey. This review examines the plant-insect ecological interactions supported by weeds left within a farm, and their potential role in supporting pollinators and parasitoids.


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