In progress

01.12.19 → 31.03.25

Insect Service and Biodiversity in Agroecological Farming

We propose to focus on two major functional groups of insects that are of interest in agroecological farming, namely pollinators, particularly bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea) and flower flies (Diptera, Syrphidae), but also pests, particularly fruit flies (Diptera, Tephritidae) as targets and proxies for the evaluation of pollinator & pest biodiversity in contrasting agroecosystems. Relationships between agroecological farming landscape and insect diversity (including morpho-species and genetic diversity) will be tested by comparing agroecological and conventional farms in the Morogoro region (East-Central Tanzania). Focus is on three cucurbit crops commonly grown in Tanzania: watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), cucumber (Cucumis sativus) and pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.). Insect species composition and abundance will be estimated following well-established trapping protocols for quantitative analyses. Insects will be preliminarily sorted at the SUA and identified in collaboration with the reference taxonomists for African bees. Morpho-species diversity will be computed for pollinators and pests. Insect genetic diversity will be quantified via genome skimming. These data will be used for population genetic analyses as well to quantify levels of phylogenetic diversity.


Belspo > BRAIN-be 2.0

Internal members

  • Carl Vangestel
  • Gontran Sonet
  • Jean-Luc Boevé

Other members

  • Massimiliano Virgilio (coordinator, “C“; MRAC)
  • Marc De Meyer (MRAC)
  • Nicolas J. Vereecken (“P3“ ; ULB)
  • Alain Pauly

Partners en sponsors

Research team