Evaluation of Conservation Strips as a Conservation Biological Control Technique on Golf Courses

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Conservation strips combine the conservation biological control tactics of beetle banks and flowering insectary strips. Conservation strips were established on golf course fairways to evaluate their effect on arthropod abundance and distribution. The conservation strips contained two flowering plants, alyssum and coreopsis, and an ornamental grass. In general, the plants species in the conservation strips supported a greater abundance of predators, parasitoids and alternative prey than turf. Conservation strips also resulted in a greater abundance of natural enemies and alternative prey in the fairway adjacent to the conservation strips versus fairways without conservation strips. Predation on cutworm larvae in fairways was significantly more frequent when conservation strips were present. For these reasons conservation strips show great potential as a conservation biological control tactic on golf courses. Installation of conservation strips could result in reduced pest pressure and a reduction in the need for insecticide applications on golf courses.