Biodiversity in and around greenhouses: Benefits and potential risks for pest management

Gerben J. Messelink*, Jérôme Lambion, Arne Janssen, Paul C.J. van Rijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


One of the ecosystem services of biodiversity is the contribution to pest control through conservation and stimulation of natural enemies. However, whether plant diversity around greenhouses is beneficial or a potential risk is heavily debated. In this review, we argue that most greenhouse pests in temperate climates are of exotic origin and infest greenhouses mainly through transportation of plant material. For indigenous pests, we discuss the potential ways in which plant diversity around greenhouses can facilitate or prevent pest migrations into greenhouses. As shown in several studies, an important benefit of increased plant diversity around greenhouses is the stimulation of indigenous natural enemies that migrate to greenhouses, where they suppress both indigenous and exotic pests. How this influx can be supported by specific plant communities, plant characteristics, and habitats while minimising risks of increasing greenhouse pest densities, virus transmission, or hyperparasitism needs further studies. It also requires a better understanding of the underlying processes that link biodiversity with pest management. Inside greenhouses, plant biodiversity can also support biological control. We summarise general methods that growers can use to enhance pest control with functional biodiversity and suggest that it is particularly important to study how biodiversity inside and outside greenhouses can be linked to enhancement of biological pest control with both released and naturally occurring species of natural enemies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number933
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Biological control
  • Ecosystem services
  • Functional agrobiodiversity
  • Parasitoids
  • Plant diversity
  • Predators
  • Protected cultivation


Dive into the research topics of 'Biodiversity in and around greenhouses: Benefits and potential risks for pest management'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this