M.Agr.0009: Biological Control and Biodiversity

Learning outcome

Gain an understanding of what biological control is and how it can be used effectively as part of an IPM system and how biodiversity contributes to control of pest populations and other ecosystem services.


Course: Biological Control and Biodiversity (Lecture, Exercise, Seminar)


  • Theoretical foundations of biological control
  • Natural enemy behaviour and biological control success
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services in agroecosystems
  • Practical examples of biological control projects
  • Plant-herbivore-predator-interactions
  • Principles of population dynamics
  • Biological weed control


  • Written exam (70%, 45 minutes) and presentation (30%, approx. 20 minutes)
  • Prerequisites: Regular attendance at seminar and exercise and presentation of a seminar talk
  • Requirements: Basic knowledge of the mechanisms of biological control of herbivorous insects; methodological approaches based on case examples; role of biodiversity for ecosystem processes and the population dynamic of herbivorous insects, multitrophic interactions between plants, herbivorous insects and their natural enemies; biodiversity and services of ecosystems.

Further details

  • Work load: 180 h (84/96 h, attendance / self-study)
  • Admission requirements: None
  • Recommended previous knowledge: None
  • Language: English
  • Person responsible for module: Prof. Dr. Stefan Vidal
  • Course frequency: Each winter semester
  • Duration: One semester
  • Number of repeat examinations permitted: Twice
  • Recommended Semester: 1-3 Semester
  • Maximum number of students: 12