Insects in Agricultural and Horticultural Crops

Course content

Many insects interact with plants, which they use particularly for feed, shelter and fuel. If densities of herbivorous insects are high enough they can become crop pest which require attention and maybe action. To do this as economical and sustainable as possible requires an ecologically based knowledge and understnding of:

  • Insect-plant-ecology and more specifically the influence of soil, weather, fertilization, irrigation etc. on crop pest and their natural enemies.
  • Monitoring and forecasting methodologies (development and function of systems) as well as control methods and overall management strategies (incl. legal and advisory implications).
  • Prevention of attacks and manipulation of pest insects and their natural enemies through rotation and choice of crop, and farming system (organic, integrated, conventional).
  • Influence of plant protection on wild flora and fauna of arable fields.

MSc Programme in Agriculture

Learning outcome

The main objective is to establish a general knowledge to crop pest insects and their interactions with crop plants and natural enemies, which can support sound pest management.
After the course the student should be able to:
- List and describe a selection of important insect pests and their plant/crop effects.
- Describe the principles and methods of monitoring insect pests of crops.
- Describe the main methods to prevent and control insect attacks.
- Identify selected pest insects and beneficials based on morphological characters.
- Analyse and process monitoring results and work out and communicate a decision backgroound for growers.
- Communicate pest insect problems to fellow students.
- Explain the major concepts of insect pest management.
- Explain and discuss crop and production system effects on pest insects and other insects.
- Explain and discuss crop-pest interactions and management possibilities.
- Discuss ethical aspects of insect management e.g. related to use of chemicals and genetically modified plants as well as the environment.

Key elements will be presented in lectures which are supplemented with practical (eg. identification) and theoretical (eg. forecasting and planning of strategies) exercises. Colloquia (journal club) will include particular problems in agriculture and horticulture treated on the basis of selected literature.

D. V. Alford: A Textbook of Agricultural Entomology. Blackwell 1999 (314 pp), Selected chapters from D. Dent: Insect Pest Management (2. ed) CABI Publiushing, Wallingford 2005 (410 pp), 2-4 journal articles.

Basic knowledge of the biology, morphology, systematics and ecology of insects and plants equivalent to a minimum of 15 ECTS, corresponding to the courses

Eg. Via the courses
LBIB10171U Naturressourcer og økologi
LBIB10127U Dyrs og planters diversitet

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 3 under invigilation
All aids allowed

NB: If the exam is held at the ITX, the ITX will provide you a computer. Private computer, tablet or mobile phone CANNOT be brought along to the exam. Books and notes should be brought on paper or saved on a USB key.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 27
  • Theory exercises
  • 32
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Colloquia
  • 22
  • Preparation
  • 98
  • Exam
  • 3
  • English
  • 206