Conservation and Society

ARTICLE
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 218--224

Assessment of Pest Control Services by Vertebrates in Nigerian Subsistence Maize Farms


Murna Tela1, Will Cresswell2, Hazel Chapman3 
1 Department of Biological Sciences, Gombe State University, Gombe, Nigeria
2 School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, UK
3 School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Correspondence Address:
Murna Tela
Department of Biological Sciences, Gombe State University, Gombe
Nigeria

Global conversion of patches of natural vegetation into agricultural land is reducing the ecosystem services provided by natural patches dwelling species to farmers. For sub-Saharan African subsistence farmers, such a reduction in pest control services by birds may be a significant disadvantage. Here we explored to what extent birds provide pest control services to the staple crop maize (Zea mays) on small subsistence farms on the Mambilla Plateau of Taraba State, Nigeria. We used exclosure experiments (maize crops with and without birds) to model how birds influenced crop yield. We found that excluding birds from maize significantly reduces crop yield, although the lack of a direct correlation between bird abundance and crop yield suggests that other taxa, such as bats, may also be important pest predators. Our results suggest that in this subsistence farming landscape, natural pest control of maize from vertebrates does occur, but further research is needed to understand the specific control agents and the role of patches of natural vegetation as habitat for them.


How to cite this article:
Tela M, Cresswell W, Chapman H. Assessment of Pest Control Services by Vertebrates in Nigerian Subsistence Maize Farms.Conservat Soc 2021;19:218-224


How to cite this URL:
Tela M, Cresswell W, Chapman H. Assessment of Pest Control Services by Vertebrates in Nigerian Subsistence Maize Farms. Conservat Soc [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 2 ];19:218-224
Available from: https://www.conservationandsociety.org.in//article.asp?issn=0972-4923;year=2021;volume=19;issue=4;spage=218;epage=224;aulast=Tela;type=0