the terms and, as the issue was explored, the groups spent a considerable amount of time determining the conceptual differences between IPM and EBPM. In an effort to bring these views together and find some common ground, Neal Van Alfen, led workshop participants in a discussion on various perspectives surrounding the vision of EBPM.
The discussion began by exploring the use of terminology and its implications for IPM and EBPM. There was general agreement that IPM had historically been an ecologically based approach and largely still was, but there was a call for a shift in emphasis to more long-term research approaches. Several members of the discussion group voiced the opinion that IPM was a term that should be retained, since IPM is still connected to its foundation of ecological principles. Others suggested that perhaps there were reasons for change, and pointed to a similar situation from the field of forestry when a change in nomenclature and management practices (from “forestry” to “ecosystem management ”) resulted in greater public recognition and acceptance. For those supporting a change in the terminology, some view IPM as having drifted from the ecological systems-based approaches—based on the perception that IPM has not adequately addressed the ecological causes of the environmental problems in today's agriculture.
If there is to be genuine progress toward the shared goal, there should be a focus on modifying the existing infrastructure to incorporate a broader base of ecological knowledge as well as new technologies, so that we can increase our rate of progress toward the shared goals of IPM and EBPM. If successful, the stage would be set for progress toward a common vision.
To further advance EBPM as a viable pest management system to farmers, the discussion participants acknowledged that farmers needed to understand the value of shifting from maximum yields to sustaining managed ecosystems. There should also be a stronger focus on issues of quality—quality of the products and of the production system. Furthermore, the definition of profitability needs to be broadened and should incorporate the environmental costs that may be forthcoming with different pest management systems. From this foundation the groups felt they were able to proceed further and identify goals for research.
Multidisciplinary research was repeatedly identified as a critical step toward addressing both component and systems-level challenges for EBPM. The complexity of managed ecosystems requires expertise and research across the range of biological and social sciences, and, in order to understand and manage the interactions between crop and pest in an ecologically sound way, researchers will need to draw upon multiple disciplines.
Another goal for EBPM is to incorporate established ecological concepts. One of the challenges in agriculture is the recognition of current limitations in modern ecology. Theory has advanced enormously in the last 10 years to accommodate large-scale, long-term experimentation, and there are a number of new methodologies being developed. One approach for EBPM practitioners to consider is to consult leaders in the ecological community who can identify what is currently possible but also what is not possible. The group acknowledged that, during discussions and workshops, participants often