Research activites of the Biological control and Spatial Ecology Laboratory (LUBIES) deal with demographic and spatial changes in several harmful organisms such as forest, agricultural and urban insect pests and animal diseases. LUBIES focuses on the mechanisms which trigger outbreaks and epidemics, on the factors favoring their spread and persistence, and on the development of monitoring and control methods. A particular attention is given to invasive alien organisms: emerging diseases (bird flu, bovine tuberculosis, bluetongue) and exotic insects (forest and urban tree pests), and to the patterns and processes involved in their extension (global change, farming systems, trade).
Our study "oak processionary moth" is performed with the financial help of the Institute for the encouragement of Scientific Research and Innovation of Brussels (ISRIB), in collaboration with the Brussels Institute for the management of the environment (IBGE). First, it aims at analyzing the causes and the modalities of the geographical and demographical expansion of the species (climatic influences, abundance and local availability of resources, natural enemies). Second, it intents at defining survey and control strategies adapted to urban and peri-urban areas.
- Prof. Jean-Claude Grégoire, Head of the Laboratory : fundamental and applied aspects of ecology and behaviour of forets insects.
- Prof. Marius Gilbert, Research associate FNRS : spatial dynamics of invasive organisms, including pathogens and insects.
- Dr. Nicolas Meurisse, post-doctoral researcher (ULB/IRSIB) : ecology of forest insects.
and risk inventory
Prospects in biological control
of caterpillar colonies collected in Belgium, in France and in the
Netherlands show high parasitism rates. These are mainly due to the
presence of specialist tachinids (Pales processionea, Carcelia iliaca), and, in a lesser extent, to other generalist parasitoids (Compsilura concinnata, Psychophagus
omnivorus, Pimpla sp.). The opportunity to set-up a method microbiological control,
highly specific of T. processionea, is also
under study (samplings of pathogenic organisms in selected European
populations of the species).
Pictures (up to down):
- Thaumetopoea processionea, male imago (F. Vilhelmsen)
- Thaumetopoea processionea, third larval instar (N. Meurisse)
- Pheromone trap, used for the capture of male moths (Edialux S.A.)
- The tachinid fly Carcelia iliaca, parasitizing T. processionea caterpillars (N. Meurisse)