Insect-plant Biology

Paperback | December 14, 2005

byLouis M. Schoonhoven, Joop J. A. van Loon, Marcel Dicke

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Half of all insect species are dependent on living plant tissues, consuming about 10% of plant annual production in natural habitats and an even greater percentage in agricultural systems, despite sophisticated control measures. Plants possess defences that are effective against almost allherbivorous insect species. Host-plant specialization, observed in over 80% of these animals, appears to be an effective adaptation to breach these defence systems. The mechanisms underlying plant defence to invading herbivores on the one side, and insect adaptations to utilize plants fornutrition, defence and shelter on the other, are the main subjects of this book. In the case of plants exposed to insect herbivores, they include the activation of defence systems in order to minimize damage, as well as the emission of chemical signals that may attract natural enemies of theinvading herbivores and may be exploited by neighbouring plants that mount defences as well. For insects, they include complex bevioural adaptations and their underlying sensory systems (with their implications for learning and nutritional plasticity), as well as the endocrinological aspects of lifecycle synchronization with host-plant phenology. Insect-Plant Biology discusses the operation of these mechanisms at the molecular and organismal levels and explicitly puts these in the context of both ecological interactions and evolutionary processes. In doing so, it uncovers the highly intricate antagonistic as well as mutualistic interactionsthat have evolved between plants and insects. The book concludes with a chapter on the application of our knowledge of insect-plant interactions to agricultural production. This multidisciplinary approach will appeal to students in biology, agricultural entomology, ecology, and indeed anyone interested in the principles underlying the relationships between the two largest groups of organisms on earth: plants and insects.

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From the Publisher

Half of all insect species are dependent on living plant tissues, consuming about 10% of plant annual production in natural habitats and an even greater percentage in agricultural systems, despite sophisticated control measures. Plants possess defences that are effective against almost allherbivorous insect species. Host-plant speciali...

Louis Schoonhoven: PhD Groningen State University (1962) Staff scientist Wageningen University (1962) Postdocs/sabbaticals Philadelphia, Princeton, London. Professor of Animal Physiology (Wageningen) (1972-1985) Dean of Faculty of Agriculture (1982-1985) Professor of Entomology (Wageningen) (1985-1991). Elected member of Royal Netherl...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:440 pages, 9.69 × 7.44 × 0.89 inPublished:December 14, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198525958

ISBN - 13:9780198525950

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Herbivorous insects: something for everyone3. Plant structure: the solidity of anti-herbivore protection4. Plant chemistry: endless variety5. Plants as insect food: not the ideal6. Host-plant selection: how to find a host plant7. Host-plant selection: when to accept a plant8. Host-plant selection: variation is the rule9. The endocrine system of herbivores listens to host-plant signals10. Ecology: living apart together11. Evolution: insects and plants forever in combat12. Insects and flowers: mutualism par excellence13. Insects and plants: how to apply our knowledgeAppendix A: Further readingAppendix B: Structural formulaeAppendix C: MethodologyTaxonomic indexAuthor indexSubject index

Editorial Reviews

"This is an outstanding reference to past and recent work on plant-insect interactions. It is laden with well-drawn figures and tables (about one per page) and includes an impressive, up-to-date bibliography, as well as an appendix with a comprehensive list of books devoted to the subject." --Quarterly Review of Biology