Insect-Plant Biology

Science & Math | Biological Sciences
Insect-Plant Biology
Insect-Plant Biology
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1491 kb
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1504 kb
Oxford University Press; 2 edition (February 2, 2006)
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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 are generally remarkably well-protected against insect attack, with the result that most insects are highly specialized feeders. The mechanisms underlying plant resistance to invading herbivores on the one side, and insect food specialization on the other, are the main subjects of this book. For insects these include food-plant selection and the complex sensory processes involved, with their implications for learning and nutritional physiology, as well as the endocrinological aspects of life cycle synchronization with host plant phenology. 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 the invading herbivores and may be exploited by neighbouring plants that mount defences as well.
Insect-Plant Biology discusses the operation of these mechanisms at the molecular and organismal levels, in the context of both ecological interactions and evolutionary relationships. In doing so, it uncovers the highly intricate antagonistic and mutualistic interactions that 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 agricultural entomology, plant sciences, 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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