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Plant-Provided Food for Carnivorous Insects: Protective Mutualism and its Applications

By: Felix L Wäckers (Editor), Paul CJ van Rijn (Editor), Jan Bruin (Editor)

356 pages, 84 illustrations

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Mar 2013 | #202798 | ISBN-13: 9781107414259
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $50/€46 approx
Hardback | Jun 2005 | #147405 | ISBN: 0521819415
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $126/€116 approx

About this book

Plants provide insects with a range of specific foods, such as nectar, pollen and food bodies. In exchange, they may obtain various services from arthropods. The role of food rewards in the plant-pollinator mutualism has been broadly covered. This 2005 book addresses another category of food-mediated interactions, focusing on how plants employ foods to recruit arthropod 'bodyguards' as a protection against herbivores. Many arthropods with primarily carnivorous lifestyles require plant-provided food as an indispensable part of their diet. Only recently have we started to appreciate the implications of non-prey food for plant-herbivore-carnivore interactions. Insight into this aspect of multitrophic interactions is not only crucial to our understanding of the evolution and functioning of plant-insect interactions in natural ecosystems, it also has direct implications for the use of food plants and food supplements in biological control programs. This edited volume provides essential reading for all researchers interested in plant-insect interactions.

"The book is a useful contribution for enlarging the published knowledge about general plant-insect interactions, with emphasis on the interactions at more trophic levels than is usually considered. The text is logically divided into a short introduction and three specialized parts [...] The structure of the book is straightforward: two chapters are devoted to branching processes overview, followed by more theoretical parts about models, and ending with three chapters full of examples and real data. The book can be used by many researchers and graduate students working on population dynamics [...] I appreciate that the text is written with respect to students and that the language used is also friendly for non-native English speaking readers. Thus this book is a good way to start understanding speciation. The target group, however, is not only students or evolutionary ecologists; I can also recommend this book to each institutional/university library and to many population biologists."
- Jitka Vilimova, Charles University


1. Food for protection: an introduction F. L. Wackers and P. C. J. van Rijn

Part I. Food Provision by Plants
2. Suitability of (extra-) floral nectar, pollen and honeydew as insect food sources F. L. Wackers
3. Nectar as fuel for plant protectors S. Koptur
4. Fitness consequences of food-for-protection strategies in plants M. W. Sabelis, P. C. J. van Rijn and A. Janssen

Part II. Arthropods Feeding on Plant-Provided Food
5. Food needs of adult parasitoids: behavioural adaptations and consequences D. M. Olson, K. Takasu and W. J. Lewis
6. Effects of plant feeding on the performance of omnivorous 'predators' M. D. Eubanks and J. D. Styrsky
7. Nectar and pollen feeding by adult herbivorous insects J. Romeis, E. Stadler and F. L. Wackers

Part III. Plant-Provided Food and Biological Control
8. Impacts of plant-provided food on herbivore-carnivore dynamics P. C. J. van Rijn and M. W. Sabelis
9. Does floral nectar improve biological control by parasitoids? G. E. Heimpel and M. A. Jervis
10. Habitat diversification in biological control: the role of plant resources T. K. Wilkinson and D. A. Landis
11. Providing foods for natural enemies in farming systems: balancing practicalities and theory G. M. Gurr, S. D. Wratten, J. Tylianakis, J. Kean and M. Keller

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F. L. Wäckers is Senior Researcher at the Centre for Terrestrial Ecology, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW). He has been working in the field of functional biodiversity and conservation biological control for over 15 years. His research focuses on multitrophic interactions between plants, herbivores and their antagonists. As a central theme, Felix Wackers studies the role of plant-derived food supplements in these interactions. In order to obtain insight into the role of sugars in 'food for protection mutualisms' he takes a twin approach, addressing both characteristics of the plant, as well as the potential consumers (their foraging, gustatory responses, energy metabolism and fitness benefits). He has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles in various ecological, entomological and botanical journals. His publications on functional biodiversity and conservation biological control span a period of 15 years. He has also taught insect ecology, tropical entomology, and field ecology, as well as various international PhD courses.

Paul C. J. van Rijn's research focuses on ecological and evolutionary consequences of omnivory and intraguild predation in multitrophic interactions. He uniquely combines mathematical formulation of ecological theories with experimental testing, thereby covering the range from individual physiology and behaviour, via population dynamics, to community ecology. Evolutionary theory is used to narrow down ecological assumptions, and vice versa. In 2002 he took up a post-doctorate position at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO), Department for Multitrophic Interactions, in Heteren, where he studies (in cooperation with Dr F. L. Wackers) the direct and indirect defense responses of plants to herbivores, and their evolutionary significance.

Jan Bruin has a long-time interest in ecological and evolutionary aspects of plant-insect interactions. His active research focuses on interactions between carnivorous mites, phytophagous mites and a variety of host plants. He is co-editor of several books and editor of the journal Experimental and Applied Acarology. Jan Bruin has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles in various ecological and entomological journals.

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