199 pages, 91 illus, 13 tabs
Literature currently available on the population dynamics of insect herbivores tends to favour top-down regulation of abundance by the action of natural enemies. This unique volume challenges this paradigm and shows that tree dwelling species of aphids, through competition for resources, regulate their own abundance. The biology of tree dwelling aphids is examined, particularly their adaptation to the seasonal development of their host plants. When host plant quality is favourable aphids, by telescoping generations, can achieve prodigious rates of increase, which their natural enemies are unable to match. Using analyses from long-term population studies and experiments, this book introduces students and research workers to insect herbivore-host dynamics using the interaction between aphids and trees as a model.
'! short, uncluttered and digestible !' TRENDS in Ecology & Evolution 'I am always pleased and excited when a book by Tony Dixon arrives on my desk. This latest offering is no exception. It is well up to his usual standard and a worthy companion to his two recent books on related subjects ! fluid writing, lucid arguments and well chosen examples ! an excellent book that covers most of ecological theory based on examples not only just from tree aphids, but mainly from the interaction of one species of aphid, the sycamore aphid Drepanosiphum platanoidis and its natural enemies and host plant the sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus. This is a major tour de force ! a must-buy item for any ecologist ! destined to be a classic.' Journal of Insect Conservation
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