The book provides a collection of practical exercises in chemical ecology, offering tools and strategies for understanding this young science. The exercises included use general principles and follow a simple structure. Topics examined include birds, fish, insects, mammals and plant chemistry among others. Additionally, exercises require accessible materials, ensuring that each can be easily modified and completed anywhere in the world with locally existing instruments.
Field Experiments Insects: 1. Aphids and Ants: Effects on Host Plant and Leaf Predators. Fish: 2. Predatory fish responses to prey odors (chemical lures) Birds: 3. Sour Grapes: Responses to a feeding inhibitor (methyl anthranilate) Mammals: 4. Responses of rodents to predator odors 5. Squirrels' avoidance of predator odors 6. Squirrels, Acorns and tannins 7. Field grid for testing winter feeding by rabbits (or cottontails) 8. Food choice by free-living rodents (beavers): role of defense compounds 9. Scent marking by mammals: Example beaver Practical Applications: 10. Capsaicin as squirrel repellent Open-ended Tour of Exploration: 11. Search for "chemical ecology stories" in the forest Laboratory Experiments Plant Chemistry: 12. Test for cyanogenic glycosides 13. Tree diversity, phenolics test and herbivory 14. Tannin assay Insect Pheromones: 15. Moths in wind tunnel Insect Herbivory: 16. Induced Defenses: Herbivory on juvenile vs. adult growth stages 17. Induction by jasmonic acid 18. Effect of tannins on Manduca sexta feeding behavior: Concentration-dependent feeding on laboratory chow 19. Leaf disk test Scent Marking in Mammals: 20. 2-way choice by mice in T-Maze 21. Open-Field test: responses to scent marks in clean field; Responses to clean tile in soiled field Humans: 22. Scent communication: T-shirt test for recognition of sex and self 23. Dealing with secondary plant compounds: Burping exercise Various: 24. Miscellaneous experiments chosen by our students 25. Further possible experiments
Professor Dietland Muller-Schwarze has published Chemical Ecology of Vertebrates (Cambridge University Press 2006), co-edited 10 volumes of "Chemical Signals in Vertebrates" (Plenum Press), and written nearly 200 research papers in the field of chemical ecology. For several years, he has taught "Introduction to Chemical Ecology," an undergraduate course, and "Chemical Ecology of Vertebrates," a graduate course, at the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Dr. Muller-Schwarze has also been a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Chemical Ecology for 27 years.