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About this book
About this book
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.
1. Introduction; 2. Tree dwelling aphids; 3. Trees as a habitat for aphids: relation to host plant; 4. Trees as a habitat for aphids: relation to natural enemies; 5. Carrying capacity of trees; 6. Aphid abundance; 7. Population dynamics; 8. Risky dispersal; 9. Seasonal sex allocation; 10. Aphids and tree fitness; 11. Rarity, conservation and global warming; Epilogue.
A. F. G.Dixon is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia. He has written over 200 papers on aphids and their natural enemies in scientific journals, and has written or edited 10 books. In 1992, he was awarded the Gregor Mendel Gold Medal by the Czech Academy of Science, in 2000 a medal of honour by Akademia Podlaska, Poland, and in 2001 became Laureate of the University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic.
199 pages, 91 illus, 13 tabs
'! 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