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In the past two decades, an increasing number of ecologists have started to investigate the importance of biodiversity for ecological processes such as energy flow and nutrient cycling, often referred to as 'ecosystem functioning'. Insects are a dominant component of biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems and play a key role in mediating the relationship between plants and ecosystem processes.
This volume is the first to summarize their effects on ecosystem functioning, focusing mainly, but not exclusively, on herbivorous insects. Renowned authors with extensive experience in the field of plant-insect interactions, contribute to the volume using examples from their own work. In addition to providing concise reviews of the field, this volume discusses in detail the advantages and disadvantages of various techniques of manipulating insect herbivory. Thus, the text provides both a theoretical basis as well as practical advice for future manipulative studies of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning.
Various effects of insects on ecosystem functioning.- Insect herbivores, nutrient cycling and plant productivity.- Indirect effects of invertebrate herbivory on the decomposer subsystem.- Biotic interactions in the rhizosphere.- Below-ground herbivores and ecosystem processes.- Bottom-up effects and feed-backs in simple and diverse experimental grassland communities.- The potential of phytophagous insects in restoring invaded ecosystems.- Plant-insect-pathogen interactions on local and regional scales.- Food web interactions and ecosystem processes.- The role of outbreaking insects in plant community dynamics.- The ecology driving nutrient fluxes in forests.- Simulating herbivory: problems and possibilities.- The use and usefulness of artificial herbivory in plant-herbivore studies.- The role and value of cage experiments in understanding top-down effects in ecosystems.- Reducing herbivory using insecticides.- The role of herbivores in alien plant invasions.- Herbivore-specific transcriptional responses and their research potential for ecosystem studies.- Testing the role of insects for ecosystem functioning.
Ein auf sehr aktueller Forschung basierendes Buch, das dem Leser sowohl eine theoretische Grundlage als auch praktische Hinweise und Anregungen fur weitere Studien liefert. (Entomofauna)