This book explores the profound importance of phenotypic plasticity as a central organizing theme for understanding biology. Chapters take a broad, integrative approach to explain how physical and biological environmental stimuli (temperature, photo period, nutrition, population density, predator presence, etc.), influence insect biochemical, physiological, learning, and developmental processes, altering phenotype, which then influences performance, ecology, life-history, survival, fitness, and subsequent evolution.
What is Phenotypic Plasticity and Why is it Important?: Douglas W. Whitman; Phenotypic Plasticity and the Semantics of Polythenism: A Historical Review and Current Perspectives: Michael Canfield and Erick Greene; Phenotypic Plasticity and the Origins of Diversity: A Case Study on Horned Beetles: Armin P. Moczek; Developmental Flexibility, Phenotypic Plasticity, and Host Plants: A Case Study with Nemoria Caterpillars: Erick Greene and Michael Canfield; Phase Polyphenism in Locusts: Mechanisms, Population, Consequences, Adaptive Significance and Evolution: Stephen J. Simpson and Gregory A. Sword; Density-Dependent Prophylaxis in Insects: Kenneth Wilson and Sheena C. Cotter; Natural Enemy-Induced Plasticity in Plants and Animals: Douglas W. Whitman and Leon Blaustein; A Behaviorally Plasticity Response to Risk of Predation: Oviposition Site Selection by a Mosquito in Response to its Predators: Leon Blaustein and Douglas Whitman; Polyphenisms in Lepidoptera: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Evolution and Development: P.M. Brakefield and W.A. Frankino; Causes and Consequences of Phenotypic Plasticity in Body Size: The Case of the Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria (Diptera: Scathophagidae): Wolf U. Blanckenhorn; She Shapes Events as they Come: Plasticity in Female Insect Reproduction: Jason Hodin; Temperature Dependence of Development Rate, Growth Rate and Size: From Biophysics to Adaptation: Gerdien de Jong and Tom M. van der Have. The Developmental-Physiological Basis of Phenotypic Plasticity: H. Frederik Nijhout and Goggy Davidowtiz; Wing Polymorphism in Gryllus (Orthoptera: Gryllidae) Proximate Endocrine, Energetic and Biochemical Mechanisms Underlying Morph Specialization for Flight vs. Reproduction: Anthony J. Zera; Evolution of Homeostatic Physiological Systems: H. Arthur Woods; Acclimation as Adaptive Phenotypic Plasticity: Douglas W. Whitman; Heat Shock Proteins and their Role in Generating, Maintaining and Even Preventing Alternative Insect Phenotypes: Jason B. Williams, Stephen P. Roberts, and Michelle M. Elekonich; Learned Host Preferences: Andrew B. Barron; On the Origins of Insect Hormone Signaling: Jason Hodin; Phenotypic Plasticity and Evolvability: An Empirical Test with Experimental Evolution: Henrique Teotonio et al.