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Plant-Provided Food for Carnivorous Insects
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  • Page extent: 368 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.895 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 632
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: SB976.I56 P53 2005
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Insects as biological pest control agents--Food
    • Parasitoids--Food
    • Plants--Disease and pest resistance
    • Insect pests--Biological control

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521819411 | ISBN-10: 0521819415)

DOI: 10.2277/0521819415

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 (Stock level updated: 17:00 GMT, 06 October 2015)


Plants provide insects with a range of specific foods, such as nectar, pollen and food bodies. In exchange, they may obtain various services from arthropods. The role of food rewards in the plant-pollinator mutualism has been broadly covered. This book, first published in 2005, addresses another category of food-mediated interactions, focusing on how plants employ foods to recruit arthropod 'bodyguards' as a protection against herbivores. Many arthropods with primarily carnivorous lifestyles require plant-provided food as an indispensable part of their diet. Only recently have we started to appreciate the implications of non-prey food for plant-herbivore-carnivore interactions. Insight into this aspect of multitrophic interactions is not only crucial to our understanding of the evolution and functioning of plant-insect interactions in natural ecosystems, it also has direct implications for the use of food plants and food supplements in biological control programs. This edited volume provides essential reading for all researchers interested in plant-insect interactions.

• Editors are internationally well known, and the contributors represent a well-balanced, international view • The chapters bring together the widely scattered literature and place it in a clear and well-structured context • This is the first comprehensive volume to cover the role of plant-provided food in tritrophic interactions


1. Food for protection: an introduction F. L. Wäckers and P. C. J. van Rijn; Part I. Food Provision by Plants: 2. Suitability of (extra-) floral nectar, pollen and honeydew as insect food sources F. L. Wäckers; 3. Nectar as fuel for plant protectors S. Koptur; 4. Fitness consequences of food-for-protection strategies in plants M. W. Sabelis, P. C. J. van Rijn and A. Janssen; Part II. Arthropods Feeding on Plant-Provided Food: 5. Food needs of adult parasitoids: behavioural adaptations and consequences D. M. Olson, K. Takasu and W. J. Lewis; 6. Effects of plant feeding on the performance of omnivorous 'predators' M. D. Eubanks and J. D. Styrsky; 7. Nectar and pollen feeding by adult herbivorous insects J. Romeis, E. Städler and F. L. Wäckers; Part III. Plant-Provided Food and Biological Control: 8. Impacts of plant-provided food on herbivore-carnivore dynamics P. C. J. van Rijn and M. W. Sabelis; 9. Does floral nectar improve biological control by parasitoids? G. E. Heimpel and M. A. Jervis; 10. Habitat diversification in biological control: the role of plant resources T. K. Wilkinson and D. A. Landis; 11. Providing foods for natural enemies in farming systems: balancing practicalities and theory G. M. Gurr, S. D. Wratten, J. Tylianakis, J. Kean and M. Keller.


'The book is a useful contribution for enlarging the published knowledge about general plant-insect interactions, with emphasis on the interactions at more trophic levels than is usually considered. The text is logically divided into a short introduction and three specialized parts … The structure of the book is straightforward: two chapters are devoted to branching processes overview, followed by more theoretical parts about models, and ending with three chapters full of examples and real data. The book can be used by many researchers and graduate students working on population dynamics … I appreciate that the text is written with respect to students and that the language used is also friendly for non-native English speaking readers. Thus this book is a good way to start understanding speciation. The target group, however, is not only students or evolutionary ecologists; I can also recommend this book to each institutional/university library and to many population biologists.' Jitka Vilimova, Charles University

'…provides a novel perspective on plant-herbivore-carnivore relationships … a timely review for entomologists and biological control specialists interested in the evolutionary and ecological importance of omnivorous multitrophic interactions. Its exhaustive literature review could be helpful to graduate students and researchers interested in food-web ecology in both natural and managed systems.' Environmental Entomology


F. L. Wäckers, P. C. J. van Rijn, S. Koptur, M. W. Sabelis, A. Janssen, D. M. Olson, K. Takasu, W. J. Lewis, M. D. Eubanks, J. D. Styrsky, J. Romeis, E. Städler, G. E. Heimpel, M. A. Jervis, T. K. Wilkinson, D. A. Landis, G. M. Gurr, S. D. Wratten, J. Tylianakis, J. Kean, M. Keller

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