Behavioral Ecology of Insect Parasitoids (PDF)

Behavioral Ecology of Insect Parasitoids (PDF)
Author: Éric Wajnberg, Carlos Bernstein & Jacques van Alphen
Release at: 2008
Pages: 457
Edition: First Edition (From Theoretical Approaches to Field Applications)
File Size: 3 MB
File Type: PDF
Language: English

Description of Behavioral Ecology of Insect Parasitoids (PDF)

Behavioral Ecology of Insect Parasitoids by Éric Wajnberg, Carlos Bernstein is a great book for Insect Parasitoids, available in PDF download. Parasitoids are fascinating insects, whose adult females lay their eggs in or on other insects. The parasitoid larvae develop by feeding on the host bodies, resulting in the death of the host. Parasitoids are found in nearly all terrestrial ecosystems and show a vast biological and ecological diversity and a wide array of specific adaptations, making them ideal subjects for comparative research. For their reproduction, they depend on finding and attacking hosts and, as a consequence, they are under strong natural selection to develop efficient host search and attack strategies, often through elaborate behavioral mechanisms. This makes these insects superb models for testing evolutionary hypotheses, also because a direct link exists between host search and attack behavior of a parasitoid and its fitness, as the number of hosts parasitized is proportional to the number of offspring produced. Further, since their reproduction results in the death of their hosts, parasitoids are often important factors in the natural control of insect populations, thus preventing insect pests. Certain species are mass-produced and released on a large scale to limit or suppress insect pests attacking different crops. ‘Biological control’, as this technique is known, can lead to a highly significant reduction in the use of toxic chemical pesticides, thus reducing the impact on non-target organisms.

This book originated from the European scientific program ‘Behavioural Ecology of Insect Parasitoids’, financially supported by the European Science Foundation (ESF). Behavioral ecology is a scientific discipline that strives to understand animal behavior under natural conditions in evolutionary terms, i.e. by asking what the adaptive advantages of a particular behavior are. This is done by comparing the actual behavior of animals with predictions of theoretical models of how animals should behave so as to optimize their fitness, given a realistic set of constraints. The aim of the models, frequently expressed in mathematical terms, is to better define the questions and to help in designing experiments.

Experimental work puts the hypothesis to the test and the differences between experimental results and theory help in identifying any weakness in our understanding. This suggests aspects of the problem that might have been overlooked and that would be subsequently incorporated into new models or tested in new experiments. The scope of behavioral ecology extends to the population level. Incorporating optimal behaviors and deviations from these archetypes, into models of population dynamics, allows increasing their realism by putting them on a firm evolutionary footing. In recent decades, this approach has been developed with ample success by using different animals (e.g. mammals, birds, fishes, and also insects).

Content of Behavioral Ecology of Insect Parasitoids (PDF)

Part 1 Current issues in the behavioral ecology of insect parasitoids

Chapter 1: Optimal foraging behavior and efficient biological control methods

Chapter 2: Parasitoid fitness: from a simple idea to an intricate concept

Chapter 3: Parasitoid foraging and oviposition behavior in the field

Chapter 4: Behavior influences whether intra-guild predation disrupts herbivore suppression by parasitoids

Chapter 5: Chemical and behavioral ecology in insect parasitoids: how to behave optimally in a complex odorous environment

Chapter 6: Parasitoid and host nutritional physiology in behavioral ecology

Chapter 7: Food-searching in parasitoids: the dilemma of choosing between ‘immediate’ or future fitness gains

Chapter 8: Information acquisition, information processing, and patch time allocation in insect parasitoids

Chapter 9: Competition and asymmetric wars of attrition in insect parasitoids

Chapter 10: Risk assessment and host exploitation strategies in insect parasitoids

Part 2 Extension of the behavioral ecology of insect parasitoids to other fields

Chapter 11: Multitrophic interactions and parasitoid behavioral ecology

Chapter 12: Parasitoid sex ratios and biological control

Chapter 13: Linking foraging and dynamics

Chapter 14: Linking behavioral ecology to the study of host resistance and parasitoid counter-resistance

Part 3 Methodological issues in behavioral ecology

Chapter 15: State-dependent problems for parasitoids: case studies and solutions

Chapter 16: A Bayesian approach to optimal foraging in parasitoids

Chapter 17: Finding optimal behaviors with genetic algorithms

Chapter 18: Statistical tools for analyzing data on the behavioral ecology of insect parasitoids




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