Insect Ecology

An Ecosystem Approach


  • Timothy Schowalter, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, U.S.A.
  • Timothy Schowalter, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, U.S.A.

Dr. Timothy Schowalter has succeeded in creating a unique, updated treatment of insect ecology. This revised and expanded text looks at how insects adapt to environmental conditions while maintaining the ability to substantially alter their environment. It covers a range of topics- from individual insects that respond to local changes in the environment and affect resource distribution, to entire insect communities that have the capacity to modify ecosystem conditions.Insect Ecology, Second Edition, synthesizes the latest research in the field and has been produced in full color throughout. It is ideal for students in both entomology and ecology-focused programs.
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Natural resource managers and environmental policy-makers, as well as students and instructors of insect ecology.


Book information

  • Published: February 2006
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-088772-9


"Schowalter's 2nd edition of Insect Ecology: An Ecosystem Approach is a gem - a complete course in modern ecology from the vantage point of insects in ecological systems. Accessible and engaging, yet it treats the most complex ecological phenomena from individual behavior and population processes through landscape and regional-scale issues." - Dan Simberloff, University of Tennessee "Schowalter provides a well-illustrated, comprehensive integration of population, community, and ecosystem ecology that demonstrates the global importance of insects in terrestrial and aquatic domains. Examples from temperate and tropical studies are related to a wide range of fundamental ecological concepts. The synthesis of current literature is thoroughly developed and will be widely appreciated by beginning students and established professionals." - Alan Covich, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia "This very stimulating book will interest entomologists and ecologists alike. Schowalter broadens the traditional scope of insect ecology to communities and ecosystems. He gives an excellent overview how insects shape ecosystem functioning, including their critical role in major trophic interactions such as decomposition, pollination, herbivory and biological control." - Teja Tscharntke, University of Göttingen, Germany

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Overview I. Scope of Insect EcologyII. Ecosystem EcologyA. Ecosystem ComplexityB. The Hierarchy of SubsystemsC. RegulationIII. Environmental Change and DisturbanceIV. Ecosystem Approach to Insect EcologyV. Scope of This BookSECTION I: Ecology of Individual Insects Chapter 2. Responses to Abiotic Conditions I. The Physical TemplateA. BiomesB. Environmental VariationC. DisturbancesII. Surviving Variable Abiotic ConditionsA. ThermoregulationB. Water BalanceC. Air and Water ChemistryD. Other Abiotic FactorsIII. Factors Affecting Dispersal Behavior A. Life History StrategyB. CrowdingC. Nutritional StatusD. Habitat and Resource ConditionsE. Mechanism of DispersalIV. Responses to Anthropogenic ChangesV. SummaryChapter 3. Resource Acquisition I. Resource QualityA. Resource RequirementsB. Variation in Food QualityC. Plant Chemical DefensesD. Arthropod DefensesE. Factors Affecting Expression of DefensesF. Mechanisms for Exploiting Variable ResourcesII. Resource AcceptabilityIII. Resource Availability A. Foraging StrategiesB. OrientationC. LearningIV. SummaryChapter 4. Resource Allocation I. Resource BudgetII. Allocation of Assimilated ResourcesA. Resource AcquisitionB. Mating ActivityC. Reproductive and Social BehaviorD. Competitive, Defensive and Mutualistic BehaviorIII. Efficiency of Resource UseA. Factors Affecting EfficiencyB. TradeoffsIV. SummarySECTION II: Population Ecology Chapter 5. Population Systems I. Population StructureA. DensityB. DispersionC. Metapopulation StructureD. Age StructureE. Sex RatioF. Genetic CompositionII. Population ProcessesA. NatalityB. Mortality C. DispersalIII. Life History CharacteristicsIV. Parameter EstimationV. SummaryChapter 6. Population Dynamics I. Population FluctuationII. Factors Affecting Population SizeA. Density Independent FactorsB. Density Dependent FactorsC. Regulatory MechanismsIII. Models of Population ChangeA. Exponential and Geometric ModelsB. Logistic ModelC. Complex ModelsD. Computerized ModelsE. Model EvaluationIV. SummaryChapter 7. Biogeography I. Geographic DistributionA. Global PatternsB. Regional PatternsC. Island Biogeography D. Landscape and Stream Continuum PatternsII. Spatial Dynamics of PopulationsA. Expanding PopulationsB. Metapopulation DynamicsIII. Anthropogenic Effects on Spatial DynamicsA. FragmentationB. Disturbances to Aquatic EcosystemsC. Species IntroductionsIV. Conservation BiologyV. ModelsVI. SummarySECTION III: Community Ecology Chapter 8. Species Interactions I. Classes of InteractionsA. CompetitionB. PredationC. SymbiosisII. Factors Affecting InteractionsA. Abiotic ConditionsB. Resource Availability and DistributionC. Indirect Effects of Other SpeciesIII. Consequences of Interactions A. Population RegulationB. Community RegulationIV. SummaryChapter 9. Community Structure I. Approaches to Describing CommunitiesA. Species DiversityB. Species InteractionsC. Functional OrganizationII. Patterns of Community StructureA. Global PatternsB. Biome and Landscape PatternsIII. Determinants of Community StructureA. Habitat Area and ComplexityB. Habitat StabilityC. Resource AvailabilityD. Species InteractionsIV. SummaryChapter 10. Community Dynamics I. Short-term Change in Community StructureII. Successional Change in Community StructureA. Patterns of SuccessionB. Factors Affecting Succession C. Models of Succession III. PaleoecologyIV. Diversity vs. StabilityA. Components of StabilityB. Stability of Community VariablesV. SummarySECTION IV: Ecosystem Level Chapter 11. Ecosystem Structure and Function I. Ecosystem StructureA. Trophic StructureB. Spatial VariabilityII. Energy FlowA. Primary ProductivityB. Secondary ProductivityC. Energy BudetsIII. Biogeochemical CyclingA. Abiotic and Biotic PoolsB. Major CyclesC. Factors Influencing Cycling ProcessesIV. Climate ModificationV. ModelingVI. Summary Chapter 12. Herbivory I. Types and Patterns of HerbivoryA. Herbivory Functional GroupsB. Measurement of HerbivoryC. Spatial and Temporal Patterns of HerbivoryII. Effects of HerbivoryA. Plant Productivity, Survival and Growth FormB. Community DynamicsC. Water and Nutrient FluxesD. Effects on Climate and Disturbance RegimeIII. SummaryChapter 13. Pollination, Seed Predation and Seed Dispersal I. Mechanisms and Patterns of PollinationA. Mechanisms of PollinationB. Pollination EfficiencyC. Patterns of Insect Pollination Among EcosystemsII. Effects of PollinationIII. Mechanisms and Patterns of Seed Predation and DispersalA. Mechanisms of Seed Predation and DispersalB. Efficiency of Seed Production and DispersalC. Patterns of Seed Mortality and Dispersal Among EcosystemsIV. Effects of Seed Predation and Dispersal V. SummaryChapter 14. Decomposition and Pedogenesis I. Types and Patterns of Detritivory and BurrowingA. Detritivore and Burrower Functional GroupsB. Measurement of Detritivory, Burrowing and Decomposition RatesC. Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Processing of Organic MatterII. Effects of Detritivory and BurrowingA. Decomposition and MineralizationB. Soil Structure and InfiltrationC. Primary Production and Vegetation DynamicsIII. Summary Chapter 15. Insects as Regulators of Ecosystem Processes I. Development of the ConceptII. Ecosystems as Cybernetic SystemsA. Properties of Cybernetic SystemsB. Ecosystem HomeostasisC. Definition of StabilityD. Regulation of NPP by BiodiversityE. Regulation of NPP by InsectsIV. SummarySECTION V: Synthesis Chapter 16. Synthesis I. SummaryII. SynthesisIII. Applications A. Management of Crop, Forest, and Urban “Pests” B. Conservation/restoration Ecology C. Indicators of Environmental ConditionsIV. Critical IssuesV. ConclusionsBibliography I. SummaryII. SynthesisIII. Applications A. Management of Crop, Forest, and Urban “Pests” B. Conservation/restoration Ecology C. Indicators of Environmental ConditionsIV. Critical IssuesV. ConclusionsBibliography