Structurally complex landscape habitats have been found to have greater numbers of generalist predators and lower temperatures. The slow-growth-high-mortality hypothesis predicts that prolonged development in herbivorous insects may result in longer periods of susceptibility to natural enemies, and a subsequent increase in mortality. This hypothesis was tested using the azalea – azalea lace bug system to determine if an increase in structural complexity (shade structure) influenced thermal variation and functional processes related to herbivore development and survival. The influence of differential thermal environments on lace bug development and survival will be discussed in the context of thermal refuges and conservation biological control.
Species 1: Heteroptera Tingidae Stephanitis pyrioides (azalea lace bug)
Species 2: Neuroptera Chrysopidae Chrysoperla carnea (green lacewing)
Keywords: conservation biological control
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