Tuesday, 19 November 2002 - 4:15 PM

This presentation is part of : The Ecological Basis of Conservation Biological Control of Insect Pests

Herbivore/natural enemy assemblages and conservation biological control

Pedro Barbosa, Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, Department of Entomology, Plant Sciences Building, College Park, MD

Most insect species commonly exist within assemblages or communities at relatively low densities, i.e., most insect species are scarce (Williams 1964; Ward and Spalding 1993). However, even in assemblages of scarce species, abundance is not uniformly distributed across species. Tabulations of species abundance distribution demonstrate that in any given insect community or assemblage (regardless of the number of species present) only a few species dominate numerically. Typically the latter (dominant species) species account for the vast majority of assemblage or community abundance. This assemblage structure appears to be common and widespread among a variety of insect taxa, in natural and managed tropical and temperate habitats. Although so many communities and assemblages consist of numerically dominant and subdominant species, the impact of this dichotomy on parasitoid-host interactions has received little attention in research on parasitoid community ecology

Keywords: assemblage control, herbivores

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