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Indirect interactions in aphid–parasitoid communities

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Researches on Population Ecology


Indirect interactions between populations of different species can be important in structuring natural communities. Indirect effects are either mediated by changes in population densities (trophic or density-mediated effects) or by changes in the behavior of species that are not trophically connected (behavioral or trait-mediated effects). We reviewed the literature on aphids and their parasitoids to explore the various possible indirect interactions that can occur in such communities. The review was motivated by our study of a particular aphid–parasitoid community in a natural (i.e., nonagricultural) habitat, and by the wealth of information that exists about aphid–parasitoid systems in agricultural settings. We focused our review on aphid–parasitoid interactions, but considered how these were influenced by the other aphid natural enemies and also by aphid mutualists and host plants. We conclude that indirect effects are likely to have a major effect in structuring aphid–parasitoid communities, and that the latter are a valuable model system for testing ideas about community interactions.

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Received: December 20, 1998 / Accepted: January 12, 1999

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Müller, C., Godfray, H. Indirect interactions in aphid–parasitoid communities. Res Popul Ecol 41, 93–106 (1999).

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