Biotic Interactions Between Saproxylic Insect Species

  • Antoine BrinEmail author
  • Christophe Bouget
Part of the Zoological Monographs book series (ZM, volume 1)


A better understanding of biotic interactions in species-rich saproxylic insect communities can provide essential information for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functioning enhancement. Evidence in the literature mainly relates to beetle species, in particular scolytines, at tree—or even smaller—spatial scales and mostly refers to antagonistic interactions. We here present an overview of competition, predation/parasitism and facilitation among saproxylic insects. We first underline segregation patterns between wood consumers, resulting from competition processes, such as spatial and temporal resource partitioning, competitive displacement via interference and even enemy-mediated “apparent competition.” Considering natural history facts about prey-predator and host-parasitoid relationships, we then emphasize processes regulating the pressure of top-down influences on prey/host population dynamics. Facilitative interactions, including mechanisms of habitat location, creation, and improvement, are thereafter considered. The implications of some findings for pest management strategies (biocontrol, semiochemical-based methods) and for ecosystem functioning (deadwood decomposition) are highlighted meanwhile. Approaches based on life-history traits or indirect mediated interactions finally move the focus from the responses of paired species to multispecific community-level changes. Ecological network analysis should help increase our understanding of biotic interactions and investigate the consequences of environmental changes for those interactions and ecosystem functioning.



The authors are grateful to F. Laroche, M. Ulyshen, and three anonymous reviewers for offering helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. We thank V. Moore who checked the English language.


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© This is a U.S. government work and its text is not subject to copyright protection in the United States; however, its text may be subject to foreign copyright protection.  2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Engineering School of Purpan, UMR 1201 INRA-INPT DynaforUniversity of ToulouseToulouse Cedex 3France
  2. 2.National Research Institute of Science and Technology for Environment and Agriculture (IRSTEA), Domaine des BarresNogent-sur-VernissonFrance

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