About This Book
Plant-animal interactions have become a major focus of ecological research during recent years. One field of major interest in this connection is the process of herbivory. Interactions between plants and herbivorous insects constitute an important component of almost any ecosystem. These interactions occur at low trophic levels and as a result often influence food webs. They play a crucial role in the recycling of matter and, hence, energy and nutrient flows. Last, but not least, these interactions evolve and coevolve, and are considered to be one of the processes and driving forces which organize ecosystems (Crawley 1983; Zwölfer 1987). Generally, insect herbivory has been shown to be one of the disturbance effects which can positively influence secondary plant succession, and thus, species diversity (McBrien et al. 1983; Brown and Gange 1990, 1992; Pacala and Crawley 1992; Davidson 1993; Vasconcelos and Cherret 1997; see Chap. 15).
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