Symbioses with Microorganisms
Microorganisms are an inescapable presence in most biotic interactions, and they influence the nutritional ecology of natural enemies in at least two major ways. First, their interactions with the food items themselves often change the quality and attractiveness of these substances for natural enemies. Presented in this chapter are three such interactions: when microorganisms (especially fungi) affect seeds, nectar, and honeydew for natural enemies. The microbial community of insect guts plays an important and often underestimated role in the nutritional ecology of entomophagous species, and internal nutritional symbionts are the focus of the second half of this chapter. Clearly, as a discipline we are only just beginning to understand how microbes render the nutritional ecology of entomophagous species more complex, and it is hoped that this short review will stimulate more research in this expanding area of biology.
KeywordsSugar Clay Polysaccharide Assimilation Pseudomonas
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