Insect-plant Biology

L.M. Schoonhoven, J.J.A. van Loon, M. Dicke

Research output: Book/ReportBookAcademic


Half of all insect species are dependent on living plant tissues, consuming about 10% of plant annual production in natural habitats and an even greater percentage in agricultural systems, despite sophisticated control measures. Plants are generally remarkably well-protected against insect attack, with the result that most insects are highly specialized feeders. The mechanisms underlying plant resistance to invading herbivores on the one side, and insect food specialization on the other, are the main subjects of this book. For insects these include food-plant selection and the complex sensory processes involved, with their implications for learning and nutritional physiology, as well as the endocrinological spects of life cycle synchronization with host plant phenology. In the case of plants exposed to insect herbivores, they include the activation of defence systems in order to minimize damage, as well as the emission of chemical signals that may attract natural enemies of the invading herbivores and maybe exploited by neighbouring plants that mount defences as well.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford, U.K.
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages421
ISBN (Print)9780198525950
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Publication series

Name2nd ed.
PublisherOxford University Press


  • plants
  • insects
  • host parasite relationships
  • insect pests
  • defence mechanisms
  • pest resistance
  • chemical ecology
  • agricultural entomology
  • host plants
  • insect plant relations


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