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Aggregation in non-social insects

an evolutionary analysis

Bengtsson, Jonas (2008). Aggregation in non-social insects. Alnarp.

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Insect aggregations are formed and maintained for a number of reasons, and by a number of mechanisms. Some aggregations are simply the result of an uneven distribution of resources: the animals are no more aggregated than would be expected by random distribution over the available resource patches (Parrish and Edelstein-Keshet, 1999; Stephens and Sutherland, 1999). In other cases, animals may be arrested or attracted by stimuli from conspecifics, but may not be interested in the conspecific per se. The stimuli serve, instead, as a reliable indicator of an ephemeral or cryptic resource. There are also those cases where individual fitness is positively dependent on density of conspecifics (Stephens and Sutherland, 1999). A larger group of conspecifics may be more efficient in overcoming active or passive defenses (see e.g. Coulson, 1979; Alcock, 1982; Byers, 1989; Schlyter and Birgersson, 1999; Raffa, 2001), or may otherwise enhance a resource, by mechanisms such as inoculation of a substrate with microorganisms which may render it more suitable as a food source for their larvae (see e.g. Davies, 1962; Ralph, 1976; Lockwood and Story, 1985; Turchin and Kareiva, 1989; McCall and Cameron, 1995; Wertheim et al., 2002b). The subject of this introductory paper is aggregation in nonsocial insects. Mechanisms in formation and maintenance of aggregations are covered, with particular emphasis on pheromones. Interactions between pheromones and semiochemicals from non-conspecifics (e.g. host plants) are explored. Fitness effects of aggregation are also discussed. Suggested fitness costs and benefits are presented, with examples from nature. Special attention is paid to those cases in which the fitness effects of aggregation have been explicitly tested.

Authors/Creators:Bengtsson, Jonas
Title:Aggregation in non-social insects
Subtitle:an evolutionary analysis
Year of publishing :December 2008
Number of Pages:18
Place of Publication:Alnarp
Publisher:Växtskyddsbiologi, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Publication Type:Other
Full Text Status:Public
Keywords:Aggregation, Insects, Signals, Fitness, non-social
ID Code:3437
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Plant Protection Biology
Deposited By: Jonas Bengtsson
Deposited On:04 Dec 2008 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:21

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