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Environmental Physiology and Biochemistry of Insects

  • Klaus H. Hoffmann

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-IX
  2. Klaus H. Hoffmann
    Pages 1-32
  3. Hans T. Ratte
    Pages 33-66
  4. Walter Behrens
    Pages 67-94
  5. Gerd Gäde
    Pages 119-136
  6. Paul Kestler
    Pages 137-183
  7. Frank Hevert
    Pages 184-205
  8. Klaus H. Hoffmann
    Pages 206-224
  9. Klaus H. Hoffmann
    Pages 225-244
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 245-298

About this book

Introduction

Of all the zoological classes the insects are the most numerous in species and the most varied in structure. Estimates of the number 18 of species vary from 1 to 10 million, and 10 individuals are es­ timated to be alive at any given moment. In their evolution, in­ sects are relatively ancient and, therefore, they have proved to be a phenomenally successful biological design which has survived unchanged in its basic winged form during the last 300 m. y. In­ sects were the first small animals to colonize the land with full suc­ cess. Their small size opened many more ecological niches to them and permitted a greater diversification than the vertebrates. What is it about this design that has made insects so successful in habitats stretching from arid deserts to the Arctic and Antarctic and from freshwater brooks to hot springs and salines? Is it due to the adapta­ bility of their behavior, physiology, and biochemistry to changing environmental conditions? Three features of insects are of particular importance in determin­ ing their physiological relationship with the environment: their small size, as mentioned above, the impermeability and rigidity of their exoskeleton, and their poikilothermy. Of course, as with any other animals, the insects' success in its environment depends on its ability to maintain its internal state within certain tolerable limits of temperature, osmotic pressure, pH or oxygen concentra­ tion (homoeostasis).

Keywords

animals biochemistry chemistry desert environment evolution insects physiology temperature vertebrates

Editors and affiliations

  • Klaus H. Hoffmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Allgemeine Zoologie (Biologie I)Universität UlmUlmGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-70020-0
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-70022-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-70020-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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