Species Richness, Species Packing, and Evolution in Insect-Plant Systems

  • H. Zwölfer
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 61)


An analysis of ecosystems can follow two different Unes of research by concentrating its efforts either on the functions or on the structures of the system. In the first case the analysis will deal with the interaction between the components of the system and their environment and it will attempt to predict the behavior of the system under defined conditions. The second approach, which is the domain of community ecology as defined by Diamond and Case (1986), gives emphasis to an explanation of community structure and to predictions concerning structural parameters of the system. Whereas the analysis of the functions of an ecosystem investigates proximate factors and processes, the analysis of community structure has also to consider ultimate factors and processes which have adapted the components and integrated them into systems. Thus, community ecology asks whether ecosystems are organized in a predictable way and which processes have shaped them. In this contribution predictability of species richness, a particular structural aspect of ecological systems, will be investigated.


Species Richness Flower Head Phytophagous Insect Mature Larva Phytophagous Species 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Auerbach MJ, Hendrix SD (1980) Insect-fern interactions: macrolepidopteran utilization and species-area association. Ecol Entomol 5: 99–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Briks HJB (1980) British trees and insects: a test of the time hypothesis over the last 13,000 years. Am Nat 115: 600–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Claridge MF, Wilson MR (1982) Insect herbivore guilds and species area relationships: leafminers on British trees. Ecol Entomol 7: 19–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Connor EF, Faeth SH, Simberloff D, Opler PA (1980) Taxonomic isolation and the accumulation of herbivorous insects: a comparison of introduced and native trees. Ecol Entomol 5: 205–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cornell HV (1984) Geographie texture of herbivore richness patterns on host plants. Bull Entomol Soc Am 30: 6–15Google Scholar
  6. Cornell HV, Washburn JO (1979) Evolution of the richness area correlation for cynipid gall wasps on oak trees: a comparison of two geographie areas. Evolution 33: 257–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crawley MJ (1983) Herbivory. The dynamics of animal-plant interactions. Blackwell, Oxford, 437 ppGoogle Scholar
  8. Denno RF, Raup MJ, Talamy DW (1981) Organization of a guild of sap-feeding insects: equilib- rium vs. nonequilibrium coexistence. In: Denno RF, Dingle H (eds) Life history patterns: habitat and géographie variation. Springer, New York, pp 151–181Google Scholar
  9. Diamond J, Case TJ (ed) (1986) Community ecology. Harper and Row, New York, 665 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Feeny P (1976) Plant apparency and chemical defense. Rec Adv Phytochem 10: 1–40.Google Scholar
  11. Harbone JB (ed) Coevolution. Academic Press, London New York, pp 163–206Google Scholar
  12. Fowler SV, Lawton JH (1982) The effects of host-plant distribution and local abundance on the species richness of agromyzid flies attacking British umbellifers. Ecol Entomol 7: 257–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gilbert LE (1975) Ecological conséquences of a coevolved mutualism between butterflies and plants. In: Gilbert LE, Raven PA (eds) Coevolution of animals and plants. Univ Texas Press, Austin London, pp 210–240Google Scholar
  14. Gilbert LE (1982) The coevolution of a butterfly and a vine. Sci Am 247: 102–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gilbert LE, Smiley JT (1978) Determinants of local diversity in phytophagous insects: host specialists in tropical environments. Symp R Entomol Soc London 9: 89–104Google Scholar
  16. Giller PS (1984) Community structure and the niche. Chapman and Hall, London, 176 ppCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grubb PJ (1986) Problems posed by sparse and patchily distributed species in species-rich plant communities. In: Diamond J, Case TJ (eds) Community ecology. Harper and Row, New York, pp 207–228Google Scholar
  18. Hubell AP, Foster RB (1986) Biology, chance and history and the structure of tropical rain forest tree communities. In: Diamond J, Case TJ (eds) Community ecology. Harper and Row, New York, pp 314–330Google Scholar
  19. Huffaker CB, Dahlsten DL, Janzen DH, Kennedy GG (1984) Insect influences in the régulation of plant populations and communities. In: Huffaker CB, Rubb RL (eds) Ecological entomology. Wiley, New York, pp 659–691Google Scholar
  20. Kovalev OV (1971) Host dominance as an evolution factor of specific parasites. Proc 13th Int Congr Entomol Moskow (1968) 1: 260Google Scholar
  21. Lawton JH (1983) Plant architecture and the diversity of phytophagous insects. Annu Rev Entomol 28: 23–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lawton JH (1984) Non-competitive populations, non-convergent communities, and vacant niches: the herbivores on bracken. In: Strong DR Jr, Simberloff D, Abele LG (eds) Ecological communities: Conceptual issues and the evidence. Princeton Univ Press, Princeton, pp 67–100Google Scholar
  23. Lawton JH, Price PW (1979) Species richness of parasites on hosts: agromyzid flies on the British Umbelliferae. J Anim Ecol 48: 619–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lawton JH, Schröder D (1977) Effects of plant type, size of geographical range and taxonomic isolation on numbers of insect species associated with British plants. Nature (London) 265: 137–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of island biogeography. Princeton Univ Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  26. Maddox DM, Mayfield A, Poritz NH (1986) Distribution of yellow starthistle (Centaurea soistitialis) and Russian knapweed (Centaurea repens). Weed Sci (in press)Google Scholar
  27. McClure MS, Price PW (1976) Ecotype characteristics of coexisting Erythroneura leafhoppers ( Homoptera: Cicadellidae) on sycamore. Ecology 57: 928–9401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Moran VC (1980) Interactions between phytophagous insects and their Opuntia hosts. Ecol Entomol 5: 153–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moran VC, Southwood TRE (1982) The guild composition of arthropod communities in trees. J Anim Ecol 51: 289–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Morris MG (1981) Responses of grassland invertebrates to management by cutting. III. Adverse effects on Auchenorrhyncha. J Appl Ecol 18: 107–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Neuvonen S, Niemela P (1981) Species richness of macrolepidoptera on Finnish deciduous trees and shrubs. Oecologia (Berlin) 51: 364–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Niemela P, Tahvanainen J, Sorjonen J, Hokkanen T, Neuvonen S (1982) The influence of host plant growth form and phenology on the life strategies of Finnish macrolepidopterous larvae. Oikos 39: 164–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Odum HT (1983) Systems ecology. An introduction. Wiley, New York, 644 ppGoogle Scholar
  34. Opler PA (1974) Oaks as evolutionary islands for leaf-mining insects. Am Sci 62: 67–73Google Scholar
  35. Price PW (1977) General concepts on the evolutionary biology of parasites. Evolution 31: 405–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Price PW, Wilson MF (1976) Some conséquences for a parasitic herbivore, the milkweed longhorn beetle, Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, of a host-plant shift from Asclepias syriaca to A. verticillata. Oecologia (Berlin) 25: 331–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Price PW, Slobodchikoff CN, Gaud WS (1984) A new ecology. Novel approaches to interactive systems. Wiley, New York, 515 ppGoogle Scholar
  38. Rey JR, McCoy ED, Strong DR Jr (1981) Herbivore pests, habitat islands, and the species-area relationship. Am Nat 117: 611–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Romstöck M (1984) Zur geographischen Variabilität des mit Cirsium heterophyllum Blütenköpfen assoziierten Phytophagenkomplexes. In: Kaszab Z (ed) Verh lOth Int Symp Entomofaun Mitteleuropas (SIEEC) (Budapest, 1983). Budapest, pp 123–127Google Scholar
  40. Schoener TW (1986) Overview: Kinds of ecological communities - ecology becomes pluralisme. In: Diamond J, Case TJ (eds) Community ecology. Harper and Row, New York, pp 467–479Google Scholar
  41. Schoenly K, Reid W (1983) Community structure of carrion arthropods in the Chihuahuan desert. J Arid Environ 6: 253–263Google Scholar
  42. Schröder D (1980) The biological control of thistles. Biocontrol News Inf (Commonw Inst Biol Control) 1: 9–26Google Scholar
  43. Sobhian R, Zwölfer H (1985) Phytophagous insect species associated with flower heads of Yellow Starthistle ( Centaurea solstitialis L. ). Z angew Entomol 99: 301–321Google Scholar
  44. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1981) Biometry. Freemann, San Francisco, 859 ppGoogle Scholar
  45. Southwood TRE (1960) The abundance of the Hawaiian trees and the number of their associated insect species. Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 17: 299–303Google Scholar
  46. Southwood TRE (1961) The number of species of insects associated with various trees. J Anim Ecol 30: 1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Southwood TRE, Moran VC, Kennedy CEJ (1982a) The assessment of arboreal insect fauna: comparisons of knockdown sampling and faunal lists. Ecol Entomol 7: 331–340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Southwood TRE, Moran VC, Kennedy CEJ (1982b) The richness, abundance and biomass of the arthropod communities on trees. J Anim Ecol 51: 635–649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Strong DR Jr (1974) Rapid asymptotic species accumulation in phytophagous insect communities: the pests of Cacao. Science 185: 1064–1066PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Strong DR Jr (1977) Insect species richness: hispine beetles on Heliconia latispatha. Ecology 58: 573–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Strong DR Jr (1979) Biogeographic dynamics of insect-host plant communities. Annu Rev Entomol 24: 89–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Strong DR Jr, Levin DA (1979) Species richness of plant parasites and growth form of their hosts. Am Nat 114: 1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Strong DR Jr, McCoy ED, Rey JR (1977) Time and the number of herbivore species: the pests of sugarcane. Ecology 58: 167–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Strong DR, Lawton JH, Southwood TRE (1984a) Insects on plants. Community patterns and mechanism. Blackwell, Oxford, 131 ppGoogle Scholar
  55. Strong DR, Simberloff D, Abele LG, Thistle AB (1984b) Ecological communities. Conceptual issues and the evidence. Princeton Univ Press, Princeton, 613 ppGoogle Scholar
  56. Wapshere AJ (1974) Host specificity of phytophagous organisms and the evolutionary centres of plant genera or subgenera. Entomophaga 19: 301–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ward LK (1977) The conservation of juniper: the associated fauna with special reference to southern England. J Appl Ecol 14: 81–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Webb DA (1976) Tribe Cardueae Cass. In: Tutin TG (ed) Flora Europaea, vol IV. Cambridge Univ Press, Cambridge, pp 208–275Google Scholar
  59. Zwölfer H (1965) Preliminary list of phytophagous insects attacking wild Cynareae (Compositae) in Europe. Tech Bull Commonw Inst Biol Control 6: 81–154Google Scholar
  60. Zwölfer H (1979) Strategies and counterstrategies in insect population systems competing for space and food in flower heads and plant galls. Fortschr Zool 25: 331–353Google Scholar
  61. Zwölfer H (1982) Patterns and driving forces in the evolution of plant-insect-systems. In: Visser JH, Minks AK (eds) Proc 5th Symp Insect-Plant Relationships. Pudoc, Wageningen, pp 287–296Google Scholar
  62. Zwölfer H (1984) Zur geographischen Differenzierung von Wirtspflanzenspektren bei phytophagen Insekten. In: Kaszab Z (ed) Verh lOth Int Symp Entomofaun Mitteleuropas (Budapest, 1983 ) ( SIEEC ). Budapest, pp 1–4Google Scholar
  63. Zwölfer H (1985) Energiefluß-Steuerung durch informationelle Prozesse - ein vernachlässigtes Gebiet der Ökosystemforschung. Verh Ges Oekol, Bremen 1983, pp 285–294Google Scholar
  64. Zwölfer H (1986) Insektenkomplexe an Disteln - ein Modell fur die Selbstorganisation ökologischer Kleinsysteme. In: Dress A, Hendrichs H, Küppers G (eds) Selbstorganisation - Zur Bedeutung eines neuen disziplineniibergreifenden Paradigmas flir die Einzelwissenschaften. Piper, München, pp 181–217Google Scholar
  65. Zwölfer H, Harris P (1984) Biology and host specificity of Rhinocyllus conicus Froel. (Col.: Curculionidae), a successful agent for biocontrol of the thistle Carduus nutans L. Z angew Entomol 97: 36–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Zwölfer H, Ghani MA, Rao VP (1976) Foreign exploration and importation of natural enemies. In: Huffaker CB, Messenger PS (eds) Theory and practice of biological control. Academic Press, London New York, pp 189–297Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Zwölfer

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations