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Annu Rev Entomol. 2006;51:163-85.

Plant chemistry and natural enemy fitness: effects on herbivore and natural enemy interactions.

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Department of Entomology, North Dakota State University, Fargo, 58105, USA.


Tremendous strides have been made regarding our understanding of how host plant chemistry influences the interactions between herbivores and their natural enemies. While most work has focused on plant chemistry effects on host location and acceptance by natural enemies, an increasing number of studies examine negative effects. The tritrophic role of plant chemistry is central to several aspects of trophic phenomena including top-down versus bottom-up control of herbivores, enemy-free space and host choice, and theories of plant defense. Furthermore, tritrophic effects of plant chemistry are important in assessing the degree of compatibility between biological control and plant resistance approaches to pest control. Additional research is needed to understand the physiological effects of plant chemistry on parasitoids. Explicit tests are required to determine whether natural enemies can act as selective forces on plant defense. Finally, further studies of natural systems are crucial to understanding the evolution of multitrophic relationships.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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