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Insect Physiological EcologyMechanisms and Patterns$
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Steven L. Chown and Sue Nicolson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198515494

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198515494.001.0001

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Nutritional physiology and ecology

Nutritional physiology and ecology

(p.14) CHAPTER 2 Nutritional physiology and ecology
Insect Physiological Ecology

Steven L. Chown

Sue W. Nicolson

Oxford University Press

Nutritional ecology covers the behavioural, physiological, and ecological aspects of nutrition. As in many areas of insect physiology, most information is available for caterpillars and locusts, which are continuous feeders. Locusts have been used as a model system in showing how animals eating unbalanced foods must compromise between the intakes of different nutrients. At the cellular level, advances in digestion and absorption, including the ways in which insects deal with plant secondary compounds, are reviewed. The gut is the major interface between the insect and its environment and knowledge of its physiology is important in the development of new control methods. This chapter also forms a natural choice for placement of a discussion of growth rate and development because these parameters are ultimately dependent on food quantity and quality, strongly modified by environmental temperature.

Keywords:   absorption, locusts, digestion, development, growth, meal size, regulation, trade-offs

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