Challenges in modelling complexity of fungal entomopathogens in semi-natural populations of insects

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Hesketh, H., Roy, H. E., Eilenberg, J., Pell, J. K. and Hails, R. S. 2010. Challenges in modelling complexity of fungal entomopathogens in semi-natural populations of insects. BioControl. 55 (1), pp. 55-73.

AuthorsHesketh, H., Roy, H. E., Eilenberg, J., Pell, J. K. and Hails, R. S.
Abstract

The use of fungal entomopathogens as microbial control agents has driven studies into their ecology in crop ecosystems. Yet, there is still a lack of understanding of the ecology of these insect pathogens in semi-natural habitats and communities. We review the literature on prevalence of fungal entomopathogens in insect populations and highlight the difficulties in making such measurements. We then describe the theoretical host-pathogen models available to examine the role that fungal entomopathogens could play in regulating insect populations in semi-natural habitats, much of the inspiration for which has been drawn from managed systems, particularly forests. We further emphasise the need to consider the complexity, and particularly the heterogeneity, of semi-natural habitats within the context of theoretical models and as a framework for empirical studies. We acknowledge that fundamental gaps in understanding fungal entomopathogens from an ecological perspective coupled with a lack of empirical data to test theoretical predictions is impeding progress. There is an increasing need, especially under current rapid environmental change, to improve our understanding of the role of fungi in insect population dynamics beyond the context of forestry and agriculture.

Year of Publication2010
JournalBioControl
Journal citation55 (1), pp. 55-73
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1007/s10526-009-9249-2
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderDepartment of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeSEF
Arable crops ecosystems - habitat diversification, crop management and natural enemies for crop protection and biodiversity
Functional biodiversity: mechanisms by which plant and invertebrate communities function in the arable ecosystem
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online28 Nov 2009
Publication process dates
Accepted19 Oct 2009
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
ISSN1386-6141
PublisherSpringer

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