Entomology in Animal Ecology Virtual Issue




In 1977 when I joined the British Ecological Society and received my first set of Journal of Animal Ecology (volume 46) they contained 59 papers of which 17 (29%) involved studies of insects. Those 17 papers published in 1977 included some names that are now very famous: Hassell, Lawton and Beddington writing about functional response curves, including real data; Derek Roff’s landmark paper on the trade-offs between dispersal and reproduction in Drosophila; and David Wool’s ground-breaking work investigating the genetic and environmental components of aphid polymorphism. These are just a sample of the entomological luminaries that published their work in the Journal of Animal Ecology during the 1970s, when L. Roy Taylor and Malcolm Elliott were at the helm, the former an applied entomologist, the latter a freshwater ecologist who appreciated the importance of invertebrates to ecosystem functioning.

In the decades that have passed since I joined BES, Journal of Animal Ecology has seen an increase in the number of mammal and bird papers, and insects are not as dominant as they once were. The reasons for this trend are not entirely clear, but it seems as though animal ecologists (or perhaps funders) generally seem to increasingly favour large charismatic mega-fauna, and it is likely that new technologies allow ecology theory to be tested with these fauna more easily than it once was.

Whatever the reason, with a concomitant rise in the number of specialist entomological journals now being published, it is a concern that insect ecologists might perceive the journal as a no-go area when, in fact, they should have every hope that their best ecological work will be published here. This Virtual Issue is intended to showcase the important insect ecology research we have published recently but also to hopefully stimulate an increase in submissions so that we can publish more. I firmly believe that studies of insects have, and will continue to yield great ecological insights and should therefore continue to occupy prominent space in general ecological journals.

Simon Leather
Associate Editor, Journal of Animal Ecology

Top-down, bottom-up, trophic cascades

Sigmoid functional responses by invertebrate predators and parasitoids
Michael P. Hassell, John H. Lawton and John R. Beddington

Downstairs drivers - root herbivores shape communities of above-ground herbivores and natural enemies via changes in plant nutrients
Scott N. Johnson, Carolyn Mitchell, James W. McNicol, Jacqueline Thompson and Alison J. Karley

Beyond diversity: how nested predator effects control ecosystem functions
Florian D. Schneider and Ulrich Brose

Seasonal shifts in predator body size diversity and trophic interactions in size-structured predator–prey systems
Volker H. W. Rudolf

Disease and immunity

Using simple-models to predict virus epizootics in gypsy-moth populations
Greg Dwyer and Joseph S Elkinton

A direct physiological trade-off between personal and social immunity
Sheena C. Cotter, Joanne E. Littlefair, Peter J. Grantham and Rebecca M. Kilner

Age-dependent trade-offs between immunity and male, but not female, reproduction
Kathryn B. McNamara, Emile van Lieshout, Therésa M. Jones and Leigh W. Simmons

Dynamics of macronutrient self-medication and illness-induced anorexia in virally infected insects
Sonia Povey, Sheena C. Cotter, Stephen J. Simpson and Kenneth Wilson

Interactions between environmental variables determine immunity in the Indian meal moth Plodia interpunctella
Alison Triggs and Robert J. Knell


Dispersal in Dipterans: Its costs and consequences
Derek Roff

Population sex ratio and dispersal in experimental, two-patch metapopulations of butterflies
Audrey Trochet, Delphine Legrand, Nicolas Larranaga, Simon Ducatez, Olivier Calvez, Julien Cote, Jean Clobert and Michel Baguette

Response of butterflies to structural and resource boundaries
Cheryl B. Schultz, Aldina M. A. Franco and Elizabeth E. Crone

Mortality during dispersal and the cost of host-specificity in parasites: how many aphids find hosts?
Seamus A. Ward, Simon Leather, Jon Pickup and Richard Harrington

Estimating Brownian motion dispersal rate, longevity and population density from spatially explicit mark–recapture data on tropical butterflies
Jarle Tufto, Russell Lande, Thor-Harald Ringsby, Steinar Engen, Bernt-Erik Sæther, Thomas R. Walla and Philip J. DeVries

Insects and climate

Genetic and environmental components of morphological variation in gall-forming aphids (Homoptera, Aphididae, Fordinae) in relation to climate
David Wool

What determines a species’ geographical range? Thermal biology and latitudinal range size relationships in European diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae)
Piero Calosi, David T. Bilton, John I. Spicer, Stephen C. Votier and Andrew Atfield

Warming effects on consumption and intraspecific interference competition depend on predator metabolism
Birgit Lang, Björn C. Rall and Ulrich Brose

Plastic larval development in a butterfly has complex environmental and genetic causes and consequences for population dynamics
Marjo Saastamoinen, Suvi Ikonen, Swee C. Wong, Rainer Lehtonen and Ilkka Hanski


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