Insect Ecology: An Ecosystem Approach, Fourth Edition, follows a hierarchical organization that begins with relatively easy-to-understand chapters on adaptive responses of insect populations to various environmental changes, disturbances, and anthropogenic activities, how insects find food and habitat resources, and how insects allocate available energy and nutrients.
Chapters build on fundamental information to show how insect populations respond to changing environmental conditions, including spatial and temporal distribution of food and habitat. The next section integrates populations of interacting species within communities and how these interactions determine structure of communities over time and space.
Other works in insect ecology stop there, essentially limiting presentation of insect ecology to evolutionary responses of insects to their environment, including the activities of other species. The unique aspect of this book is its four chapters on ecosystem structure and function, and how herbivores, pollinators, seed predators, and detritivores drive ecosystem dynamics and contribute to ecosystem stability.
Timothy D. Schowalter received his Ph.D. degree in Entomology from the University of Georgia in 1979. Since 1981, he has been a professor of entomology at Oregon State University, Corvallis, studying the effects of environmental changes, including natural and anthropogenic disturbances, on arthropod communities in temperate and tropical ecosystems, and effects of herbivores and detritivores on primary production, carbon flux, biogeochemical cycling. From 1992-93, he served as Program Director for Integrative and Theoretical Ecology at the National Science Foundation, where he was involved in developing global change and terrestrial ecosystem research initiatives at the federal level. He served as a U.S. delegate to international conventions to develop collaboration between U.S. Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites and long term sites in Hungary and East Asia and the Pacific.
Chapter 1: Overview Section I: Ecology of individual insects Chapter 2: Responses to Abiotic Conditions Chapter 3: Resource Acquisition Chapter 4: Resource Allocation Section II: Population ecology Chapter 5: Population Systems Chapter 6: Population Dynamics Chapter 7: Biogeography Section III: Community ecology Chapter 8: Species Interactions Chapter 9: Community Structure Chapter 10: Community Dynamics Section IV: Ecosystem level Chapter 11: Ecosystem Structure and Function Chapter 12: Herbivory Chapter 13: Pollination, Seed Predation, and Seed Dispersal Chapter 14: Decomposition and Pedogenesis Chapter 15: Insects as Regulators of Ecosystem Processes Section V: Applications and synthesis Chapter 16: Application to Sustainability of Ecosystem Services Chapter 17: Management of Insect Populations Chapter 18: Summary and Synthesis