Interactions between plants and herbivores can have a significant effect on plant growth and development, and ultimately, on a plant's economic value. Research has traditionally focused on aboveground herbivores, despite the considerable role that belowground herbivory by both vertebrates and invertebrates can play within a range of ecosystem processes. Root feeders have been classified as agricultural pests but can also be used as biological control agents against invasive species and can affect community dynamics of plants, soil micro-organisms and populations of aboveground organisms. Bringing together a broad range of viewpoints and approaches, Root Feeders presents a comprehensive review of knowledge on root herbivores and illustrates their importance within ecosystems. Chapters discuss problems of visualizing the organisms in the soil, their role in agriculture, grassland and forest ecosystems, and present specific case studies on the management, control and influence of root feeders. Covering all aspects from food web ecology to the effects of climate change, this will be valuable reading for researchers and professionals in agricultural entomology, plant science, ecology and soil science.
1: Methods for studying root herbivory 2: New experimental techniques for studying root herbivores 3: Root herbivory in agricultural ecosystems 4: Root herbivory in grassland ecosystems 5: Root herbivory in forest ecosystems 6: Grape phylloxera - an overview 7: Using biocontrol against root feeding pests, with particular reference to Sitona root weevils 8: Invasive root feeding insects in natural forest ecosystems of North America 9: Linking above- and belowground herbivory 10: Root feeders in heterogeneous systems: foraging responses and trophic interactions 11: Climate change impacts on root herbivores