Insects_Biodiversity

Insects_Biodiversity - ESPM 40: Insects and Human Society...

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Unformatted text preview: ESPM 40: Insects and Human Society • Why study insects? • How do insects impact our lives? • What sorts of things do entomologists do? • Hyperdiverse group – 1 million described insect species (1.3 million animals and 1.8 total species known) – Projected number of species varies from 5-80 million!!! Insects ARE biodiversity. Ecosystem fx. – Diversity is highest in the tropics: 26 genera and 43 sp. of ants on a single tree in Peru; greater than ant diversity in Britain. • Why are insects so diverse? – Small - subdivision of niche space can be Fner – Early colonizers of land - fossil record of 400my – Exoskeleton and tracheal system for gas exchange preserve moisture – Short generation time – Sensory and motor sophistication (large brain for their body size) – Wings - dispersal, evading predators, Fnding food – Metamorphosis - adults and immature forms compete less – Coevolution - especially with plants • Ecologically diverse – Detritivory, saprophagy, xylophagy, fungivory, aquatic Flter feeding and grazing, phytophagy, sap feeding, carnivory (predation and parasitism) – Aquatic, terrestrial, both (depending on life stage) – Solitary, gregarious, subsocial, highly social – Nocturnal, diurnal • Bioindicators for ecosystem quality – Aquatic groups such as Trichoptera, Plecoptera, and Ephemeroptera are important indicators of water quality. • Models for conservation management • Impacts of insect ecology – Nutrient cycling – Pollination: value of bees alone to US agriculture was estimated at $14.6 billion in 2000 – Agricultural damage, plant disease: non-native insects cost the US and estimated $137 billion in crop damage and control each year – Structural damage to homes: termites cost about $1 billion per year in damage to commercial and residential homes • Impacts of insect ecology – Vectors of disease: malaria alone affects 300 million people annually; 1-1.5 million die • Yellow fever, west nile, dengue, plague, etc… – Forensics: help estimate time of death, link to site of death, etc. Taxonomy and Phylogeny • Currently we use a hierarchical system of nested groups: KPCOFGS • Linnaean system of binomial nomenclature – Each taxon is named using a unique combination of genus and species – Drosophila melanogaster • Taxonomy: the science of classi¡cation • Phylogeny : inferring the evolutionary history of life • Based on ancestor-descendant relationships • Evolutionary history Taxonomy and Phylogeny Megaloptera Raphidioptera Neuroptera Coleoptera Diptera Mecoptera Siphonaptera Trichoptera Lepidoptera Hymenoptera Strepsiptera ??? Psychoptera Phthiraptera Thysanoptera Hemiptera Plecoptera Embiidina Phasmidia Orthoptera Mantophasmatodea Dermaptera Zoraptera Mantoidea Blattaria Isoptera Grylloblattodea Dictyoptera Odonata Ephemeroptera Neoptera Pterygota Thysaneura Archaeognatha Powerful way to examine evolution of key characters (evolution of Fight in insects) Shows relationships among...
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This note was uploaded on 09/18/2010 for the course ESPM 28981 taught by Professor O'grady during the Fall '10 term at Berkeley.

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Insects_Biodiversity - ESPM 40: Insects and Human Society...

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