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Experimental ecology and its role in agricultural entomology



Experimental ecology and its role in agricultural entomology



Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica 23(1-2): 211-230



In his study the author surveys the development of experimental insect ecology in Hungary and its role in Agricultural entomology. The study throws light upon the importance of ecology beside molecular biology. The concept of ecology is shown in its historical development from Haeckel (1866), the creator of the concept, to these days. According to the author the best definition is: "the ecology is a synbiological science concerned in general with interactions between living organisms and their environment, more exactly with the pressure and rules of existential conditions operating in the environment and acting on the populations of organisms. Its task is to find out what the pressing circumstances acting on the organisms (or biological populations) and on the complex systems formed by them (e.g. communities, ecosystems) are, and how these circumstances determine statistically the behaviour and spatial distribution of different groups of organisms, their function and material- and energy production in the ecosystem" (Biologiai Lexikon/Biological Encyclopaedia/3., ed.: Straub, 1977). "The experimental insect ecology is concerned with the effect of coercive abiotic conditions produced artificially or existing in nature in a given place on different development forms and -stages of the insect species examined in definite populations with special experiment methods" (Saringer, 1972). The paper lists the major species examined (mostly in diapause) in Hungary with experimental insect ecological methods. These species belong to the following orders: Homoptera (2 species), Coleoptera (16 species), Lepidoptera (9 species),Diptera (1 species), Hymenoptera (3 species), Acarina (2 species). As an example, results obtained with Grapholita funebrana Tr. (Lepidoptera) are described in the paper. Finally, in autumn (short-day period), with half an hour of illumination in each of various periods of the scotophase the author broke the facultative diapause of Athalia rosae L. (Hymenoptera). This new, insecticide-free control method, as a possibility of reducing the individual number, is called ecotechnical control by the author.

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