7.03.16 - Behavioral and Chemical Ecology of Forest Insects

About Unit

Chemically-mediated communication is most likely the oldest form of communication and consequently signalling molecules mediate how many organisms interact with their biotic and abiotic environment. Not surprisingly, the discipline of chemical ecology is key to understanding trophic interactions in forest ecosystems and has immense potential to contribute biorational pest management tactics.

This Working Party aims to promote and advance the fields of insect behavior and chemical Ecology by facilitating communication and cooperation among members of the forest entomology community. In particular, it will emphasize the role that chemicals play in mediating intra- and interspecific interactions and the behavioral reactions/ mechanisms involved.  Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this Working Party, we will attempt to meet jointly every 1-3 years with other Working Parties.


State of knowledge

The disciplines of insect behavior and chemical ecology address the role that chemicals play mediating interactions among and within species, how organisms interact with their environment and the behavioral reactions involved.  These disciplines have immense potential to both inform our understanding of the biological world and provide biorational pest management tactics. Historically these disciplines, in particular chemical ecology, have emphasized the identification of phenomena. As a result, our ability to describe patterns in the role of chemicals in the biology of insects and the associated behaviors, exceeds our understanding of why these patterns exist.

This Working Party will emphasize interactions with other working parties in an attempt to synergize advances in our understanding of the role of chemicals in the biology of forest insects, the behaviors involved, why these patterns exist and how this knowledge can contribute to forest health.