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CHEMICAL ECOLOGY OF INSECTS AND TRITROPHIC INTERACTIONS
Faheem Ahmad, Muhammad Aslam and Muhammad Razaq
University College of Agriculture, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan.
Abstract: This paper reviews the chemical ecology of insects to explain the role of semiochemicals in plant-herbivore, herbivore-carnivore and plant-carnivore interactions. The semiochemicals, mediating tritrophic interactions may be produced by plants, herbivores or their natural enemies (carnivores). Some semiochemicals attract the herbivores and carnivores and mediate interaction among them, while on the other hand some repel them. The semiochemicals are used by herbivores, parasites and predators as cues to locate food, host or prey. The same chemicals are also used for defensive purpose by some herbivores against their natural enemies as they are sequestered through their bodies.
Keywords: Chemical ecology, herbivores, semiochemicals, trophic interactions.