Intimate relationship between insects and plants

 Have you noticed carefully, so depending on how the insects of plants? Although some of them rather than plant-eaters (herbivores or fitofaga), they visited the plant as well, especially for prey or hosts in there. Many types of insects is very dependent on plants as a provider of nutrients, other than as a place to live and breed. Actually, how eratkah insect relationships with plants? How did the nature of the relationship, mutual benefit or anyone harmed?

In general, the relationship between insects and plants can be categorized into three types, based on the impact of that relationship to plants. The first relationship is that if an insect gains and losses of plants, namely through fitofagi events or predation by insects in plants. The second type is when plants and insects are also lucky lucky (mutualism), namely through the events of pollination (pollination) or removal of plants or seed dispersal by insects to other places (mirmekofori = removal of seeds by ants). And the third type of relationship is "more" profitable plants, which insects provide useful compounds for plants, for example, nitrogen derived from manure, while the plant "invited" to stay in some of the insect body, eg the curve of the stem.Phytotelmata term refers to plants that provide most of his body as a tank of water used as a place to live insects.

Plants as insect food resources

For herbivorous insects, plants are the main food source. Major nutrients, such as nitrogen derived from plant tissues of insects. In general, plants provide the primary nutrient compound, namely carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Matson (1980) describes in her study, that the nitrogen (N) in the form of protein and amino acids in plant tissues is one reason (even the most important reason!) Insect herbivores choose one type of plant as a source pakannya. The main role of nitrogen in the metabolic processes that enhance health, growth, proliferation, and survival of organisms make these elements as a factor limiting in nature.

Some groups of insects are very sensitive to the nitrogen content in plant tissues, such as a group sucking insects of the order Heteroptera which increased in population when getting food plants that contain high amounts of nitrogen. Stem brown plant hopper (WBC), one of the most common pests of rice is one example of insects that are very sensitive to the nitrogen content in plant tissues (rice). Nitrogen content in plants also determine the quality of amino acid excretion and status in the body of Bemisia tabaci.

The above two examples remind us that the population explosion of insects (pests) are very likely determined by the number (fertilizer) nitrogen we put into the ground.

In addition to protein and amino acids, plants also provide the necessary insects other compounds, such as carbohydrates, lipids, sterols, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Some insects even the use of secondary metabolites in plants that are toxic to form the body's defense system against natural enemies. For example, cardiac glycoside compounds found in some plants, such as curassavica Asclepias (milkweed) "exploited" by the insects, one of the Butterfly King Danaus plexippus to build a defense system against predators (see article on Mimicry and Warning Coloration).

Insects also need nectar and pollen (pollen) of plants. Pollen is rich in protein, especially needed by insect females during egg formation, while the nectar is very rich in carbohydrates needed by the insects as a source of energy.

Plant as a place to live and shelter

Many insects live inside plant tissues. They can meliang in stems, fruit, or seeds (called a drill or borer), or meliang in leaf tissue (called a snorer or a miner).

Several species of arboreal termites (live on plants), make holes in the elaborate arrangement on the surface of the rod.

Some insects use the green leaves to hide from their prey espionage. Note the grouse locust leaf length (family Tettigonidae) in the following. He similar are the leaves? Grasshoppers are implementing a strategy where he alighted resemblance to the leaf (a leaf mimicking strategy) to secure itself while still eating the foliage.

Some insects have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with plants. For example, some insect species occupying a particular body part of the plant for nesting or looking for food, while conversely, plants get a "feed" of the insect form of excretions or secretions result. One of them is called phytotelma (-ta).

Plants as a place to find prey

Predatory insects and parasitoids use plants as a place to look for food, or hide away to trap potential prey.

A praying mantis (family Mantidae) really take advantage of the green leaf to hide waiting for its prey.

Some insects, such as fruit flies, plants need the media to get certain types of bacteria (Fruit Fly Bacteria / FFB) as one of pakannya (see article on Fruit Flies).

Indirect influence of plants on insect predators or parasitoids have also learned much to reinforce the notion that the role of plants in insects are very diverse, including as a place to look for prey or hosts. Bottom-up mechanisms to facilitate the transfer of energy from plants to insects via carnivorous insect herbivores (Power, 1992). So, simply, the higher the quality plants that will improve the quality and abundance of insect herbivores that will ultimately improve the quality and abundance of insects carnivores.

Special relationship between plants and insects

Some insects have recorded a special relationship with plants. Fig wasps (family Agaonidae) is a fig-pollinating plants (family Moraceae) are getting the feed from the plant.

Some ants also recorded to form a tri-partite relationship with the plant-lice and fleas. For example, plants provide the EFN (Extrafloral nectar) which feed the ants, in addition to providing space in the plant body as a place to live lice, fleas the ant symbionts.

Thus, the relationship between insects with plants are so close it turned out to be a cornerstone of the processes that are not less complex in nature. Understanding of a whole human being on this is expected to improve while maintaining environmental quality. Hopefully.


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