Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Darwinian AgricultureHow Understanding Evolution Can Improve Agriculture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

R. Ford Denison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139500

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139500.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Learning from Plants, Ants, and Ecosystems

Learning from Plants, Ants, and Ecosystems

(p.177) 11 Learning from Plants, Ants, and Ecosystems
Darwinian Agriculture

R. Ford Denison

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the interactions between trees and fungus-growing-leaf-cutter ants, arguing that we can learn much from natural communities as long as we don't mistakenly assume perfection. It shows that natural selection can improve the fitness of each participant in multispecies interactions, regardless of the impact on the community as a whole. The chapter begins with an evolutionary perspective on chemicals as either signals, cues, or manipulation. This is followed by a discussion of the fungus-growing ants, with particular emphasis on their natural strategies for pest control, and the use of biotechnology for biological control of pests. The chapter concludes by stressing the importance of natural ecosystems in providing essential context for understanding the sophisticated adaptations of wild species, before applying them to agriculture.

Keywords:   trees, fungus-growing ants, natural selection, multispecies interactions, chemicals, pest control, biotechnology, leaf-cutter ants, natural ecosystems, agriculture

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.