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Biology 2483A Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Pollination, Chemical Ecology

Course Code
BIOL 2483A
Jennifer Waugh
Study Guide

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Jeremy McNeil Chemical Ecologist
- Autosemantic colouration scares predators
- Insects are extremely beneficial:
o Pollination (bees)
o Decomposition (fly larva)
o Food source in some countries
- However, they are harmful for agriculture
- Solution? Pesticides!
- Problems with pesticides:
o Kill beneficial insects as well
o Insects become resistant so we have to create new pesticides, which need a lot of
money and resources (200 million+)
o Harmful to humans (could contaminate water supply)
- People noticed the harmful effects of pesticides and the result was integrated pest
o Pesticides need to be monitored
- Solutions to problem:
o Biological control: get other species to out compete or prey on the harmful species / get
fungi (microbes) to contaminate and kill the harmful species
o Just grow different plants that species don’t like
o Transgenic plants: the plants contain compounds which are harmful to predators (eg.
Cotton contains a bacterium to kill pests)
Communication between sexes (Chemical ecology odour, taste, visual)
- Insects use odours for communication and its ONLY for reproduction purposes
- Ecologists use this to monitor insects
o Estimate population dynamics (increasing/decreasing)
o You could change population dynamics no need for pesticides
o How do you change population dynamics? Using pheromones
o Spray entire field with the specific species pheromones and the male won’t be able to
find the female so no reproduction occurs, which lowers the species population
- Spring a lot of mating fall sexually immature so mating is very limited
- Temperature also affects mating at 10 degrees Celsius, only 10% of the population mated
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