Plant galls

Plant galls

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Most of us have noticed galls as bizarre and often colourful distortions of plant growth, and wondered what goes on inside them. The drama enacted within a single gall may involve many species of insects and mites. Their interrelationships are intricate and their identification has been challenging. The communities of insects and mites associated with galls of certain plants, when unravelled by specialists, have proved to be of great ecological interest. This book will make galls accessible to a wider audience. It introduces the wonderfully complex communities associated with galls, and provides keys for identification of the gall former, and many other occupants, including predators and parasites. To make this task manageable the authors have concentrated on galls associated with selected plant species, and have presented a food web to illustrate the relationships among the animals associated with each type of gall. Much remains to be discovered about these and other galls and their inhabitants. For the first time, this book brings that exploration within the scope on interested naturalists and students. Galls are often abundant and readily available systems for the study of ecology. Investigations undertaken at home or in schools and universities may help to advance our knowledge of these microcosms, and of the ecological interactions that they illustrate so compactly.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 99 pages
  • 148 x 210 x 7.11mm | 180g
  • Slough, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white; 4 Plates, color
  • 085546285X
  • 9780855462857

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Praise for the New Naturalist series:

The series is an amazing achievement The Times Literary Supplement

The books are glorious to own Independent
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About Margaret Redfern

Margaret Redfern has been interested in plant galls for most of her adult life. After graduating in 1963, she studied part-time for higher degrees while teaching natural history and ecology to sixth formers, undergraduates and adult amateurs, first for the Field Studies Council and later at Portsmouth, Birmingham and Sheffield Universities. Her MSc research involved the natural history of thistle galls, and her PhD covered a population study of the yew gall midge. This research became a long-term project lasting forty years, forming the longest continuous data set on a gall insect, and probably on any insect, anywhere in the world. She continues to teach degree students at Sheffield University and to investigate the natural history of galls. She has published several books and papers, all of them on galls.
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