Effects of temperature variation on herbivore insects and their host plants:
This chapter is very close related to the next one. In here I am trying to study the indirect effects that temperature variation (and general temperature changes) can have on insects through their host plants.
Effects of temperature variation on herbivore insects:
One of the main topic of my thesis is the effects that temperature variation has on insect herbivores and their host plants. To tackle this topic from the insect perspective I use pea aphids and one of their common host plants, fava beans. Although everyone has an idea oh what temperature variation is, one of the main challenges is that everyone studies it differently, and there are multiple variables that play a role. Amount of variation, slope, duration of variation episodes, etc.
Effects of heat shocks on host-parasitoid interactions:
For this specific chapter of my thesis I wanted to investigate how of temperature could disrupt prey-predator interactions. How temperature changes affect individual species is well-studied topic, but their effects on interacting species is harder to study. In prey-predator systems, for example, an altered abiotic factor can affect both species directly, while also affecting how they interact with each other. Moreover, if the abiotic effects and species interactions are not constant through time, but instead have discrete events, the timing of abiotic effects and species interactions may become important. One such discrete abiotic effect associated with climate change is the increase of heat shocks (short-term large increases in temperature).