11. Insect Outbreaks in Tropical Forests: Patterns, Mechanisms, and Consequences

  1. Pedro Barbosa4,
  2. Deborah K. Letourneau5 and
  3. Anurag A. Agrawal6,7
  1. Lee A. Dyer1,
  2. Walter P. Carson2 and
  3. Egbert G. Leigh3

Published Online: 29 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118295205.ch11

Insect Outbreaks Revisited

Insect Outbreaks Revisited

How to Cite

Dyer, L. A., Carson, W. P. and Leigh, E. G. (2012) Insect Outbreaks in Tropical Forests: Patterns, Mechanisms, and Consequences, in Insect Outbreaks Revisited (eds P. Barbosa, D. K. Letourneau and A. A. Agrawal), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118295205.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 USA

  2. 5

    Environmental Studies Department, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 USA

  3. 6

    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA

  4. 7

    Department of Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557 USA

  2. 2

    Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA

  3. 3

    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Apartado 0843-03092, Balboa, Ancon, Republic of Panama, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 27 JUL 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444337594

Online ISBN: 9781118295205



  • insect outbreaks in tropical forests, patterns, mechanisms, consequences;
  • tropical insect outbreaks, categorization and detection;
  • density-dependent with time lags, for predictable cycles;
  • herbivore outbreaks and low population densities;
  • temporal and spatial scales of outbreaks, a phytocentric view;
  • species in plant communities, outbreaking insects, defoliation or mortality;
  • cyclical outbreaks, time series of population data;
  • tropical insect outbreak research, in agricultural, reforested stems;
  • outbreaks, and attack on commonest species


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Defining, categorizing, and detecting tropical insect outbreaks

  • Outbreaks in managed systems have biotic linkages to intact forests and vice versa

  • What taxa are likely to outbreak, and which traits predispose species to outbreak?

  • Likelihood of outbreaks within a stand and across transitions from dry to wet forests

  • The consequences of outbreaks for plant communities and species coexistence

  • Global change, disturbance, and outbreaks

  • Critical hypotheses need to be tested: A guide for future research on outbreaks

  • Conclusions

  • Acknowledgments

  • References