Recurrent Insect Outbreaks Caused by Temperature-Driven Changes in System Stability

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Science  16 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6147, pp. 796-799
DOI: 10.1126/science.1238477

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Insect Cycles

Rapid increases in insect populatio n sizes can result in significant crop losses. Seasonal temperature has been proposed to drive such outbreaks. Despite clear evidence that temperature can drive individual insect development, its influence at the population level is much less clear. Nelson et al. (p. 796, published online 1 August) analyzed data collected over 50 years on the tea tortrix moth, which affects Japanese tea plantations, to reveal the impacts of temperature on cyclical outbreaks.