Chemical Biology of the Tropics: An Interdisciplinary by Emily Wortman-Wunder, Jorge Vivanco, Mark W. Paschke

By Emily Wortman-Wunder, Jorge Vivanco, Mark W. Paschke (auth.), Jorge M. Vivanco, Tiffany Weir (eds.)

The mystique of the rainforest has captured the imaginations of generations of teens, explorers, authors, and biologists. it's a smooth surroundings whose myriad sounds and scents, whose vibrancy of lifestyles, is balanced by means of consistent cycles of demise and rot. it's a position of fierce festival the place strange partnerships are solid and inventive survival techniques are the norm. during this ebook, you'll meet the medical pioneers who first tried to quantify and comprehend the huge variety of those tropical forests, in addition to their successors, who make the most of smooth instruments and applied sciences to dissect the chemical nature of rainforest interactions.

This publication presents a normal heritage on biodiversity and the research of chemical ecology sooner than entering into particular chemical examples of insect defenses and microbial communique. It finishes with first-hand bills of the pains and tribulations of a cover biology pioneer and a rainforest study beginner, whereas assessing the nation of recent tropical examine, its significance to humanity, and the ecological, political, and moral matters that must be tackled as a way to stream the sector forward.

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Extra info for Chemical Biology of the Tropics: An Interdisciplinary Approach

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In many cases, swelling and itching will also occur, but this response is actually due to proteins found in the venom (Tankersley 2008). Besides the solenopsins from fire ants, other species of ants make a variety of alkaloids. A good and recently published example of the variety of alkaloids produced by ants comes from the ant species Myrmicaria melanogaster of Brunei (Jones et al. 2007). This single species of ant was found to contain 14 different alkaloids – three generic structures of several of those shown in Scheme 1 (compounds 7–9).

Fish use pheromones to find mates, maintain hierarchical social structures, and distinguish friend from foe; amphibians are infamous for their noxious secretions, and wide-ranging birds such as the albatross and various scavenger species use scent to hone in on food. There are even examples of defensive chemicals in bird species from areas as far flung as the Philippines and the Peruvian Amazon. Virtually all mammals use scent in some way, from defense (skunks) to territorial marking (the canids), to mate attraction.

This masterful escape by the walkingstick insect is just one of thousands of examples in the insect world. The lizard was an unfortunate victim of that insect’s most potent defense mechanism, its chemical weaponry. ), produce defensive sprays, secretions, or venoms that help protect them from predation. Fig. 1 Anisomorpha buprestoides deploying its chemical spray and repelling a brown Cuban Anole (Anolis sagrei sagrei). (a) Black and white Ocala National Forest color form of A. buprestoides mating pair (females are larger than males) deploying its chemical defense spray.

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