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Moths of Western North America$
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Jerry Powell and Philip Myers

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520251977

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520251977.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Significance in Natural and Human Communities

Significance in Natural and Human Communities

(p.16) (p.17) Significance in Natural and Human Communities
Moths of Western North America

Jerry A. Powell

Paul A. Opler

University of California Press

This chapter discusses the major role of Lepidoptera populations in natural and human communities. Lepidoptera larvae damage agricultural crops and are a major problem in stored meal, grain, nuts, and in woolen products. Conversely, they play significant roles in pollination in natural communities and aid in crop pollination. Caterpillars convert complex chemical energy in plants to digestible food for other members of the food chain. Lepidoptera are also decomposers, assisting in reducing fallen leaves and fruit, fungi, and animal products to humus. Several species are also introduced as biological control agents.

Keywords:   Lepidoptera, natural communities, human communities, pollination, biological control agents

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