Conclusion

It would seem, then, that the real life of animals (as opposed to the constricted and difficult life that they attempt to live in zoological textbooks) is the end-result of a number of fundamentally different processes.

Elton (1930)

In Chapters 2-6, the ways in which insects respond to different components of the external environment have been dealt with in relative isolation. Nonetheless, each of the chapters has revealed similarities and connections between these responses. In this final chapter, these associations and similarities are discussed more explicitly. In particular, four key themes are explored:

(1) Large-scale patterns, their identification, and ecological and evolutionary implications;

(2) The interdependence of body size and several physiological and life history traits;

(3) Interactions between physiological responses, and underlying covariation in the abiotic environment;

(4) The current and likely future responses of insects to global environmental change.

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