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Quantitative food webs are valuable tools to detect patterns in community structure and generate hypotheses for experimentation. Quantitative webs of whole communities are usually not feasible to build, and most attention focuses on assemblages of species that interact in similar ways. Hosts and parasitoids are a popular guild for study, and quantitative webs have traditionally been constructed by collecting, rearing, and identifying large samples of individuals from the field. In the past decade molecular methods have begun to be used extensively in studies of host-parasitoid webs to clarify species concepts. We review how this rapidly developing field is using molecular information to detect cryptic interactions between species and to increase our understanding of the phylogenetic and mechanistic processes which structure food webs.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.pt.2014.10.008

Type

Journal article

Journal

Trends Parasitol

Publication Date

01/2015

Volume

31

Pages

30 - 35

Keywords

Food Chain, Host-Parasite Interactions, Molecular Biology, Parasitology, Phylogeny, Species Specificity