The population biology of oak gall wasps (Hymenoptera : Cynipidae)

G N Stone, K Schonrogge, R J Atkinson, D Bellido, J Pujade-Villar

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review


Oak gall wasps (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae, Cynipini) are characterized by possession of complex cyclically parthenogenetic life cycles and the ability to induce a wide diversity of highly complex species- and generation-specific galls on oaks and other Fagaceae. The galls support species-rich, closed communities of inquilines and parasitoids that have become a model system in community ecology. We review, recent advanced in the ecology of oak cynipids, with particular emphasis on life cycle characteristics and the dynamics of the interactions between host plants, gall wasps, and natural enemies. We assess the importance of gall traits in structuring oak cynipid communities and summarize the evidence for bottom-up and top-down effects across trophic levels. We identify major unanswered questions and suggest approaches for the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-668
Number of pages38
JournalAnnual review of entomology
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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