In this chapter the authors first consider the literature on host-parasitoid associations and its limitations. They then review ideas that have been applied to the study of parasitoid communities. The authors develop a system of categorizing parasitoids, based on a fundamental dichotomy in their biology, which allows them to make predictions about host range. The size of parasitoid complexes and differences in composition between those of taxonomically related hosts can then be discussed in terms of host life history and parasitoid biology.
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