Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Deborah L. Finke

Deborah Finke

Division of Plant Science and Technology

E-mail: finked at missouri dot edu
Office address: 3-22C Agriculture Building
Office phone: 573-884-5125

I am interested in the community-level and population-level ecologies of arthropods and their host plants. My ongoing research experimentally addresses factors mediating the importance of predator diversity for herbivore suppression and ultimately host-plant biomass. Such mediating factors include the occurrence of intraguild predation, resource partitioning among natural enemies (specialists versus generalist enemies), and the presence of refuges from predation due to vegetation structure/habitat complexity. These studies have important applied implications for the biological control of insect pests where the goal is to manipulate predators to reduce herbivory and enhance primary productivity. It is also applicable to conservation biologists who attempt to predict community-wide impacts following the extinction of a native species or the introduction of exotic species into a natural system.

Current research interests include:

  1. wing production in aphids in response to predator diversity with consequences for the spread of aphid-vectored diseases among host plants.
  2. the impact of highly subsidized agricultural systems on the diversity and productivity of remnant prairie habitats.
  3. how host plant responses to simultaneous herbivore feeding above and below ground influence the attraction and effectiveness of natural enemies of the herbivores.


Back to Top

Wimp GM, Murphy SM, Finke DL, Huberty AF, Denno RF. Increased primary production shifts the structure and composition of a terrestrial arthropod community. Ecology 2010;91(11):3303-3311.

Eubanks MD, MJ Raupp, and DL Finke. Robert F. Denno (1945-2008): Insect ecologist extraordinaire. Annual Review of Entomology 2011;56:273-292.

Finke DL, and WE Snyder (2010). Conserving the benefits of predator biodiversity. Biological Conservation (in press).

Finke DL, and WE Snyder. Niche partitioning increases resource exploitation by diverse communities. Science 2008; 321(5895):1488-1490.

Straub CS, DL Finke and WE Snyder. Are the conservation of natural enemy biodiversity and biological control compatible goals? Biological Control 2008;45:225-237.

Snyder GB, DL Finke, and WE Snyder. Predator biodiversity strengthens herbivore suppression in single- and multiple-prey species communities. Biological Control 2008; 44:52-60.

Finke DL and RF Denno. Spatial refuge from intraguild predation: Implications for prey suppression and trophic cascades, Oecologia 2006, 149:265-275.

Denno RF, DL Finke, and GA Langellotto. Direct and indirect effects of vegetation structure and habitat complexity on predator-prey and predator-predator interactions. In The ecology of predator-prey interactions 2005. P. Barbosa and I. Castellanos (Eds.), pp. 211-239, London: Oxford University Press.

Finke DL and RF Denno. Predator diversity and the functioning of ecosystems: The role of intraguild predation in dampening trophic cascades. Ecology Letters 2005;8:1299-1306.

Finke DL and RF Denno. Predator diversity dampens trophic cascades, Nature 2004;429:407-410.

Denno RF, C Gratton, MA Peterson, GA Langellotto, DL Finke, AF Huberty. Bottom-up forces mediate natural-enemy impact in a phytophagous insect community. Ecology 2002;83:1443-1458.

Finke DL and RF Denno (2002) Intraguild predation diminished in complex habitats: Implications for top-down suppression of prey populations. Ecology, 83:643-652.

Denno RF, MA Peterson, C Gratton, J Cheng, GA Langellotto, AF Huberty and DL Finke. Feeding-induced changes in plant quality mediate interspecific competition between sap-feeding herbivores. Ecology 2000;81:1814-1827.


Back to Top