Scale-dependent plant-herbivore interactions: Ecological and evolutionary consequences

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2010
End date: 31/12/2012
Funding: 2229000 SEK


Spatial heterogeneity has consequences for plant-herbivore interactions at several spatial scales, affecting both host plant finding, herbivore population dynamics and (co-)evolutionary processes. This project will use theories for scale-dependency in species interactions for exploring the role of spatial heterogeneity in generating patterns of interaction strengths within one system, the plant Lythrum salicaria and the associated food web. Within populations, the aim is to study the relative importance of between and within patch selection processes for herbivore attack. A particular focus will be on the role of within patch genetic diversity and on the scale at which insect herbivores respond to this heterogeneity. At the next spatial scale, I will quantify the olfactory information landscape and how this landscape affects the distribution of insects within populations and their temporal dynamics. A particular focus here will be on induced responses following herbivore attack, causing both positive and negative density-dependent feed-backs. Among populations, the aim is to investigate local adaptation in the main herbivores on Lythrum salicaria and the mechanisms causing variation in mortality from natural enemies. A particular focus here will be to understand the role of plant volatiles and how the regional variation in community context has affected plant-herbivore interactions.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58