Modelling dynamic plant-plant-herbivore interactions in space and time

Plants down-regulate their defences against insect herbivores upon impending competition for light, a mechanism that has been viewed in the context of a resource driven trade-off between investing in defence versus shade avoidance growth.

We consider allocation to growth and defence related traits in the dynamic context of plant-plant competition and plant-herbivore interactions rather than in the context of a static resource trade-off.
We evaluate these complex dynamics in the plant-herbivore continuum with 3D functional-structural plant (FSP) modelling, by assessing the impact of plant defences and herbivore damage in combination with varying levels of competition.