Studies on the ecological impacts of exotic invasive plants have becoming of extreme importance, since due to global environmental changes, a rapid increase in exotic plants, such as those expanding their range within the same continent, has been observed.
In this context, plant-insect interactions between exotic plants and the invaded communities have been largely ignored. The research presented in this thesis aims to contribute to this field by examining interactions between an exotic range-expanding plant and aboveground herbivores and their natural enemies over three trophic levels.
In order to achieve this objective, in my thesis I explore the reciprocal effects between the exotic plant and aboveground insects, and the consequences of these novel plant-mediated interactions on the performance and behaviour of native herbivores and their parasitoids, as well on the plant defence traits. The crucifer Bunias orientalis, originally from south-eastern Europe and Asia, has recently expanded its range and become invasive in northern-central parts of Europe. In the Netherlands, it is considered naturalized but non-invasive.