Plant-insect Interactions on an Exotic Plant

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.

Promotor LEM (Louise) Vet
Copromotor Prof. dr. Jeffrey Harvey
Organisatie Wageningen University

di 19 november 2013 11:00 tot 12:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

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.

Chemical and mechanical defence traits of range-expanding plants can act synergistically against herbivores, but the latter are more effective.
Taiadjana Filipa Marques Fortuna

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.