Invasive herbivores

slug and Pieris caterpillars

Effects of invasive herbivores insects on the communication between native plants and insects

Plant volatiles are molecules that plants release in the air. Some volatiles attract pollinators, and some are released when leaves are attacked by herbivores, attracting predators and parasitic wasps that will kill the attacking herbivores. These chemically-mediated interactions between the plant and native insects can be disrupted by invasive species of herbivores (insects and slugs). We study a range of insect herbivores that could potentially invade European natural and agro-ecosystems, as winters get milder due to global warming, and the ecological consequences of these invasions. This so-called InvaVOL project funded by the European Science Foundation was accomplished on September 2015. A proposal for a follow-up project, which aims at exploring the chemical ecology of gastropod‐insect‐plant interactions, is currently under evaluation.

research database P3 of SNF

Project leader