Applied Insect-Plant Ecology
Our team studies the ecological interactions between insect pests, beneficial arthropods and plants as well as the evolution of these interactions in managed and natural ecosystems. This also includes the effects of cropping practices, interactions with other groups of organisms, and the influence of climate change.
We aim to elucidate the significance of such interactions for interlinked populations of plants, pest insects and beneficial insects, a work which incorporates the importance of crops and ecological infrastructures on predators, parasitoids and wild pollinators.
We are involved in development of the research basis for Integrated Pest Management, components and strategies, and in research on organic production systems. Related to both types of production systems studies of trophic interactions, with the focus on insect-plant interactions, are employed as the basis for the further development of preventive measures and monitoring – forecasting systems.
Our research embraces the effects on fauna of agricultural practices, at population and landscape levels. The focus of this work is biodiversity per se, functional biodiversity, and ecological aspects of invasive species as well.
We participate in investigations on the natural defense mechanisms of plants, primarily based on biochemical substances. This includes an array of aspects: the biosynthesis, the involved genes, the evolution, advantage and cost of plant defense mechanisms, and the adaptations of insects to overcome plant defenses.