Plant interaction in cropping systems
Plants do not see, hear, smell or test, but they communicate with each other in different ways including chemical signalling between different plants pairs. The aim of our research is to develop sustainable crop protection strategies based understanding of the interactions between plants, insects and their natural enemies.
Emission of chemical compounds as a natural consequence of plant life may have profound effects on neighbouring plant individuals. For instance volatiles produced by damaged plants have been shown as signals that initiate defensive responses in neighbouring plants making them less attractive for herbivores and more attractive for their natural enemies.
Chemical interactions between undamaged plants have not previously been considered as an important factor in such ecological communities. However our research show that by understanding the mechanisms underlying plant interactions it is possible to develop sustainable crop protection strategies based on design of cropping systems.
The focus of our research is the interactions between plant neighbours and between plants and insects and their natural enemies.