• Plantago food web

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study-system

Plant-based food webs are well-known for their stunning species diversity and complexity. For example, several million insect species and a similarly large number of fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses attack the world’s ca. 300,000 plant species. While these species all share the same plant individuals, studies on terrestrial food webs are often hampered by the lack of interdisciplinary studies linking above- and belowground interactions.
The well-described food web surrounding the ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) offers exciting opportunities for research uniting the below- and aboveground horizon and a range of microbe, nematode and insect species. The main field site, the Åland archipelago, has been extensively surveyed since the early nineties for the location of P. lanceolata, the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia, its parasitoids and the pathogen Podosphaera plantaginis within the Metapopulation Research Group.

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