• Oak shoot
  • Species interactions on oak
  • Species interactions on oak

Information

study-system

The spatially-explicit study system of leaf miners and gallers on the pedunculate oak still keeps many secrets – and in the next couple of years I will explore several topics, ranging from the ecological and evolutionary consequences of within-tree heterogeneity to herbivore metacommunity dynamics and the quantification of species-specific movement behaviour. As a promising venue for future research, molecular studies in collaboration with Marie-Laure Desprez-Loustau have revealed that the fungal community on the oak trees includes multiple, (semi-)cryptic powdery mildew species, providing an excellent opportunity to study pathogen metacommunities. As the pathogens themselves are attacked by fungal hyperparasites (Ampelomyces spp.), we can directly compare multitrophic food webs involving pathogens and insects sharing the very same resource (i.e. oak trees). Fascinatingly, our research has thus far elucidated a diversity of direct and indirect interactions between these two multitrophic food webs.

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