Herbivorous insects are often attacked by a variety of natural enemies. If those use different spatial, temporal or biotic niches a greater variety of natural enemies can result in better control of the herbivores. However, negative interactions between natural enemies may also occur and decrease their impact. To know the interacting species and their impact when combined is a prerequisite for efficient and safe biological control.
We investigate communities of natural enemies in the laboratory and in the field. For this, we use molecular gut content analyses and field surveys, and we conduct experiments in microcosms in the climate chamber and in the field. Currently we assess the communities of indigenous predators and parasitoids that include the invasive spotted wing drosophila into their host-spectrum. In a further study we investigate the interaction of mirid predators of the tomato leafminer under varying temperature conditions.
Last modification 17.04.2020