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© Universität Bielefeld, Theresa Rohrberg

Principle Investigator

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang W. Weisser


Dr. Robert Heinen


PhD students

Lina Ojeda

Effects of intraspecific chemodiversity on the structure of ecological communities

The effects of increasing plant biodiversity on higher trophic levels have been mainly studied with a focus on plant species richness. More recently, the role of plant intraspecific diversity has come into focus, because plant variation is known to strongly affect the plant-associated insect community. Tanacetum vulgare is highly diverse in leaf terpenoid content and variation in chemodiversity between individual plants has already been shown to affect the insect community on the plant. We propose to manipulate the intraspecific chemical diversity, i.e., chemodiversity, of Tanacetum vulgare at the plant community level, to study the interactions between this plant, its herbivores and the natural enemies of the herbivores, but also the interactions with further species such as aphid-tending ants.

Tanacetum vulgare field set up in Jena; field with tansy planted in circles, each circle consists of 6 plants
©Lina Ojeda

Field experiment in the Jena Experiment fieldsite (Jena, Thuringia) to create T. vulgare communities with different levels of intraspecific diversity.

Lina Ojeda overseeing a choice experiment in the Greenhouse
©Lina Ojeda

PhD candidate Lina Ojeda preparing a 2-choice assays in the greenhouse at Dürnast facilities. Two leaves belonging to two plants of different chemotypes are offered to either M. tanacetaria or U. tanaceti.

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