Research Topic

Above-belowground interactions involving plants, microbes and insects

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Plants interact simultaneously with multiple organisms above and belowground, and such interactions have been shown to shape the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Most studies on plant-mediated interactions have been focused on organisms that share a common domain, mainly aboveground. During the last ...

Plants interact simultaneously with multiple organisms above and belowground, and such interactions have been shown to shape the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Most studies on plant-mediated interactions have been focused on organisms that share a common domain, mainly aboveground. During the last decade, however, numerous ecological studies have revealed that the plant interactions with attackers or beneficial organisms belowground can strongly affect interactions aboveground and vice versa. Novel insights into the physiological mechanisms underlying induced plant responses have shown that responses to herbivorous insects and microbial pathogens, as well as to beneficial organisms such as root symbionts, are all regulated by a network of a relatively few signaling pathways that can cross the root-shoot divide. Additionally, most mechanistic studies mainly focus on responses to a single attacker aboveground or a root symbiont belowground. In the field, however, plants are constantly confronted with a complex community of foliar and soil dwelling attackers and beneficial organisms, and there is increasing interest to explore plant immune responses in this context. The integration of the mechanistic and ecological approaches to understanding plant-mediated interactions and their ecological consequences is developing as a novel field of research. With the proposed Research Topic we aim to highlight this emerging theme in the context of below-aboveground interactions between insects (herbivorous, carnivorous or pollinators) and other organisms (insects, beneficial microbes, pathogens). Manuscripts that deal with this topic are highly welcome.


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