The Ecology of Plant Chemistry and Multi-Species Interactions in Diversified Agroecosystems

Rodolfo F Silva, Gabriela B P Rabeschini, Giovanna L R Peinado, Leandro G Cosmo, Luiz H G Rezende, Rafael K Murayama, Martín Pareja
2018 Frontiers in Plant Science  
Over the past few years, our knowledge of how ecological interactions shape the structure and dynamics of natural communities has rapidly advanced. Plant chemical traits play key roles in these processes because they mediate a diverse range of direct and indirect interactions in a community-wide context. Many chemically mediated interactions have been extensively studied in industrial cropping systems, and thus have focused on simplified, pairwise and linear interactions that rarely incorporate
more » ... a community perspective. A contrasting approach considers the agroecosystem as a functioning whole, in which food production occurs. It offers an opportunity to better understand how plant chemical traits mediate complex interactions which can enhance or hinder ecosystem functions. In this paper, we argue that studying chemically mediated interactions in agroecosystems is essential to comprehend how agroecosystem services emerge and how they can be guaranteed through ecosystem management. First, we discuss how plant chemical traits affect and are affected by ecological interactions. We then explore research questions and future directions on how studying chemical mediation in complex agroecosystems can help us understand the emergence and management of ecosystem services, specifically biological control and pollination.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2018.01713 pmid:30524464 pmcid:PMC6262048 fatcat:rqcjh4pbmfbr5dqrupxmoaggea