The Department of Forest Zoology and Forest Conservation deals with signalling substances and signal cascades in the interaction of animals and plants employing a combination of fundamental research and technological development.
The main workscope is the integrative investigation of the molecular basis of plant-insect-interactions using analytical, sensory physiological and behavioural methods.
This research covers four application areas:
- The physiological reaction of plants on environmental conditions and insect feeding (odours, primary and secondary plant metabolism)
- The sensory detection of these reactions by insects (taste and olfaction).
- Behavioural changes of insects (host location, preference for feeding and oviposition)
- Effects on the trophic interrelations, population dynamics and biodiversity.
Analogue procedures are used for the investigation of interactions in complex systems like fungus-plant-insect, plant-plant-insect or systems comprising vertebrates including man.
Application of the results might lead to novel technologies, e.g. for detection of forest fires or quality control of plant products and meat.