Chemically mediated seaweed-herbivore interactions
Herbivory in marine systems can be intense and is considered a strong selective agent for defensive mechanisms. We use theoretical models to formulate testable hypotheses about seaweed chemical defences and their effects on herbivores and higher tropic levels.
Research questions include:
– Can environmental changes affect how seaweeds defend themselves against grazers?
– Are defences induced or constitutive?
– How do the presence of seaweed chemical defences affect their ability to invade new areas?
– Are there individual and/or population differences in how herbivores cope with the chemical defences of their prey?
– How does chemical signalling affect organisms at different trophic levels, so called multi-trophic interactions?