Plants as green phones

R. Soler, J.A. Harvey, T.M. Bezemer, J.F. Stuefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Plants can act as vertical communication channels or `green phones¿ linking soil-dwelling insects and insects in the aboveground ecosystem. When root-feeding insects attack a plant, the direct defense system of the shoot is activated, leading to an accumulation of phytotoxins in the leaves. The protection of the plant shoot elicited by root damage can impair the survival, growth and development of aboveground insect herbivores, thereby creating plant-based functional links between soil-dwelling insects and insects that develop in the aboveground ecosystem. The interactions between spatially separated insects below- and aboveground are not restricted to root and foliar plant-feeding insects, but can be extended to higher trophic levels such as insect parasitoids. Here we discuss some implications of plants acting as communication channels or `green phones¿ between root and foliar-feeding insects and their parasitoids, focusing on recent findings that plants attacked by root-feeding insects are significantly less attractive for the parasitoids of foliar-feeding insects
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-520
JournalPlant Signaling & Behavior
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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