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Institut Sophia Agrobiotech

UMR INRA - Univ. Nice Sophia Antipolis - Cnrs

http://www.paca.inra.fr/institut-sophia-agrobiotech_eng/

Community Ecology in Agrosystems

cpoyright Inra 12018 . Schematic diagram of direct and indirect interactions (biotic and abiotic) in the agrosystem tomato-pest-natural enemies. This system is well studied in the 1st and 2nd Research Axes of the CEA team, in laboratory conditions (picture on the left) and in greenhouses (picture on the right).

Schematic diagram of direct and indirect interactions (biotic and abiotic) in the agrosystem tomato-pest-natural enemies. This system is well studied in the 1st and 2nd Research Axes of the CEA team, in laboratory conditions (picture on the left) and in greenhouses (picture on the right). Copyright Inra 2018

The CEA team is questioning the Community Ecology in Agrosystems for fundamental research interests but also in order to improve IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and particularly biocontrol strategies. The idea is to develop this general question based on three scientific fields:

  • Plant Ecophysiology: Determine the Trade-off Growth/Defense in a changing environment involving the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on plant primary (growth, leaf gas exchange...) and secondary metabolism (Plant chemical defense). The latter involved chemical ecology ;
  • Behavioural Ecology: Study of life history traits and optimal behaviors of natural enemies used as biocontrol agents ;
  • Community Ecology: Multitrophic interactions, Direct and indirect interactions between plant, pests and natural enemies, impact of invasive species in arthropods community, population dynamic at local scale (greenhouses or field).

These three fields interact each other in order to answer three research axes:

  • Bottom-up and top-down effects in community (Plant Ecophysiology & Community Ecology) ;
  • Plant-arthropods interactions (Plant Ecophysiology & Behavioural Ecology) ;
  • Adaptation and Evolution at individual and population scale (Behavioural Ecology & Community Ecology).