Experimental and Chemical Plant Ecology

Lecturers: Stefan Dötterl and Karin Gross

Most flowering plants depend on pollinators for sexual reproduction, and pollination by animals is thus an important process in terrestrial ecosystems. As many crop plants, such as apples and cherries, are among the plants pollinated by animals, biotic pollination also has an enormous economic value. Floral scent and floral colour play a crucial role in plant-pollinator interactions. This course will focus on the reproductive ecology of plants, on mutualistic and antagonistic pollination systems, and on the mechanisms underlying these interactions. In own projects, students will apply state-of-the-art methods in chemical and visual ecology to analyse the olfactory and visual advertisement of flowers, and the communication between flowers and their pollinators.