Microcosms of Fear

by Roman Bucher

PhD student

University of Koblenz-Landau

There is beauty in the array of these simple ecosystems. Each consists of a strawberry plant and a cricket feeding on the leaves. But it’s not that peaceful: half of the microcosms contain the scent of a dangerous spider. How do these tiny little creatures respond to the risk of being killed? What are the consequences for the plants? It’s most intriguing to go beyond classical ecology to get deeper insights into ecosystem functioning.

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