M.Agr.0058: Plant herbivore interactions

(6C / 4 SWS)

Learning outcome

Knowledge of complex interactions between plants and herbivorous insects. Preparation and critical reflection of methods applied in current research findings covering the lecture topics by a seminar presentation.


Course: Plant herbivore interactions (Lecture, Seminar, 4 SWS)

Contents:The modul deals with the interactions between plants and herbivorous insects. The diversiy of the organisms involved and the biocenoses are discussed. With regard to plants different adaptations to damage by insects are presented and the role of resistance mechanisms is outlined. The sensory organs of herbivorous insects to discriminate between different plant species and the role of volatile and secondary compounds produced by the plants are demonstrated. Multiple Interactions between plants, their herbivores, and natural enemies and application strategies in plant protection are discussed. The interactions between flowering plants and pollinators areoutlined and the importance of seed predation will be exemplified. During the seminar part of the module students will present recent research findings which will complement the content of the lectures.


  • Written exam (67%, 45 minutes) and presentation (33%, approx. 20 minutes)
  • Prerequisites: Regular attendance at seminar and preparation of a seminar talk and a handout
  • Requirements: Profound knowledge of processes involved in plant selection by herbivorous insects; protection strategies evolved by plants; determinants of herbivorous communities on specific plants, multitrophic interactions between plants; herbivorous insects and their natural enemies; interactions between plants and their pollinators or seed predators.

Further details

  • Work load: 180 h (60/120 h, attendance / self-study)
  • Admission requirements: None
  • Recommended previous knowledge: None
  • Language: English
  • Person responsible for module: Prof. Dr. Michael Georg Rostás
  • Course frequency: Each winter semester
  • Duration: One semester
  • Number of repeat examinations permitted: Twice
  • Recommended Semester: 1-3 Semester
  • Maximum number of students: 20