Evolutionary ecology of above-below-ground plant-animal interaction

Mechanistic Community Ecology, Soil Ecology

Which biotic and abiotic factors drive variation in species interactions remains a central question in ecology. In our lab we take advantage of natural variation in species interaction generated by ecological gradients, and we use different approaches, including field common gardens, behavioral assays, chemical and phylogenetic analyses to address this question. By studying multitrophic interactions in natural settings we aim at harnessing the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms of community assembly, and ultimately, we hope to use this fundamental knowledge for targeted application related to crop production and biological control of insect pests.

Recent Publications

  • Ontogenetic consistency in oak defence syndromes
    Moreira, Xoaquin; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Galman, Andrea; Bartlow, Andrew W.; Berny-Mier y Teran, Jorge C.; et al.
    Journal Of Ecology  DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13376   MAR 2020
  • A global database of soil nematode abundance and functional group composition
    van den Hoogen, Johan; Geisen, Stefan; Wall, Diana H.; Wardle, David A.; Traunspurger, Walter; et al.
    Scientific Data  DOI: 10.1038/s41597-020-0437-3   MAR 26 2020
  • Plant physical and chemical traits associated with herbivory in situ and under a warming treatment
    Descombes, Patrice; Kergunteuil, Alan; Glauser, Gaetan; Rasmann, Sergio; Pellissier, Loic
    Journal Of Ecology  DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13286   MAR 2020
  • Variation in Below-to Aboveground Systemic Induction of Glucosinolates Mediates Plant Fitness Consequences under Herbivore Attack
    Bakhtiari, Moe; Rasmann, Sergio
    Journal Of Chemical Ecology  DOI: 10.1007/s10886-020-01159-5 FEB 2020
  • Modulation of above-belowground plant-herbivore interactions by entomopathogenic nematodes
    Li, Yang; Zhen, Shiyu; Shan, Shaojie; Sun, Bingjiao; Li, Jingjing; et al.
    Applied Soil Ecology,  DOI: 10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.103479, APR 2020
  • The effect of biochar amendment on N-cycling genes in soils: A meta-analysis
    Xiao, Zhenggao; Rasmann, Sergio; Yue, Le; Lian, Fei; Zou, Hua; et al.
    Science Of The Total Environment,  DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133984, Published: DEC 15 2019
  • Parallel increases in insect herbivory and defenses with increasing elevation for both saplings and adult trees of oak (Quercus) species
    Galman, Andrea; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Covelo, Felisa; Rasmann, Sergio; Moreira, Xoaquin
    American Journal Of Botany,  DOI: 10.1002/ajb2.1388, Early Access: NOV 2019
  • Plant physical and chemical traits associated with herbivory in situ and under a warming treatment
    Descombes, P; Kergunteuil, A; Glauser, GG; Rasmann, S; Pellissier, L
    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY,  https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13286, OCT 2019
  • Inducibility of chemical defences in young oak trees is stronger in species with high elevational ranges
    Galman, Andrea; Petry, William K.; Abdala-Roberts, Luis; Butron, Ana; de la Fuente, Maria; et al.
    Tree Physiology,  DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpy139, Published: APR 2019
  • Soil nematode abundance and functional group composition at a global scale
    van den Hoogen, J; Geisen, S; Routh, D; Ferris, H; Traunspurger, W; Wardle, DA; de Goede, RGM; Adams, BJ; Ahmad, W; Andriuzzi, WS; Bardgett, RD; Bonkowski, M; Campos-Herrera, R; Cares, JE; Caruso, T; Caixeta, LD; Chen, XY; Costa, SR; Creamer, R; Castro, JMD; Dam, M; Djigal, D; Escuer, M; Griffiths, BS; Gutierrez, C; Hohberg, K; Kalinkina, D; Kardol, P; Kergunteuil, A; Korthals, G; Krashevska, V; Kudrin, AA; Li, Q; Liang, WJ; Magilton, M; Marais, M; Martin, JAR; Matveeva, E; Mayad, E; Mulder, C; Mullin, P; Neilson, R; Nguyen, TAD; Nielsen, UN; Okada, H; Rius, JEP;
    Pan, K; Peneva, V; Pellissier, L; da Silva, JCP; Pitteloud, C; Powers, TO; Powers, K; Quist, CW; Rasmann, S; Moreno, SS; Scheu, S; Setala, H; Sushchuk, A; Tiunov, AV; Trap, J; van der Putten, W; Vestergard, M; Villenave, C; Waeyenberge, L; Wall, DH; Wilschut, R; Wright, DG; Yang, JI; Crowther, TW
  • Deicing Salt Pollution Affects the Foliar Traits and Arthropods' Biodiversity of Lime Trees in Riga's Street Greeneries
    Bouraoui, D; Cekstere, G; Osvalde, A; Vollenweider, P; Rasmann, S
    FRONTIERS IN ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 7 10.3389/fevo.2019.00282 JUL 31 2019
  • Plant adaptation to different climates shapes the strengths of chemically mediated tritrophic interactions
    Kergunteuil, A; Humair, L; Munzbergova, Z; Rasmann, S
    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, 10.1111/1365-2435.13396 
  • Correlated Induction of Phytohormones and Glucosinolates Shapes Insect Herbivore Resistance of Cardamine Species Along Elevational Gradients
    Robert, CAM; Pellissier, L; Moreira, X; Defossez, E; Pfander, M; Guyer, A; van Dam, NM; Rasmann, S
    JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY, 45 (7):638-648; 10.1007/s10886-019-01084-2 JUL 2019
  • The symbiotic bacteria Alcaligenes faecalis of the entomopathogenic nematodes Oscheius spp. exhibit potential biocontrol of plant- and entomopathogenic fungi
    Shan, SJ; Wang, WW; Song, CX; Wang, MG; Sun, BJ; Li, Y; Fu, YQ; Gu, XH; Ruan, WB; Rasmann, S
    MICROBIAL BIOTECHNOLOGY, 12 (3):459-471; 10.1111/1751-7915.13365 MAY 2019
  • Contribution of different predator guilds to tritrophic interactions along ecological clines
    Godschalx, AL; Rodriguez-Castaneda, G; Rasmann, S
    CURRENT OPINION IN INSECT SCIENCE, 32 104-109; SI 10.1016/j.cois.2019.01.002 APR 2019
  • Variable effects on growth and defense traits for plant ecotypic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity along elevation gradients
    Bakhtiari, M; Formenti, L; Caggia, V; Glauser, G; Rasmann, S
    ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 9 (7):3740-3755; 10.1002/ece3.4999 APR 2019
  • Mycorrhizal Fungi Enhance Resistance to Herbivores in Tomato Plants with Reduced Jasmonic Acid Production
    Formenti, L; Rasmann, S
    AGRONOMY-BASEL, 9 (3):10.3390/agronomy9030131 MAR 12 2019
  • Earthworms suppress thrips attack on tomato plants by concomitantly modulating soil properties and plant chemistry
    Xiao, ZG; Jiang, LH; Chen, XY; Zhang, Y; Defossez, E; Hu, F; Liu, MQ; Rasmann, S
    SOIL BIOLOGY & BIOCHEMISTRY, 130 23-32; 10.1016/j.soilbio.2018.11.023 MAR 2019
  • Evolutionary dynamics of specialisation in herbivorous stick insects
    Larose, Chloe; Rasmann, Sergio; Schwander, Tanja
    ECOLOGY LETTERS, 22 (2):354-364; 10.1111/ele.13197 FEB 2019
  • Environmental gradients and the evolution of tri-trophic interactions
    Kergunteuil, Alan; Roeder, Gregory; Rasmann, Sergio
    ECOLOGY LETTERS, 22 (2):292-301; 10.1111/ele.13190 FEB 2019
  • Specificity of plant-plant communication for Baccharis salicifolia sexes but not genotypes
    Moreira, X; Nell, CS; Meza-Lopez, MM; Rasmann, S; Mooney, KA
    ECOLOGY, 99 (12):2731-2739; 10.1002/ecy.2534 DEC 2018
  • Growing Research Networks on Mycorrinizae for Mutual Benefits
    Ferlian, O; Biere, A; Bonfante, P; Buscot, F; Eisenhauer, N; Fernandez, I; Hause, B; Herrmann, S; Krajinski-Barth, F; Meier, IC; Pozo, MJ; Rasmann, S; Rillig, MC; Tarkka, MT; van Dam, NM; Wagg, C; Martinez-Medina, A
    TRENDS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 23 (11):975-984; 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.08.008 NOV 2018
  • Herbivore specificity and the chemical basis of plant-plant communication in Baccharis salicifolia (Asteraceae)
    Moreira, X; Nell, CS; Katsanis, A; Rasmann, S; Mooney, KA
    NEW PHYTOLOGIST, 220 (3):703-713; 10.1111/nph.14164 NOV 2018
  • The functional decoupling of processes in alpine ecosystems under climate change
    Pellissier, Loic; Rasmann, Sergio
    CURRENT OPINION IN INSECT SCIENCE, 29 126-132; 10.1016/j.cois.2018.07.005 OCT 2018
  • Assessing the influence of biogeographical region and phylogenetic history on chemical defences and herbivory in Quercus species
    Moreira, X; Abdala-Roberts, L; Galman, A; Francisco, M; de la Fuente, M; Butroon, A; Rasmann, S
    PHYTOCHEMISTRY, 153 64-73; 10.1016/j.phytochem.2018.06.002 SEP 2018
  • Elevational gradients in plant defences and insect herbivory: recent advances in the field and prospects for future research
    Moreira, X; Petry, WK; Mooney, KA; Rasmann, S; Abdala-Roberts, L
    ECOGRAPHY, 41 (9):1485-1496; 10.1111/ecog.03184 NOV 2018
  • Root JA Induction Modifies Glucosinolate Profiles and Increases Subsequent Aboveground Resistance to Herbivore Attack in Cardamine hirsuta
    Bakhtiari, M; Glauser, G; Rasmann, S
    FRONTIERS IN PLANT SCIENCE, 9 10.3389/fpls.2018.01230 AUG 21 2018
  • Growth-competition-herbivore resistance trade-offs and the responses of alpine plant communities to climate change
    Pellissier, L; Descombes, P; Hagen, O; Chalmandrier, L; Glauser, G; Kergunteuil, A; Defossez, E; Rasmann, S
    FUNCTIONAL ECOLOGY, 32 (7):1693-1703; https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13075 JUL 2018
  • Latitudinal variation in plant chemical defences drives latitudinal patterns of leaf herbivory
    Moreira, X; Castagneyrol, B; Abdala-Roberts, L; Teran, JCBMY; Timmermans, BGH; Bruun, HH; Covelo, F; Glauser, G; Rasmann, S; Tack, AJM
    ECOGRAPHY, 41 (7):1124-1134; 10.1111/ecog.03326 JUL 2018
  • Plant physical and chemical defence variation along elevation gradients: a functional trait-based approach
    Kergunteuil, Alan; Descombes, Patrice; Glauser, Gaetan; Pellissier, Loic; Rasmann, Sergio
    OECOLOGIA, 187 (2):561-571; 10.1007/s00442-018-4162-y JUN 2018
  • The unfolding of plant growth form-defence syndromes along elevation gradients
    Defossez, Emmanuel; Pellissier, Loic; Rasmann, Sergio
    ECOLOGY LETTERS, 21 (5):609-618; 10.1111/ele.12926 MAY 2018
  • Pleiotropic effect of the Flowering Locus C on plant resistance and defence against insect herbivores
    Rasmann, Sergio; Vilas, Julia Sanchez; Glauser, Gaetan; Cartolano, Maria; Lempe, Janne; Tsiantis, Miltos; Pannell, John R.
    JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY, 106 (3):1244-1255; 10.1111/1365-2745.12894 MAY 2018
Sergio Rasmann

Prof. Dr. Sergio Rasmann
University of Neuchâtel
Institute of Biology
2000 Neuchâtel

Tel: +41 (0)32 718 23 37

Research topics

  • Plant-animal interactions
  • Community ecology along ecological gradients
  • Above-belowground interactions
  • Plant-herbivore-microbe interaction
  • Evolutionary ecology of plant defense strategies



  • Chemical ecology
  • Metabolomics
  • Genomics
  • Entomology
  • Soil ecology