Welcome to Parasitoid Ecology

We study the population, community and behavioral ecology of interacting species in fragmented and changing landscapes. Our main research system is the parasitoids associated with the Glanville fritillary butterfly Melitaea cinxia in Finland.

The interacting community associated with the plants Plantago lanceolata and Veronica spicata in the fragmented landscape of Åland, Finland

Highlights from recent publications

Opedal, Øystein H., Ovaskainen, Otso, Saastamoinen, Marjo, Laine, Anna-Liisa, van Nouhuys, Saskya 2020 Host plant availability drives the spatio-temporal dynamics of interacting metapopulations across a fragmented landscape. Ecology in press https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3186

We assessed the potential long term and landscape-level effects of plant-pathogen herbivore-parasitoid interactions on their dynamics. We found that while there are strong and weak interactions between species, most are swamped out by spatial and temporal variation of host plant quality.

Kahilainen, A., van Nouhuys, S., Schulz, T. & Saastamoinen, M. 2018
Metapopulation dynamics in a changing climate: Increasing spatial synchrony in weather conditions drives metapopulation synchrony of a butterfly inhabiting a fragmented landscape. PDF
Global Change Biology, doi:10.1111/gcb.14280

Increasing synchrony of butterfly population dynamics due to changing weather, not natural enemies

Reudler J. H., van Nouhuys, S.  2018
The roles of foraging environment, host species and host diet for a generalist pupal parasitoid. PDF
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 10.1111/eea.12657For a generalist parasitoid, host species isn’t very important, but the plant species is, and so is the surrounding environment.

Host species isn’t very important to this generalist parasitoid, but the plant species is, and so is the surrounding environment