PerspectiveEcology

The Enemy of My Enemy Is My Ally

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Science  16 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5511, pp. 2104-2105
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059939

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Summary

When attacked by hungry herbivores (usually insects or their larvae), many plants emit airborne volatiles. As Sabelis et al. discuss in their Perspective, these volatiles not only repel the attackers and other potential herbivores, they also lure herbivore predators into the vicinity (Kessler and Baldwin). In this way, volatiles provide a two-pronged defense that protects the plant both directly and indirectly.