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Effects of limited volatiles release by plants in tritrophic interactions

1Department of Mathematics and Applications, University of Naples Federico II, via Cintia, I-80126Naples, Italy
2Department of Agricultural Science, University of Naples Federico II, via Università, 100, I-80055Portici, Italy
3Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Postboks 115, NO-1431 Ås, Norway; NorwegianUniversity of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway
4Dipartimento di Matematica “Giuseppe Peano”, University of Turin, via Carlo Alberto 10, Turin,I-10123 Italy

Special Issues: Mathematical Methods in the Biosciences

We introduce a mathematical model to describe the tritrophic interaction between crop,pest and the pest natural enemy where the release of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by crop istaken into account. The VOCs may be considered as an indirect defence mechanism of the plant asthey attract the pest natural enemies toward the attacked plants. The model dynamics is studied throughqualitative analysis and numerical simulations. The factors that may enhance pest disappearance areidentified. In particular, we show that VOCs may have a beneficial effect on the environment sincetheir release may be able to stabilize the model dynamics. Specifically, for the parameter values thatwe have explored, this effect can arise only when both the phenomena of VOCs basic plant release andVOCs plant release due to pest attack are present.
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