, Volume 40, Issue 2-3, pp 217-229

Interactions between the hemiparasitic angiospermRhinanthus minor and its hosts: From the cell to the ecosystem

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Parasitic plants can significantly influence the species to which they attach. The host response is variable however, and ranges from death of the host to no detectable effects in terms of both growth and physiology. The parasite can directly influence its hosts through resource abstraction, and indirectly by influencing inter- and intra-specific interactions. Abiotic factors interact with these direct and indirect effects to moderate the potential outcome of the host parasite interaction. This paper sets out to review a series of experiments that have been undertaken in our laboratory over a number of years that examine these effects and help us to understand mechanisms underpinning the variability in host response.