At the University of Maryland, I study how host plant resistance in crops such as alfalfa interact with natural enemies of pests. While some alfalfa cultivars have morphological traits that protect the plant from herbivores or pest damage, those traits can also affect their natural enemies.
What are morphological traits?
A classic example is the trichomes which are hairs located in different parts of the plant (stems, leaves).
This is a stem from an alfalfa plant with resistance to potato leafhopper. Photo credit: Purdue Extension
What are natural enemies?
Alfalfa is a perennial flowering plant.