Tritrophic interactions between plants, herbivores, and their natural enemies are an integral part of all terrestrial ecosystems. Herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs) play a key role in these interactions, as they can attract predators and parasitoids to herbivore-attacked plants. Thirty years after this discovery, the ecological importance of the phenomena is widely recognized. However, the primary function of HIPVs is still subject to much debate, as is the possibility of using these plant-produced cues in crop protection. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of HIPVs in tritrophic interactions from an ecological as well as a mechanistic perspective. This overview focuses on the main gaps in our knowledge of tritrophic interactions, and we argue that filling these gaps will greatly facilitate efforts to exploit HIPVs for pest control.


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