Plant phenotypic plasticity in response to herbivore attack includes changes in flower traits. Such herbivore-induced changes in flower traits have consequences for interactions with flower visitors. We synthesize here current knowledge on the specificity of herbivore-induced changes in flower traits, the underlying molecular mechanisms, and the ecological consequences for flower-associated communities. Herbivore-induced changes in flower traits seem to be largely herbivore species-specific. The extensive plasticity observed in flowers influences a highly connected web of interactions within the flower-associated community. We argue that the adaptive value of herbivore-induced plant responses and flower plasticity can be fully understood only from a community perspective rather than from pairwise interactions.
- flower traits
- flower visitors
- herbivore-induced plant responses
- phenotypic plasticity
- plant defense