Integrating Studies on Plant-Pollinator and Plant-Herbivore Interactions

Dani Lucas-Barbosa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Research on herbivore-induced plant defence and research on pollination ecology have had a long history of separation. Plant reproduction of most angiosperm species is mediated by pollinators, and the effects of herbivore-induced plant defences on pollinator behaviour have been largely neglected. Moreover, there is expected to be a trade-off between plant reproductive strategies and defence mechanisms. To investigate this trade-off, it is essential to study herbivore-induced plant resistance and allocation of resources by plants, within the same system, and to test if indirect plant resistance can conflict with pollinator attraction. Here, I review the key literature highlighting connection between plant defence and reproduction, and propose to exploit natural variation among plant species to assess the ecological costs of plant responses to herbivores and pollinators. It is crucial to study herbivore-induced resistance and resource allocation by plants within the same study system.There is a need to link the study of herbivore-induced responses with that of plant-pollinator associations, and ultimately to plant fitness.Focussing on the underlying mechanisms of plant responses to herbivory and pollination will help to understand if and how the attraction of carnivores can conflict with the attraction of pollinators.The use of natural variation in plant species will allow the assessment of the ecological costs associated with plant responses to herbivores and pollinators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-133
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Flowers
  • Herbivore-induced plant volatiles
  • Herbivory
  • Plant fitness
  • Resource allocation
  • 016-3912


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