Herbivore induced changes in floral phenotypes
Mathias Hoffmeister, Robert R. Junker
This study targets the intraspecific variation of floral scents, colours and resources. Intraspecific variability in flower traits may occur as a short-term response to biotic interactions in individual plants. We are aiming to study how this variation in floral traits alters the behavior of mutualistic and antagonistic flower visitors. While the investigation of herbivore-induced changes in vegetative scents and their importance in direct and indirect plant defense has a long tradition, the research regarding similar effects on flowers is in its infancy. We will study local and systemic changes in floral scent, color, and nectar features after herbivory and flower damage and associated effects on the flower visitors’ behavior and plant reproduction.
DFG-project: Intraspecific variation of floral traits as adaptation to antagonists and mutualists