Coping with variable herbivore community : ecological consequences of temporal dynamics and tissue-specific defense in Nicotiana attenuata
Environmental heterogeneity is ubiquitous in nature and generates different ecological niches. Plants require evolving plastic responses over time and space to cope with the variable environment. Indeed, the ecological interactions between environmental factors and the plant depend largely on their temporal and spatial characteristics. It may be important to maintain the function under heterogeneous environments by having temporal plastic responses. However, the functional consequences of the plant temporal and spatial plastic responses in nature are largely unknown. In my dissertation, I have investigated the plant strategies to generate the plasticity and their functional consequences.