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Plant Secondary Metabolite Diversity and Species Interactions

Authors
  • Kessler, André
  • Kalske, Aino
Type
Published Article
Journal
Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
Publisher
Annual Reviews
Publication Date
Nov 02, 2018
Volume
49
Pages
115–138
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-110617-062406
Source
Annual Reviews
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Ever since the first plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) were isolated and identified, questions about their ecological functions and diversity have been raised. Recent advances in analytical chemistry and complex data computation, as well as progress in chemical ecology from mechanistic to functional and evolutionary questions, open a new box of hypotheses. Addressing these hypotheses includes the measurement of complex traits, such as chemodiversity, in a context-dependent manner and allows for a deeper understanding of the multifunctionality and functional redundancy of PSMs. Here we review a hypothesis framework that addresses PSM diversity on multiple ecological levels (α, β, and γ chemodiversity), its variation in space and time, and the potential agents of natural selection. We use the concept of chemical information transfer as mediator of antagonistic and mutualistic interaction to interpret functional and microevolutionary studies and create a hypothesis framework for understanding chemodiversity as a factor driving ecological processes.

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