Rostliny disponují širokou škálou sekundárních metabolitů, které je chrání před býložravým hmyzem. Protože různý hmyz se na chemickou obranu rostlin adaptoval různým způsobem, vyvíjí se i chemická obrana rostlin a její diverzita různě. Některé linie rostlin se stávají toxičtějšími, zatímco jiné sázejí na co největší odlišnost od svých příbuzných, aby se vyhnuly napadení stejnými druhy hmyzu.

Citovaná a použitá literatura:

AGRAWAL, Anurag A.; SALMINEN, Juha‐Pekka; FISHBEIN, Mark. Phylogenetic trends in phenolic metabolism of milkweeds (Asclepias): evidence for escalation. Evolution: International Journal of Organic Evolution, 2009, 63.3: 663-673.

BECERRA, Judith X.; NOGE, Koji; VENABLE, D. Lawrence. Macroevolutionary chemical escalation in an ancient plant–herbivore arms race. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009, 106.43: 18062-18066.

CHRISTENHUSZ, Maarten JM; BYNG, James W. The number of known plants species in the world and its annual increase. Phytotaxa, 2016, 261.3: 201-217.

EHRLICH, Paul R.; RAVEN, Peter H. Butterflies and plants: a study in coevolution. Evolution, 1964, 586-608.

FARRELL, B. D.; MITTER, C. The timing of insect/plant diversification: might Tetraopes (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Asclepias (Asclepiadaceae) have co-evolved?. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 1998, 63.4: 553-577.

HARTMANN, Thomas. From waste products to ecochemicals: fifty years research of plant secondary metabolism. Phytochemistry, 2007, 68.22-24: 2831-2846.

PASTEELS, Jacques M., et al. Salicin from host plant as precursor of salicylaldehyde in defensive secretion of chrysomeline larvae. Physiological Entomology, 1983, 8.3: 307-314.

SEDIO, Brian E., et al. Comparative foliar metabolomics of a tropical and a temperate forest community. Ecology, 2018, 99.12: 2647-2653.

VALENCIA, Renato; BALSLEV, Henrik; MIÑO, Guillermo Paz Y. High tree alpha-diversity in Amazonian Ecuador. Biodiversity & Conservation, 1994, 3.1: 21-28.

VOLF, Martin; SALMINEN, Juha-Pekka; SEGAR, Simon T. Evolution of defences in large tropical plant genera: perspectives for exploring insect diversity in a tri-trophic context. Current opinion in insect science, 2019, 32: 91-97.

VOLF, Martin, et al. Community structure of insect herbivores is driven by conservatism, escalation and divergence of defensive traits in Ficus. Ecology letters, 2018, 21.1: 83-92.

WILLS, Pallara Janardhanan, et al. Population explosions of tiger moth lead to lepidopterism mimicking infectious fever outbreaks. PloS one, 2016, 11.4: e0152787.

Plants possess a broad variety of secon­dary metabolites protecting them against insect herbivores. Differential responses of various insects to chemical defences support differential evolutionary trends in secondary metabolites among plants. Some plants escalate their defences and become highly toxic while others rely on traits divergent from their relatives to prevent sharing their insects.