Plant-insect interactions are determined by both chemical and physical mechanisms. Biomechanical factors play an important role across many ecological situations, including pollination, herbivory and plant carnivory, and have led to complex adaptations in both plants and insects. However, while mechanical factors involved in some highly specific interactions have been elucidated, more generalised effects may be widespread but are more difficult to isolate, due to the multifunctional properties of the plant surfaces and tissues where interactions occur. Novel methodologies are being developed to investigate the mechanisms of biomechanical interactions and discover to what extent adaptive structures could be exploited via biomimetics. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
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