The Power of Infochemicals in Mediating Individualized Niches

Caroline Müller, Barbara A. Caspers, Jürgen Gadau, Sylvia Kaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Infochemicals, including hormones, pheromones, and allelochemicals, play a central role in mediating information and shaping interactions within and between individuals. Due to their high plasticity, infochemicals are predestined mediators in facilitating individualized niches of organisms. Only recently it has become clear that individual differences are essential to understand how and why individuals realize a tiny subset of the species' niche. Moreover, individual differences have a central role in both ecological adjustment and evolutionary adaptation in a rapidly changing world. Here we highlight that infochemicals act as key signals or cues and empower the realization of the individualized niche through three proposed processes: niche choice, niche conformance, and niche construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-989
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • allelochemicals
  • ecological niche
  • hormones
  • individualization
  • pheromones
  • semiochemicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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