- There has been a surge of interest in phenotypic plasticity in the last two decades. Most studies, however, are being carried out within relatively narrow disciplinary frameworks. Consequently, researchers differ not only in their scientific agenda; they often use different terminologies and conceptual frameworks even when studying the very same phenomena. The diversity of approaches has often generated parallel bodies of theory on subjects that can be best understood in broader interdisciplinary terms. This special issue points out the differences between the concepts and questions that are characteristic of various approaches. Bridging all gulfs may be impossible and not necessarily desirable, yet, awareness of the varied approaches should be instrumental in promoting interdisciplinary advances. It is the contribution to such awareness that is the major purpose of this special issue, and for this reason it deals with molecular, physiological, ecological and evolutionary approaches to the study of developmental plasticity. So as to focus the discussion, six topics have been selected, ranging from the fundamental essence of developmental plasticity to its implications to ecology and evolution. These topics were considered by scholars who were chosen for the diversity of their research, not only their expertise. Rather than a comprehensive body of theory, the current issue thus seeks the diversity of opinions on the discussed topics. It is hoped that the confrontation, in its original Latin sense, which includes bringing together and discussion, of scholars who are studying these phenomena at very different levels and from different points of view will generate new insights and promote future interdisciplinary research.