Patchiness of the environment is a common challenge to all living organisms. Essential resources, e.g. water or food, are heterogeneously distributed in space, and can change over time. The task is to maximize resource uptake under two constraints: (1) the organism has only limited information about the location of resource patches, and (2) has limited resource that can be used for moving to patches. Thus, the behavioral pattern has to be adjusted to an (often largely unknown) habitat pattern, and mistakes are costly. Different species show a great diversity of solutions for this problem. An interesting way is offered by modular development, which occurs in several, large taxonomic groups in the living world (plants, sponges, cnidarians, etc.). Modules can take samples from multiple points in a habitat, and can share information and resources. There are two basic questions that emerge in any particular habitat type: (1) What is the optimal degree of integration between modules? (2) What is the optimal degree of plasticity, i.e., how easily a module should be changed according to the environment? I introduce these questions by some examples from plants, and by related computer simulations.