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Trends Ecol Evol. 2009 Jun;24(6):323-31. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2009.01.012. Epub 2009 Mar 25.

Smelling global climate change: mitigation of function for plant volatile organic compounds.

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Institute of Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.


Plant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have important roles in plant adaptation to the environment and serve as infochemicals in multitrophic interactions. Global climate change factors, such as increased atmospheric carbon dioxide, ozone and temperature, could alter how insects perceive such compounds. Here we review recent research on the influence of climate change parameters on the ecological functions of VOCs, with specific focus on terpenoids, the best-characterized VOCs. We summarize how emission patterns and concentrations of VOCs could change in future environments, mainly from the perspectives of plant defense and stress responses. We discuss how higher carbon dioxide concentrations, elevated ozone levels and increased temperatures could affect the biological functions of VOCs, particularly their role in plant defense.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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