Warming and drought effects on volatile emissions of Solidago canadensis

Kara Dobson, Mark Hammond, Phoebe Zarnetske
Integrative Biology

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting and Investigators Field Tour (2021-09-23 to 2021-09-23 )

Plants are able to communicate and defend themselves through their emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs give the plant the ability to protect itself against various stressors in the environment and communicate the presence of these stressors to nearby plants and organisms. However, climate change poses a threat to the ability of plants to aptly produce and emit important compounds. Using an in situ field experiment, I measured VOC emissions from Solidago canadensis plants within five different climate treatments: warming, drought, warming + drought, ambient control, and irrigated control. Overall, the composition of emitted volatiles differed between the climate treatments, and a few important compounds were downregulated with increasing climate stressors. These findings demonstrate that climate change may impact the ability of S. canadensis to communicate and defend itself via VOCs.

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