About this Research Topic
Plants must cope with and adapt to increasing environmental variability at multiple spatiotemporal scales. Plant resilience and adaptation to a constantly evolving climate can result in highly regulated mechanisms of plant physiology and chemical defense (i.e. primary and secondary metabolism). Particularly, the evolution of various metabolic pathways leading to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) biosynthesis has equipped plants with a wide array of versatile metabolites to deal with multiple environmental stressors. The chemical 'raison d'etre' of VOCs, traditionally acting as crucial infochemicals in meditating multitrophic interactions, can actually be extended, even to an antioxidant action of some terpenoids to mitigate oxidative stress.
Research on volatile synthesis and emissions by trees has focused on how trees adapt or respond to climate through physiological and biochemical regulation of these secondary metabolites. However, progress in a suite of “-omics” tools, together with advances in process-based modeling approaches, are allowing researchers to gain critical insights into controls over biosynthesis and emissions at the molecular level, ultimately providing a deeper understanding of climate-induced gene regulation and the complex mechanisms associated with phenotypic variation in response to environmental stressors.
This Research Topic is aimed at providing scientific evidence regarding mechanisms responsible for stress-induced tree VOC production and to what extent these volatiles are involved in plant resilience to multiple climate stressors at various levels of duration and severity. We welcome investigators to submit original research articles, mini-reviews, and comprehensive reviews that will provide a collection of recent advances in understanding current trends in climate-driven changes in tree volatiles. The topic will examine tree volatile phytochemistry from the cellular to the community level (canopy or ecosystem). Special attention is given to how climate-driven shifts in plant volatiles affect tree-microbe and tree-insect interactions and the subsequent effects on plant fitness and productivity. Furthermore, we would like to discuss how the latest findings in this field may be used as powerful tools to reveal patterns in forest systems and communities, and thus to provide a robust mechanistic foundation for fine-scaled ecosystem composition modeling.
Keywords: volatile organic compounds, environmental stressors, tree volatile phytochemistry, tree-microbe interactions, tree-insect interactions, ecosystem composition, climate
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