Neighbour Recognition Through Volatile-Mediated Interactions

Part of the Signaling and Communication in Plants book series (SIGCOMM)


Plants constitutively emit a wide array of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and, upon biotic and abiotic stress, release a more complex and more diverse VOC blend. These VOCs mediate multiple ecological interactions between plants and their associated community members, including plant–plant communication or neighbour recognition. Albeit initially discredited, the concept of VOCs mediating plant–plant communication is now well accepted. In general, plants perceive and respond to VOCs emanating from their neighbours with physiological, biochemical or phenotypic changes that may convey resistance to abiotic and biotic stress. However, the mechanisms underpinning this process, the ecological and evolutionary relevance as well as the circumstances under which this process occurs remain largely obscure. In particular, there is very scarce information on whether and how global change, which has increasingly been shown to change VOC emission patterns and alter VOC atmospheric lifetimes, can disrupt VOC-mediated plant–plant communication. This chapter updates our current knowledge about these aspects and, through synthesising them, intends to point out gaps in existing research, in particular the need for further studies in a changing environment.


Plant Communication Lima Bean Herbivore Attack Undamaged Plant Hexenyl Acetate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Biological SciencesUniversity of Eastern FinlandKuopioFinland

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