Effects of air pollution on biogenic volatiles and ecological interactions

Quinn S. McFrederick, Jose Fuentes, T'ai Roulston, James C. Kathilankal, Manuel Lerdau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chemical signals play important roles in ecological interactions but are vulnerable to perturbation by air pollution. In polluted air masses, signals may travel shorter distances before being destroyed by chemical reactions with pollutants, thus losing their specificity. To determine which scent-mediated interactions are likely to be affected, we review existing literature to build a picture of what chemicals are commonly found in such interactions and the spatial scales at which interactions occur. We find that pollination, attraction of natural enemies of plant pests, aggregation pheromones, and mate attraction are likely to be affected. We review the scant literature on this topic and extend the hypothesis to include heretofore unexplored interactions. New research should investigate whether air pollution deleteriously affects populations of organisms that rely on scent plumes. Additionally, we need to investigate whether or not breakdown products created by the reaction of signaling chemicals with pollutants can provide usable signals, and whether or not there has been adaptation on the part of scent emitters or receivers to use either breakdown products or more robust chemical signals. The proposed research will necessarily draw on tools from atmospheric science, evolutionary biology, and ecology in furthering our understanding of the ecological implications of how air pollution modifies the scentscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-420
Number of pages10
JournalOecologia
Volume160
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

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air pollution
atmospheric pollution
odors
pollutants
atmospheric sciences
aggregation pheromones
plant pests
mate attraction
chemical reactions
aggregation pheromone
natural enemies
travel
pollutant
pollination
evolutionary biology
natural enemy
chemical reaction
air mass
ecology
Biological Sciences

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

McFrederick, Q. S., Fuentes, J., Roulston, T., Kathilankal, J. C., & Lerdau, M. (2009). Effects of air pollution on biogenic volatiles and ecological interactions. Oecologia, 160(3), 411-420. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-009-1318-9
McFrederick, Quinn S. ; Fuentes, Jose ; Roulston, T'ai ; Kathilankal, James C. ; Lerdau, Manuel. / Effects of air pollution on biogenic volatiles and ecological interactions. In: Oecologia. 2009 ; Vol. 160, No. 3. pp. 411-420.
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McFrederick, QS, Fuentes, J, Roulston, T, Kathilankal, JC & Lerdau, M 2009, 'Effects of air pollution on biogenic volatiles and ecological interactions', Oecologia, vol. 160, no. 3, pp. 411-420. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-009-1318-9

Effects of air pollution on biogenic volatiles and ecological interactions. / McFrederick, Quinn S.; Fuentes, Jose; Roulston, T'ai; Kathilankal, James C.; Lerdau, Manuel.

In: Oecologia, Vol. 160, No. 3, 01.06.2009, p. 411-420.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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