BVOCs: Plant defense against climate warming?

Peñuelas J., Llusià J. (2003) BVOCs: Plant defense against climate warming?. Trends in Plant Science. 8: 105-109.
Doi: 10.1016/S1360-1385(03)00008-6


Plants emit a substantial amount of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) into the atmosphere. These BVOCs represent a large carbon loss and can be up to ∼10% of that fixed by photosynthesis under stressful conditions and up to 100 g C m-2 per year in some tropical ecosystems. Among a variety of proven and unproven BVOC functions in plants and roles in atmospheric processes, recent data intriguingly link emission of these compounds to climate. Ongoing research demonstrates that BVOCs could protect plants against high temperatures. BVOC emissions are probably increasing with warming and with other factors associated to global change, including changes in land cover. These increases in BVOC emissions could contribute in a significant way (via negative and positive feedback) to the complex processes associated with global warming.

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