National Projects
Project duration: 
Oct 2006 to Nov 2012

Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) produced by plants are involved in plant growth, reproduction and defense. 


They are emitted from vegetation into the atmosphere and have significant effects on other organisms and on atmospheric chemistry and physics. We aim to study the alteration of BVOC emission rates due to climate and global changes: warming, drought, land use changes, high atmospheric CO2 concentrations, eutrophication, ozone and enhanced UV radiation.

We will focus on the factors (intensity of the change, timing, BVOC type, plant species and genotypes,…) driving the strong variability in the emission factors and in their responses to those global changes, but we will also make efforts in order to model and estimate the overall changes in the global and local biosphere-atmosphere interactions. These changed emissions can lead to unforeseeable consequences for the biosphere structure and functioning, and can disturb biosphere feedbacks on atmospheric chemistry and climate with a direction and intensity that warrants in-depth investigation for a better knowledge of the Earth system functioning in the frame of current global change.

We will focus on the physiological and ecological alterations in the relationships among plants and microbes, other plants and animals, and on the alterations of the chemical and climatic effects in the atmosphere. GLOVOCS will thus be a highly interdisciplinary and ambitious project that will address the fundamental questions that link knowledge of process-based biosynthesis of plant BVOC to their functional roles, and consequences for plant production, protection, and interactions with atmospheric and climatic processes.

This research will be framed into our group research on a general subject of great scientific and social transcendence: the ecological effects of the global environmental changes within the framework of the atmosphere-biosphere interactions and the global ecology. In such research we aim to gain knowledge on the mechanisms by which the terrestrial ecosystems work (their way of processing water, energy, nutrients, and organisms) by using different approaches: from the observation and the monitoring of the processes up to the modelling, passing through the experimentation designed to test hypotheses, from genes to globe and from the past to the present and the future.

GLOVOCS will also work on the interface between academic and applied science, facilitating dissemination and exploitation of scientific finding and innovation, and networking between collaborating Spanish, European and international collaborators.

  • edgar du santos