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14 Sep

Conifer communication is complex and can be altered by air pollution

Conifers are dominant tree species in boreal forests, but they are susceptible to attack by bark beetles.A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that upon attack by bark-feeding weevils, conifers release substantial quantities of volatile organic compounds that provide important cues to neighbouring seedlings. It has long been known that when plants are damaged, they release odorous chemicals into the atmosphere. These chemicals represent an important medium through which plants communicate. "Whereas broadleaved plants have been frequently shown to respond to chemical odours, the same observations have not been seen in conifers. Therefore, we decided to look whether conifers undergo a similar response and were amazed at the results," Doctoral Researcher Hao Yu of the University of Eastern Finland...
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