Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology
Why are highland plants chemically distinct? Find out in our new paper by Martin and Terka!
Plants produce an astonishing diversity of chemical compounds that help them to cope with various types of stress. Here we used willows growing along an elevational gradient to compare various aspects of chemical diversity among plants exposed to different environmental conditions.
Willows at high elevations showed reduced structural richness of metabolites involved in abiotic protection. This may reflect focused investment in metabolites with the highest ecological benefit relative to their concentration in high-elevation willows. At the same time, they possessed greater richness of metabolites involved in biotic interactions, while variation in microhabitat preferences among high-elevation species likely contributed to the high variation in their total metabolite pool. For more, see our recent paper:
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Mezzomo, P., Weinhold, A., Aurová, K., Jorge, L. R., Kozel, P., Michálek, J., Nováková, N., Seifert, C. L., Volfová, T., Engström, M., Salminen, J.-P., Sedio, B. E., & Volf, M. (2023). Leaf volatile and nonvolatile metabolites show different levels of specificity in response to herbivory. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e10123. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.10123