SLU news

Decoding neighbour volatiles in preparation for future competition

Published: 26 October 2016

Plant volatile signals can provide important information about the physiological status and genetic identity of the emitter, and nearby plants can use this information to detect competitive neighbours.


• Plants use volatile signals from undamaged neighbours to monitor and predict existence of potential competitors.

• The signals may induce adaptive physiological responses even before competition starts.

• The plant responses may affect the behaviour and abundance of insects.

• Only volatiles from damaged plants were previously known to induce such responses.