The Ecology of Plant Secondary Metabolites

The Ecology of Plant Secondary Metabolites : From Genes to Global Processes

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Plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) such as terpenes and phenolic compounds are known to have numerous ecological roles, notably in defence against herbivores, pathogens and abiotic stresses and in interactions with competitors and mutualists. This book reviews recent developments in the field to provide a synthesis of the function, ecology and evolution of PSMs, revealing our increased awareness of their integrative role in connecting natural systems. It emphasises the multiple roles of secondary metabolites in mediating the interactions between organisms and their environment at a range of scales of ecological organisation, demonstrating how genes encoding for PSM biosynthetic enzymes can have effects from the cellular scale within individual plants all the way to global environmental processes. A range of recent methodological advances, including molecular, transgenic and metabolomic techniques, are illustrated and promising directions for future studies are identified, making this a valuable reference for researchers and graduate students in the field.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 43 b/w illus. 10 colour illus. 5 tables
  • 1139372335
  • 9781139372336

Table of contents

Preface; 1. The integrative roles of plant secondary metabolites in natural systems: a synthesis Glenn R. Iason, Marcel Dicke and Susan E. Hartley; 2. Natural selection for anti-herbivore plant secondary metabolites: a Eucalyptus system Julianne M. O'Reilly-Wapstra, Clare McArthur and Brad M. Potts; 3. Temporal changes in plant secondary metabolite production: patterns, causes and consequences Julia Koricheva and Kasey E. Barton; 4. Mixtures in plant chemical defence: metabolic origins and ecological benefits Jonathan Gershenzon, Anna Fontana, Meike Burow, Ute Wittstock and Joerg Degenhardt; 5. The herbivore's prescription: a pharm-ecological perspective on host plant use by vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores Jennifer S. Forbey and Mark D. Hunter; 6. Volatile isoprenoids and abiotic stresses Francesca Bagnoli, Silvia Fineschi and Francesco Loreto; 7. Atmospheric change, plant secondary metabolites, and ecological interactions Richard L. Lindroth; 8. The role of plant secondary metabolites in freshwater macrophyte-herbivore interactions: limited or unexplored chemical defences? Elisabeth M. Gross and Elisabeth S. Bakker; 9. The soil microbial community and plant foliar defences against insects Alan C. Gange, Rene Eschen and Viviane Schroeder; 10. Phytochemicals as mediators of aboveground-belowground interactions in plants Nicole M. van Dam; 11. Plant secondary metabolites and the interactions between plants and other organisms: the potential of a metabolomic approach Susan E. Hartley, Rene Eschen, Julia M. Horwood, Lynne Robinson and Elizabeth M. Hill; 12. Integrating the effects of PSMs on vertebrate herbivores across spatial and temporal scales Ben D. Moore and Jane L. DeGabriel; 13. Plant secondary metabolite polymorphisms and the extended chemical phenotype Glenn R. Iason, Ben D. Moore, Jack J. Lennon, Jenni A. Stockan, Graham H. R. Osler, Joanne R. Russell, Colin D. Campbell, David A. Sim and Joan R. Beaton; 14. From genes to ecosystems: emerging concepts bridging ecological and evolutionary dynamics Joseph K. Bailey, Jennifer A. Schweitzer, Francisco Ubeda, Matthew Zinkgraf, Benjamin M. Fitzpatrick, Julianne O'Reilly-Wapstra, Brian J. Rehill, Carri J. LeRoy, Bradley M. Potts, Thomas G. Whitham, Mark A. Genung, Dylan G. Fischer, Clara C. Pregitzer and Arthur Keith; 15. Asking the ecosystem if herbivory-inducible plant volatiles (hipvs) have defensive functions Meredith C. Schuman and Ian T. Baldwin; 16. Dynamics of plant secondary metabolites and consequences for food chains and community dynamics Marcel Dicke, Rieta Gols and Erik H. Poelman; Index.
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Review quote

'... one of the most useful and authoritative titles I've recently seen in the field of plant chemical ecology. ... the authors have succeeded in providing an excellent synopsis of current thinking and research opportunities for anyone interested in ecology and plant chemistry.' Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society '... a valuable summary of some of the prevailing views on the global role of PSM in plant adaptation to pressures and stresses, and a point of reference for future discussions that likely will expand these views.' The Quarterly Review of Biology
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