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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

Towards a More Fragrant World, scientists say

As the world gets warmer, plants are expected to change physiological and ecological responses to the environment. A recent article in the journal Trends in Plant Science, part of the research done by Prof. Josep Penuelas and Dr. Michael Staudt, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain) indicates that volatile compounds producing fragrances in plants are likely to be produced in a greater quantity with global warming.

“Greater amounts of these compounds, which are often used for plants to communicate, could influence herbivorous pests and even pollinators behavior, thus affecting reproduction, ecosystem equilibrium, and could even lead to a permanent state of stress in plants”

Read the original BBC post here.

We’re about to experience (or are currently experiencing) changes in biological systems at a extent and rate never experienced in recent times. It is expected the behavior of plants and animals to change as climate changes, and more important, the interactions between species will change, causing totally new and [sometimes] unpredictable responses in ecosystems.

We (at DAPA) work towards biodiversity modeling for quantifying the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, together with other partners such as GBIF, WWF, Tyndall Centre, the James Cook University. We expect to inform how biodiversity will be overall affected by changing climates, based on niche modeling techniques. However, we acknowledge that local responses such as those described by Prof. Penuelas need to be taken into account when analyzing impacts more locally.

A multi-scale, and multi-disciplinar focus is required when thinking about future trends of biodiversity and conservation.

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