Track: Organized Oral Session
School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Plants produce an incredible array of compounds. They use these chemicals to mediate numerous biological interactions between the plants that make them and other organisms, such as pollinators, herbivores, and even other plants. Particular taxa of plants are often associated with specific classes of compounds and enormous variability exists among and within species and even within individual plants. This variation occurs both spatially and temporally and can be highly sensitive to abiotic and biotic factors. Resulting selection can have cascading effects on ecosystem structure and function. It is imperative to better understand the ecology and co-evolutionary drivers that are shaping the chemical landscape to gain critical insights into how systems are responding and adapting to a changing climate. While this multi-scale variation of plant chemistry has long been the focus of ecological research, recent advances in fields such as analytical chemistry, genomics, and molecular biology have led to greater understanding of the biosynthesis, mode of action, and evolution of plant chemistry. The overarching goal of the session is to highlight the latest advances in assessing plant chemical diversity and how those data can be used to unravel complex connections between organisms and across spatial and temporal scales. To this end we have invited a group of individuals at the forefront of this area of research, who work across different study systems, disciplines, and levels of biological organization with a common goal of providing contemporary insights into the mechanisms involved in these ecological interactions. Participants will present novel work at the intersection of chemical ecology, molecular biology, and ecoinformatics to highlight the need for collaborations and outline key research gaps and challenges that the community should address as we unravel these complex interactions.
Presenting Author: Diego Salazar Amoretti – Biological Sciences, Florida International University
Presenting Author: Casey S. Philbin – Hitchcock Center for Chemical Ecology, University of Nevada, Reno
Presenting Author: Lora A. Richards – Hitchcock Center for Chemical Ecology, University of Nevada, Reno
Presenting Author: Richard L. Lindroth – Dept. of Entomology, University of Wisconsin-Madison