Algal volatiles – the overlooked chemical language of aquatic primary producers

Saha, M and Fink, P 2022 Algal volatiles – the overlooked chemical language of aquatic primary producers. Biological Reviews, 97 (6). 2162-2173.

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Volatiles are important ‘infochemicals’ that play a crucial role in structuring life on our planet, fulfilling diverse functions in natural and artificial systems. Algae contribute significant quantities to the global budget of volatiles, but the ecological roles of aquatic volatiles are not well understood. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of volatile compounds from freshwater and marine microalgae and marine macroalgae, with a focus on their ecological roles. We highlight the multiple reported functions of biogenic volatiles, ranging from intraspecific communication for reproduction, intra bloom signalling and antioxidant functions, to various interspecific signal exchanges that may allow herbivores to locate them and function in defence against competitors and predators. Beyond reviewing our current understanding, we specifically highlight major knowledge gaps and emerging questions for algal volatile research. These novel perspectives have the potential to improve our understanding of aquatic ecosystems and thus need to be addressed in future research. Filling these gaps and addressing these questions will facilitate humanity’s efforts to exploit aquatic volatiles in various applications

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: algae, biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), chemical cues, chemical ecology, cyanobacteria, fresh�water, infochemicals, marine.
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 07 Jul 2023 08:10
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 08:10

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