secondary metabolites

Volatile emissions of six New Zealand fern species in response to physical damage and herbivory

Volatile compounds (scents) play an important role in mediating ecological interactions between plants and other organisms, including defence against biotic and abiotic stressors, such as herbivory or physical damage. Seed plants respond to wounding and herbivory by changing their volatile emissions and producing complex blends of compounds; this process is mediated by the phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) that acts as a signalling molecule activating plant defence pathways.