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The Ecology of Plant Secondary Metabolites
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Book description

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.

Reviews

'… 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.'

Source: 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.'

Source: The Quarterly Review of Biology

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