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Abstract Detail


Shamek, Jess [1].

The effects of climate change on secondary metabolites in Quercus.

Tannins are highly abundant carbon-based secondary metabolites that serve a variety of ecological roles in plants. Little is known about how the concentration of plant secondary compounds (PSCs ), like tannins, will be affected by the environmental variation due to global climate change. For the keystone genus Quercus, tannins act as quantitative defense compounds, influencing many of their biotic interactions. Foliar tannin concentrations responding to a changing climate could have cascading ecosystem effects. In Quercus, altered concentrations of tannins could have impacts on herbivore feeding preferences, pathogen attack, mutualistic species relationships, foliar decomposition in the understory, and carbon sequestration for forests globally. Although the effect of climate change on tannins in Quercus has not received significant attention, a body of research exists investigating how environmental variables influence the form and function of tannins in this tree genus which provide insight into how climate change will alter its foliar chemistry. In a literature review of published manipulative experiments, we found that tannins in the genus Quercus are likely to increase with increased CO2 and warming. We also found that drought may have concerted effects that vary depending on tannin type. This would have major implications for specialist and generalist herbivore feeding preferences and growth rates which would in turn influence tree health, particularly at the seedling stage when Quercus rely heavily on PSCs for defenses. More manipulative studies are needed investigating the concerted effects of drought, increased CO2, and increased warming on plant defenses at the species level if this knowledge is to be used for adaptive management. Plant secondary compounds represent a key functional trait for the adaptive plasticity of plants. Understanding how PSCs change with environmental variation is critical for predicting and managing the effects of climate change in Earth's terrestrial ecosystems.

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1 - Portland State University, Biology, 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR, 97201, USA

chemical defense  
climate change
secondary metabolites
Plant Chemistry.

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P1, Ecology Posters
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 5:00 PM(EDT)
Number: P1EC021
Abstract ID:636
Candidate for Awards:None

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