Ozone disrupts adsorption of Rhododendron tomentosum volatiles to neighbouring plant surfaces, but does not disturb herbivore repellency
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CitationMofikoya, Adedayo O. Kivimäenpää, Minna. Blande, James D. Holopainen, Jarmo K. (2018). Ozone disrupts adsorption of Rhododendron tomentosum volatiles to neighbouring plant surfaces, but does not disturb herbivore repellency. ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION, 240, 775 - 780. 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.05.031.
The perennial evergreen woody shrub, Rhododendron tomentosum, confers associational resistance against herbivory and oviposition on neighbouring plants through passive adsorption of some of its constitutively emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The adsorption process is dependent on transport of VOCs in the air. In polluted atmospheres, the VOCs may be degraded and adsorption impeded. We studied the effect of elevated ozone regimes on the adsorption of R. tomentosum volatiles to white cabbage, Brassica oleracea, and the oviposition of the specialist herbivore Plutella xylostella on the exposed plants. We found evidence for adsorption and re-emission of R. tomentosum volatiles by B. oleracea plants. Ozone changed the blend of R. tomentosum volatiles and reduced the amount of R. tomentosum volatiles recovered from B. oleracea plants. However, plants exposed to R. tomentosum volatiles received fewer P. xylostella eggs than control plants exposed to filtered air irrespective of whether R. tomentosum volatiles mixed with ozone. Ozone disrupts a volatile mediated passive plant-to-plant interaction by degrading some compounds and reducing the quantity available for adsorption by neighbouring plants. The change, however, did not affect the deterrence of oviposition by P. xylostella, suggesting that aromatic companion plants of Brassica crops may confer pest-deterring properties even in ozone-polluted environments.