Flowers are losing their fragrance right under our noses
Rising global temperatures may affect flowers' scent, new research shows.
As temperatures rise you might have to sniff a little harder to pick up the wonderful fragrance of your favorite flower. That's because according to research from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, rising global temperatures are negatively affecting the amount of scent they let off.
Flowers produce scent to attract pollinating insects to the flowers' reproductive organs, thereby ensuring the continued existence of plant species. To do this, flowers assemble a mixture of dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of volatile substances from several biochemical groups.
But Alon Can'ani, a PhD candidate at the Israeli university determined in a study that it's becoming increasingly difficult for flowers to do this.
"Increases in temperature associated with the changing global climate are interfering with plant-pollinator mutualism, an interaction facilitated mainly by floral color and scent," Can'ani wrote in Plant, Cell & Environment, a science journal that first published his research.
Can'ani grew petunias in elevated temperature conditions and found they were significantly defected in production and emission of scent compounds.
"In my study, I show that increasing ambient temperature leads to a decrease in phenylpropanoid-based floral scent production in two Petunia×hybrida varieties, P720 and Blue Spark, acclimated at [72/61 or 82/22 °F ] (day/night)," Can'ani wrote.
Fortunately, Can’ani also studied control mechanisms that allow plants to regulate their production of smell, and is researching strategies to overcome the decrease in production of beneficial volatile substances.
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