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Plants in forest emit aspirin chemical to deal with stress; discovery may help agriculture
Date:9/18/2008

to detect plant stress, and it can be an order of magnitude more effective than using visual inspections," Karl says. "If you have a sensitive warning signal that you can measure in the air, you can take action much sooner, such as applying pesticides. The earlier you detect that something's going on, the more you can benefit in terms of using fewer pesticides and managing crops better."

The discovery also can help scientists resolve a central mystery about VOCs. For years, atmospheric chemists have speculated that there are more VOCs in the atmosphere than they have been able to find. Now it appears that some fraction of the missing VOCs may be methyl salicylate and other plant hormones. This finding can help scientists better track the impact of VOCs on the behavior of clouds and the development of ground-level ozone, an important pollutant.


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Contact: David Hosansky
hosansky@ucar.edu
303-497-8611
National Center for Atmospheric Research/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Source:Eurekalert  

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Plants in forest emit aspirin chemical to deal with stress; discovery may help agriculture
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