The abstract for the scientific session organised by Horacia Heras and Markus Molis has been finallised:
Physiological and biochemical processes of chemically mediated interactions between organisms
The importance of defense, attack and informative chemicals in the interactions between organisms is becoming increasingly apparent. At the molecular level, isolation and characterization of chemicals from aquatic organisms is rapidly growing, while new tools allow a more detailed insight into the cellular responses (e.g. genomics, proteomics or metabolomics, receptor/ligand interaction) that underlie chemically mediated interactions. At the organism level, our mechanistic understanding of how organisms perceive, process and use chemicals as defences (e.g. toxins) or semio-chemicals (e.g. pheromones, kairomones, allomones etc.) has gained from studying aspects of chemical ecology dealing with the physiological processes involved (e.g. sequestration, regulation of biosynthesis, digestion, sensory transduction) that come along with trait change. Furthermore, the adaptive value of chemically mediated trait change within organism lifetime (e.g. plastic behaviour, induced defences) or across generations (e.g. heritability of plasticity, diversification) spurs current research of ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Chemical cues influence through e.g. eavesdropping or risk assessment, magnitude and direction of species interactions, thereby altering structure and functioning of higher levels of ecological organization.
This session welcomes contributions exploring these aspects from the level of molecules up to that of communities, with a strong emphasis on the biochemical and physiological responses of freshwater and marine organisms to chemical cues that will deepen our understanding about ecological consequences of and evolution in adaptive traits. We expect to bring together ecologists, evolutionary biologists, physiologists, molecular biologists and (bio)chemists on a topic that is increasingly gaining importance.