We studied the effects of water stress, fertilization and time course on foliar volatile terpene emission rates by Quercus ilex and Pinus halepensis in a garden experiment. The terpenes mostly emitted by both species were α-pinene, β-pinene, β-myrcene and Δ3-carene. P. halepensis emission rates (average 31.45 μg g-1 DM h -1) were similar to those of Q. ilex (average 31.71 μg g -1 DM h-1). The effects of drought (reduction to one-third of full watering) and fertilization (250 kg N ha-1, 250 kg P ha -1, or both) were different depending on the species: the drought treatment significantly increased the terpene emissions from Q. ilex by 33%, and the fertilization treatments reduced the terpene emissions from P. halepensis by 38%. Terpene emission rates increased with time course in parallel to raising summer temperatures in P. halepensis and Q. ilex, whose emission rates were temperature related (r = 0.42 and r = 0.68, respectively) and light related (r = 0.32 and r = 0.57, respectively). There was a positive relationship for P. halepensis, and a negative relationship for Q. ilex, between emission rates and relative water contents. No relationship was found between emission rates and N or P foliar concentrations. The results of this study show complex species-specific responses with stronger and faster short-term responses in terpene-non-storing than in storing species and indicate that terpene emissions may significantly change in the warmer, drier and more fertilized conditions predicted for the next decades in the Mediterranean region. © Physiologia Plantarum 2007.