Motive Project

Article alert: Ecosystem, Location, and Climate Effects on Foliar Secondary Metabolites of Lodgepole Pine Populations

by: Ulla Vänttinen

Wallis, C.M., Huber, D.P.W., Lewis, K.J., 2011. Ecosystem, Location, and Climate Effects on Foliar Secondary Metabolites of Lodgepole Pine Populations from Central British Columbia. Journal of Chemical Ecology, pp. 1-15, Article in Press


Lodgepole pines, Pinus contorta Douglas ex Louden var. latifolia Engelm. ex S. Watson, are encountering increased abiotic stress and pest activity due to recent increases in temperature and changes in precipitation throughout their range. This tree species counters these threats by producing secondary metabolites, including phenolics and terpenoids. We examined foliar levels of lignin, soluble phenolics, monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, and diterpenoids in 12 stands in British Columbia, Canada. We used these data to assess associations among foliar secondary metabolite levels and ecosystem, geographic, and climatic variables. Regressions were also performed to observe which combinations of variables best explained secondary metabolite variance. Stands of P. c. latifolia in the Coastal Western Hemlock and Interior Cedar/Hemlock biogeoclimatic zones had consistently greater foliar levels of almost all measured secondary metabolites than did other stands. Lignin was present in greater amounts in Boreal White/Black Spruce ecosystem (i.e., northern) stands than in southern stands, suggesting a role for this metabolite in pine survival in the boreal forest. Attempts to develop regression models with geographic and climatic variables to explain foliar secondary metabolite levels resulted in multiple models with similar predictive capability. Since foliar secondary metabolite levels appeared to vary most between stand ecosystem types and not as much due to geographic and climatic variables, metabolic profiles appeared best matched to the stress levels within local environments. It is unknown if differences in secondary metabolite levels are the result of genetic adaptation or phenotypic plasticity, but results from this and other studies suggest that both are important. These results are interpreted in light of ongoing efforts to assist in the migration of certain populations of P. c. latifolia northward in an effort to counter predicted effects of climate change. 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA).

Please see the attached files at:

all news »

2021 Motive Project. All rights reserved. Created and maintained by Pensoft