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Comparative Physiology of Eastern and Western White Pines: Oleoresin Composition and Viscosity

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Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) and western white pine (Pinus monticola Dougl.) are closely related but geographically separated species. Their foliage and stem cortex oleoresin chemistry and viscosity were measured to determine degree of genetic differentiation. From measurements of 40 seedlings of each species significant quantitative differences in the monoterpenes camphene, -pinene, limonene, and total monoterpenes were found. Thirteen diterpene resin acids were detected and concentrations of all but one differed significantly between the species. Eastern white pine is characterized especially by lower pimaric, isopimaric, and abietic acids and higher sandaracopimaric, dehydroabietic + strobic, and neoabietic acids. Viscosity of eastern white pine oleoresin ranged from 9.2 to 160.6 poises with a mean of 44.0 poises; western white pine, from 7.9 to 65.9 with a mean of 20.6 poises, which differs significantly from eastern white pine. The two species have qualitatively similar but quantitatively distinct oleoresin characteristics which may prove useful in interpreting their differential susceptibilities to certain insects and diseases. Forest Sci. 21:214-221.

Keywords: Monoterpenes; Pinus monticola Dougl; Pinus strobus L; genetic variation; resin acids

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Dept. of Forestry, Michigan State Univ. Michigan Agr. Exp. Sta.

Publication date: September 1, 1975

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