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Taxonomic Implications of Monoterpene Compounds of Blue and Engelmann Spruces

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The monoterpenes of cortical oleoresin collected from mature blue and Engelmann spruce have significant diagnostic potential in taxonomic studies of these species, while seedling cortical monoterpenes appear to be less useful. Cortical monoterpene compounds were analyzed in 38 blue and 13 Engelmann spruce in the Scotch Creek drainage in southwestern Colorado, and in their 6-months-old progeny. The objective was to explore the utility of monoterpenes in studying natural hybridization between the two species. Twenty-two compounds were detected in the cortical oleoresin of mature trees, twelve of which were identified. Species differences were generally quantitative, with most statistically significant. Blue spruce oleoresin contained higher levels of tricyclene, alpha-pinene, camphene, and bornyl acetate, while Engelmann spruce oleoresin contained higher levels of beta-pinene, 3-carene, terpinolene, and several unknown compounds. Monoterpene content of seedlings differed appreciably from that of mature parents. The large increase in beta-pinene in Engelmann spruce seedlings was the most striking. A discriminant function analysis of mature tree data distinguished between blue and Engelmann spruce with no misclassifications. Forest Sci. 32:725-734.

Keywords: Picea engelmannii; Picea pungens; discriminant analysis; natural hybridization

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Professor, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Publication date: September 1, 1986

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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