The pine weevil, Hylobius abietis (L.), is a major pest in conifer reforestation areas in the Palaearctic region. Size and chemistry of the seedlings may explain the damage rates in plantations. The performance of 10-week containerized seedlings (mini-seedlings) was compared with 1-year-old conventional seedlings of Norway spruce, Picea abies (L.), in a field experiment in central Sweden. After 2 years the weevil damage was lower for the mini-seedlings than for the conventional seedlings (3.5 vs 55%). After 3 years, the overall survival was 82 and 75%, respectively. Weevil damage was the main cause of mortality for conventional seedlings, whereas mini-seedlings mainly died from drought. Volatiles of the two seedling types were compared by solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (SPME-GC-MS). Unwounded mini-seedlings and conventional seedlings differed in their compositions of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Mini-seedlings mainly emitted limonene, known to be repellent to the pine weevil. When wounded, green leaf volatiles were released by mini-seedlings while the pine weevil attractant α-pinene was released by conventional seedlings. Volatiles may partly explain the mini-seedlings' resistance against weevil attack. Further studies are needed to clarify how long this mini-seedling effect remains.
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Green leaf volatiles;
Document Type: Research Article
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, Organic Chemistry, Ecological Chemistry Group, Stockholm, Sweden
School of Industrial Technology and Management, Dalarna University, Borlange, Sweden
Department of Entomology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Publication date: 2008-08-01
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