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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

Forest Health and Productivity

Tree Physiological Responses to Stress

[photo:] anthocyanin expression in oak leafForest health and productivity are threatened by an inadequate understanding of key physiological responses of trees to environmental stress.

In response to environmental stress, healthy trees adjust their metabolic pathways to produce an array of biochemical compounds to favor survival and continued growth. Because forests are exposed to increased sources and levels of stress, the ability of trees to adequately respond and compensate for stress is increasingly important. Critical classes of compounds associated with the response of trees to stress include nitrogen-containing metabolites (polyamines, amino acids, proteins, chlorophyll), antioxidants, organic acids, phytochelatins, and anthocyanins. Most of these metabolites are sensitive to changes in the soil chemical environment.

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Last Modified: 07/31/2013