Monitoring environmental stress in forest trees using biochemical and physiological markers
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In: Espinel, S.; Barredo, Y.; Ritter, E., eds. Sustainable forestry, wood products, and biotechnology. Victoria-Gasteiz, Spain: DFA-AFA Press: 109-116.
Our objective was to determine the usefulness of polyamines, particularly putrescine, and amino acids such as arginine, as foliar indicators of abiotic stress in visually asymptomatic trees. An evaluation of apparently healthy trees is essential in developing risk assessment and stress remediation strategies for forest trees prior to the onset of obvious decline. Previous research by our group established a positive correlation between putrescine in red spruce foliage and A1:Ca ratios in the forest soil. A positive correlation was also observed between foliar putrescine and nitrogen deposition in the soil in pine, maple, and oak at Harvard Forest, MA. Preliminary data further show that the free amino acids, especially arginine, increase several fold in response to high nitrogen input, indicating that foliar arginine could also be used as a useful marker of excess nitrogen inputs in otherwise nitrogen-limited forest soils. This research is a part of several multi-institutional, long-term interdisciplinary research projects that are aimed at assessing the current and future ramifications of exposure of several conifer and hardwood species to various stressors including soil nutritional imbalances, storm injury, pests, and pathogens. The study involves a cooperative effort among physiologists, ecologists, pathologists, and hydrologists, and provides links between tree function and environmental disturbances.
Minocha, R.; Minocha, S.C.; Long, S. 2003. Monitoring environmental stress in forest trees using biochemical and physiological markers. In: Espinel, S.; Barredo, Y.; Ritter, E., eds. Sustainable forestry, wood products, and biotechnology. Victoria-Gasteiz, Spain: DFA-AFA Press: 109-116.