Supply and demand processes as controls over needle monoterpene synthesis and concentration in Douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco]

Marcy E. Litvak, John V.H. Constable, Russell K. Monson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


We measured the relative control that resource availability (as a supply-side control) and wounding (as a demand-side control) exert on patterns of monoterpene synthesis and concentration in Douglas fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco] needles. While supply-side controls should alter monoterpene production due to changes in the availability of substrate (carbohydrates), demand-side controls alter the need for a defensive product. We examined these relationships by measuring constitutive (preformed) and wound-induced rates of monoterpene synthesis and pool sizes in trees grown under ambient and elevated (ambient +200 μmol mo1-1) CO2, ambient and elevated (ambient +4°C) temperature, and in trees grown under four levels of nitrogen fertilization (0, 50, 100 and 200 μg g-1 N by weight). Monoterpene pool size decreased at elevated CO2, increased at elevated temperature and did not change in response to nitrogen fertilization. Overall, we did not find that foliar nitrogen, carbon balance, or rate of monoterpene synthesis alone were consistent predictors of monoterpene concentration in current-year Douglas fir needles. In addition, despite a wound-induced decrease in monoterpene pool size, we found no evidence for induction of monoterpene synthesis in response to wounding. The influence of either resource availability or wounding on rates of monoterpene synthesis or accumulation cannot be explained by traditional supply-side or demand-side controls. We conclude that monoterpene synthesis in first-year Douglas fir needles is controlled by fairly conservative genetic mechanisms and is influenced more by past selection than by current resource state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-391
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002



  • Elevated CO
  • Elevated temperature
  • Induced defense
  • Nitrogen fertilization
  • Supply-demand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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