, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 3–7

Terpenes and phenolics in response to nitrogen fertilization: A test of the carbon/nutrient balance hypothesis

  • Rose-Marie Muzika
Research papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF01245890

Cite this article as:
Muzika, RM. Chemoecology (1993) 4: 3. doi:10.1007/BF01245890


Nitrogen fertilization resulted in a linear increase in the growth ofAbies grandis seedlings, but linear decrease in foliage concentrations of phenolic compounds. These data are consistent with the inverse relationship between growth and production of carbonbased secondary chemicals predicted by the carbon/nutrient balance (CNB) hypothesis. However, in contrast to predictions of the CNB hypothesis, nitrogen fertilization had no effect on foliage terpene concentrations. The results suggest that not all carbon-based chemicals respond in the same manner to environmental variation, and that the carbon/nutrient balance hypothesis does not adequately explain all patterns of environmentally-induced variation in secondary metabolism.

Key words

carbon/nutrient balance hypothesis carbon allocation fertilization phenolics nitrogen terpene Abies grandis 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rose-Marie Muzika
    • 1
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServiceForestry Sciences LaboratoryMorgantownUSA

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