LIMITATIONS OF FOLIN ASSAYS OF FOLIAR PHENOLICS IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES
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We examined the response of the widely used Folin-Denis assay to purified tannins from 16 woody plant species and to three commercial polyphenol preparations often used as standards. The reagent's response to these chemical mixtures differed significantly among sources (tree species, commercial preparations) and sampling dates, even though the mixtures contained the same total dry weight of tannins. Response to commercial standards usually did not resemble response to actual plant tannin and produced estimates that differed from actual concentrations by as much as twofold. Species-based and seasonal differences in polyphenol composition are evidently responsible for these variable results. Reagents that depend on redox reactions, such as the Folin-Denis, do not produce reliable absolute or relative quantification of phenolics when different species or samples from different dates are compared, and use of commercial standards does not resolve this problem.
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- LIMITATIONS OF FOLIN ASSAYS OF FOLIAR PHENOLICS IN ECOLOGICAL STUDIES
Journal of Chemical Ecology
Volume 27, Issue 4 , pp 761-778
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- Folin-Denis assay
- plant allocation theory
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- Author Affiliations
- 1. Pesticide Research Lab, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, 16802
- 2. Baker Environmental, Inc., 420 Rouser Road, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, 15108
- 3. Boyce Thompson Institute, Tower Road, Ithaca, New York, 14853
- 4. Department of Biology, Sonoma State University, 1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, California, 94928