, Volume 88, Issue 3, pp 401–406 | Cite as

Carbon/nutrient balance as a predictor of plant defense in Alaskan balsam poplar: Potential importance of metabolite turnover

  • P. B. Reichardt
  • F. S. ChapinIII
  • J. P. Bryant
  • B. R. Mattes
  • T. P. Clausen
Original Papers


The carbon/nutrient balance hypothesis fails to correctly predict effects of fertilization and shading on concentrations of defensive metabolites in Alaskan balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera). Of six metabolites analyzed, only one responded in the predicted fashion to fertilization and one to shading. These results and those of other similar studies suggest that while the carbon/nutrient balance hypothesis may correctly predict the effects of fertilization and shading on the concentrations of metabolic “end products”, it fails for many metabolites because of the dynamics associated with their production and turnover. In metabolites that turn over, static concentration is a poor predictor of defensive investment.

Key words

Carbon/nutrient balance hypothesis Plant defense Snowshoe hare Balsam poplar 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. B. Reichardt
    • 1
  • F. S. ChapinIII
    • 1
  • J. P. Bryant
    • 2
  • B. R. Mattes
    • 1
  • T. P. Clausen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of AlaskaFairbanksUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of AlaskaFairbanksUSA

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