Oecologia

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 349–372 | Cite as

The effect of season of growth on the chemical composition of cambial saps of Eucalyptus regnans trees

  • C. M. Stewart
  • J. F. Melvin
  • N. Ditchburne
  • S. H. Tham
Article

Summary

Bark was stripped, at monthly intervals, from the stems of ten previously-unsampled trees of Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell. The exposed surfaces of inner phloem and outer xylem yielded phloem and cambial saps which were rapidly frozen. After freeze drying to determine the contents of water and dry-matter, the samples were extracted with 80% ethanol. The main components in this extract are low molecular weight carbohydrates and salts of inorganic acids. The carbohydrates comprise stachyose, raffinose, sucrose, galactinol, glucose, fructose, myo-inositol and galactose; sucrose is invariably the major component. The amounts of all components varied widely during the sampling period. Multiple regression analyses showed that season of growth has a significant effect on sucrose, glucose, fructose, total sugars and soluble dry-matter, maxima being recorded near the beginning of autumn and spring, and minima near the beginning of winter and summer; that oligosaccharide and myoinositol contents are significantly related to atmospheric temperature; and that rainfall has a significant effect on the hexose and total sugar contents, saps from the xylem surfaces being more affected than those from the phloem surfaces. The translocated photosynthates in E. regnans appear to be oligosaccharides of the raffinose family and sucrose. Significant negative correlations between oligosaccharides and both sucrose and myoinositol, and significant positive correlations between sucrose and both glucose and fructose, are consistent with enzymic hydrolysis and resynthesis of most di- and oligosaccharides. The biosynthetic demands of developing secondary tissues and/or the fluctuations in composition of sieve-tube assimilates appear to control the composition of the sugars in the saps. Oligosaccharides and sucrose may function as soluble reserve substances as well as translocated photosynthates. It is possible that myoinositolis a key component in the interconversion processes of the sugars; experiments with radioactive sugars tend to lend support to this contention, especially during winter conditions.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. M. Stewart
    • 1
  • J. F. Melvin
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Ditchburne
    • 1
    • 3
  • S. H. Tham
    • 1
  1. 1.Forest Products Laboratory, Division of Applied ChemistryC.S.I.R.O.South Melbourne
  2. 2.MalvernAustralia
  3. 3.Division of Mathematical Statistics Forest Products LaboratoryC.S.I.R.O.South MelbourneAustralia

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