Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 2569–2579

Preference of meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) for conifer seedlings: Chemical components and nutritional quality of bark of damaged and undamaged trees

  • Jean -D. Bucyanayandi
  • Jean -Marie Bergeron
  • Hugues Menard
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01017479

Cite this article as:
Bucyanayandi, J.D., Bergeron, J.M. & Menard, H. J Chem Ecol (1990) 16: 2569. doi:10.1007/BF01017479

Abstract

Meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus Ord.) of the 1987–1988 population density peak left several seedling plantations of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Norway pine (Pinus resinosa) severely damaged in southern Quebec, Canada, while white spruce (Picea glauca) and white pine (Pinus strobus) suffered no damage. We compared levels of crude protein, total nonstructural carbohydrates (TNC), total phenols, and monoterpenes in the bark to detect differences between damaged and undamaged seedlings within and between plantations. There were no significant differences in levels of nutritional components between both types of seedlings within the same plantation. However, differences were noted among tree plantations for protein, TNC, and phenolics content but these differences could not be assigned to the voles' selection for particular species. Quantitative and qualitative differences also were registered in monoterpene levels between species. β-Myrcene and bornyl acetate were found only in seedlings of undamaged species. Moreover, the latter contained higher levels of limonene. We conclude that the presence of specific monoterpenes is more important in defense mechanisms of conifer seedlings than relative levels of nutrients (protein or TNC) or total phenolics.

Key words

Picea Pinus meadow voles Microtus pennsylvanicus selection monoterpenes phenolics protein nonstructural carbohydrates plant defense 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean -D. Bucyanayandi
    • 1
  • Jean -Marie Bergeron
    • 1
  • Hugues Menard
    • 2
  1. 1.Groupe de Recherche en Ecologie, Nutrition et Energétique Département de BiologieUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada
  2. 2.Groupe de Recherche en Ecologie, Nutrition et Energétique Département de ChimieUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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