Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 31, Issue 11, pp 2653–2670

Changes in Heartwood Chemistry of Dead Yellow-Cedar Trees that Remain Standing for 80 Years or More in Southeast Alaska

  • Rick G. Kelsey
  • Paul E. Hennon
  • Manuela Huso
  • Joseph J. Karchesy
Article

Abstract

We measured the concentrations of extractable bioactive compounds in heartwood of live yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) trees and five classes of standing snags (1–5, averaging 4, 14, 26, 51, and 81 years-since-death, respectively) to determine how the concentrations changed in the slowly deteriorating snags. Three individuals from each of these six condition classes were sampled at four sites spanning a 260-km distance across southeast Alaska, and the influence of geographic location on heartwood chemistry was evaluated. Cores of heartwood were collected at breast height and cut into consecutive 5-cm segments starting at the pith. Each segment was extracted with ethyl acetate and analyzed by gas chromatography. Concentrations of carvacrol, nootkatene, nootkatol, nootkatone, nootkatin, and total extractives (a sum of 16 compounds) for the inner (0–5 cm from pith), middle (5–10 cm from pith), and surface (outer 1.1–6.0 cm of heartwood) segments from each core were compared within each tree condition class and within segments across condition classes. Heartwood of class 1 and 2 snags had the same chemical composition as live trees. The first concentration changes begin to appear in class 3 snags, which coincides with greater heartwood exposure to the external environment as decaying sapwood sloughs away, after losing the protective outer bark. Within core segments, the concentrations of all compounds, except nootkatene, decrease between snag classes 2 and 5, resulting in the heartwood of class 5 snags having the lowest quantities of bioactive compounds, although not different from the amounts in class 4 snags. This decline in chemical defense is consistent with heartwood of class 5 snags being less decay-resistant than heartwood of live trees, as observed by others. The unique heartwood chemistry of yellow cedar and the slow way it is altered after death allow dead trees to remain standing for up to a century with a profound impact on the ecology of forests in southeast Alaska where these trees are in decline.

Key Words

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis snags decay resistance chemical defense carvacrol nootkatin antifungal compounds 

References

  1. Ahn, Y.-J., Lee, S.-B., Lee, H.-S., Kim, G.-H. 1998Insecticidal and acaricidal activity of carvacrol and β-thujaplicine derived from Thujopsis dolabrata var. hondai sawdustJ. Chem. Ecol.248190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barton, G. M. 1976A review of yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis [D. Don] Spach) extractives and their importance to utilizationWood Fiber8172176Google Scholar
  3. Burt, S. 2004Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods—A reviewInt. J. Food Microbiol.94223253CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. DeGroot, R. C., Woodward, B., Hennon, P. E. 2000Natural decay resistance of heartwood from dead, standing yellow-cedar trees: laboratory evaluationsFor. Prod. J.505359Google Scholar
  5. Friedman, M., Henika, P. R., Mandrell, R. E. 2002Bactericidal activities of plant essential oils and some of their isolated constituents against Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella entericaJ. Food Prot.6515451560PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Green, D. W., McDonald, K. A., Hennon, P. E., Evans, J. W., Stevens, J. H. 2002Flexural properties of salvaged dead yellow-cedar from southeast AlaskaFor. Prod. J.528188Google Scholar
  7. Harris, A. S., Hutchison, O. K., Meehan, W. R., Swanston, S. N., Helmers, A. E., Hendee, J. C., and Collins, T. M. 1974. The forest ecosystem of Southeast Alaska. 1. The setting. USDA Forest Service. General Technical Report PNW-12.Google Scholar
  8. Hennon, P. E. 1990Fungi on Chamaecyparis nootkatensisMycologia825966Google Scholar
  9. Hennon, P. E., Shaw, C. G.,III 1994Did climatic warming trigger the onset and development of yellow-cedar decline in Southeast Alaska?Eur. J. For. Pathol.24399418Google Scholar
  10. Hennon, P. E., Shaw, C. G.,III 1997The enigma of yellow-cedar decline: what is killing these long-lived, defensive trees?J. For.95410Google Scholar
  11. Hennon, P. E., Shaw, C. G.,III, Hansen, E. M. 1990Dating decline and mortality of Chamaecyparis nootkatensis in Southeast AlaskaFor. Sci.36502515Google Scholar
  12. Hennon, P. E., Hansen, E. M., Shaw, C. G.,III 1990bCauses of basal scars on Chamaecyparis nootkatensis in Southeast AlaskaNorthwest Sci.644554Google Scholar
  13. Hennon, P. E., Hansen, E. M., Shaw, C. G.,III 1990cDynamics of decline and mortality of Chamaecyparis nootkatensis in Southeast AlaskaCan. J. Bot.68651662Google Scholar
  14. Hennon, P. E., Shaw, C. G.,III, Hansen, E. M. 1990dSymptoms and fungal associations of declining Chamaecyparis nootkatensis in Southeast AlaskaPlant Dis.74267273Google Scholar
  15. Hennon, P. E., Wittwer, D. T., Stevens, J., Kilborn, K. 2000Pattern of deterioration and recovery of wood from dead yellow-cedar in Southeast AlaskaWest. J. Appl. For.154958Google Scholar
  16. Hennon, P. E., McClellan, M. H., and Palkovic, P. 2002. Comparing deterioration and ecosystem function of decay-resistant and decay-susceptible species of dead trees. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-181.Google Scholar
  17. Kard, B. M., Mallette, E. J. 1997Resistance of six wood products used in paneling to Reticulitermes jlavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)J. Econ. Entomol.90178182Google Scholar
  18. Khasawneh, M. A. 2003. Natural and semi-synthetic compounds with biocidal activity against arthropods of public health importance. Ph.D. dissertation. Oregon State University, Corvallis.Google Scholar
  19. Knowles, J., Roller, S. 2001Efficacy of chitosan, carvacrol, and a hydrogen peroxide-based biocide against foodborne microorganisms in suspension and adhered to stainless steelJ. Food Prot.6415421548PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Maistrello, L., Henderson, G., Laine, R. A. 2001Efficacy of vetiver oil and nootkatone as soil barriers against Formosan subterranean termite (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)J. Econ. Entomol.9415321537PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. McDonald, K. A., Hennon, P. E., Stevens, J. H., and Green, D. W. 1997. Mechanical properties of salvaged dead yellow-cedar in southeast Alaska. USDA Forest Service. Research Paper FPL-RP-565.Google Scholar
  22. Oka, Y., Nacar, S., Putievsky, E., Ravid, U., Yaniv, Z., Spiegel, Y. 2000Nematicidal activity of essential oils and their components against the root-knot nematodePhytopathology90710715Google Scholar
  23. Panella, N. A., Karchesy, J., Maupin, G. O., Malan, J. C. S., Piesman, J. 1997Susceptibility of immature Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) to plant-derived acaricidesJ. Med. Entomol.34340345PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Rennerfelt, E., Nacht, G. 1955The fungicidal activity of some constituents from heartwood of conifersSven. Bot. Tidskr.49419432Google Scholar
  25. Rhoades, D. E. 1990Analysis of monoterpenes emitted and absorbed by undamaged boles of lodgepole pinePhytochemistry2914631465CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. SAS Institute Inc. 1999. SAS OnlineDoc®, Version 8. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC.Google Scholar
  27. Schade, G. W., Goldstein, A. H., Lamanna, M. S. 1999Are monoterpene emissions influenced by humidity?Geophys. Res. Lett.2621872190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith, R. S. 1970Black stain in yellow cedar heartwoodCan. J. Bot.4817311739Google Scholar
  29. Smith, R. S., Cserjesi, A. J. 1970Degradation of nootkatin by fungi causing black heartwood stain in yellow cedarCan. J. Bot.4817271729Google Scholar
  30. Steele, R. G. D., Torrie, J. H., Dickie, D. A. 1997Principles and Procedures of Statistics: ABiometrical Approach3McGraw-HillBostonGoogle Scholar
  31. Thompson, D. P. 1996Inhibition of growth of mycotoxigenic Fusarium species by butylated hydroxyanisole and/or carvacrolJ. Food Prot.59412415Google Scholar
  32. Ultee, A., Kets, E. P. W., Smid, E. J. 1999Mechanisms of action of carvacrol on the food-borne pathogen Bacillus cereusAppl. Environ. Microbiol.6546064610PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Voda, K., Boh, G., Vrtačnik, M., Pohleven, F. 2003Effect of the antifungal activity of oxygenated aromatic essential oil compounds on the white-rot Trametes versicolor and the brown-rot Coniophora puteanaInt. Biodeterior. Biodegrad.515159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Xioung, Y. 2000. Essential oil components of Alaska cedar heartwood. MS thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis.Google Scholar
  35. Zhu, B. C. R., Henderson, G., Chen, F., Maistrello, L., Laine, R. A. 2001Nootkatone is a repellent for Formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus)J. Chem. Ecol.27523531CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rick G. Kelsey
    • 1
  • Paul E. Hennon
    • 2
  • Manuela Huso
    • 3
  • Joseph J. Karchesy
    • 4
  1. 1.USDA Forest ServicePacific Northwest Research StationCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.USDA Forest ServicePacific Northwest Research StationJuneauUSA
  3. 3.Department of Forest ScienceOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  4. 4.Department of Wood Science and EngineeringOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA

Personalised recommendations