Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 1262–1271 | Cite as

Volatiles from a Mite-Infested Spruce Clone and Their Effects on Pine Weevil Behavior

  • Astrid Kännaste
  • Henrik Nordenhem
  • Göran Nordlander
  • Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson


Induced responses by Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings to feeding damage by two mite species were studied by analyzing the volatiles emitted during infestation. Four specimens of a Norway spruce (Picea abies L.) clone were infested with mites of Nalepella sp., another four with Oligonychus ununguis, and four were kept mite-free as controls. After a year of infestation, spruce volatiles were collected, analyzed, and identified using SPME-GC-MS. In addition, enantiomers of chiral limonene and linalool were separated by two-dimensional GC. Methyl salicylate (MeSA), (-)-linalool, (E)-β-farnesene, and (E,E)-α-farnesene were the main volatiles induced by both species of mites, albeit in different proportions. The ability of the main compounds emitted by the mite-infested spruces to attract or repel the pine weevil, Hylobius abietis (L.), was tested. (E)-β-farnesene was found to be attractive in the absence of spruce odor, whereas methyl salicylate had a deterrent effect in combination with attractive spruce odor. The other tested compounds had no significant effects on the behavior of the weevils.


Acari Hylobius abietis Nalepella sp. Oligonychus ununguis Picea abies Norway spruce Linalool Farnesene Methyl salicylate Sesquiterpenes- 



We are grateful to Mariusz Lewandowski who identified (using photos) one of the mites as belonging to the genus Nalepella. The photos are present at the Department of Chemistry, Ecological Chemistry group, KTH. We are also grateful to Lars Lundqvist for identifying the spinning mite Oligonychus ununguis. This study was financially supported by FORMAS (Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning), the Carl Trygger Foundation and an Archimedes stipend from Estonia to Astrid Kännaste.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid Kännaste
    • 1
    • 3
  • Henrik Nordenhem
    • 2
  • Göran Nordlander
    • 2
  • Anna-Karin Borg-Karlson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Ecological Chemistry GroupRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of EcologySwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Department of Plant PhysiologyEstonian University of Life SciencesTartuEstonia

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