Significance of wood terpenoids in the resistance of Scots pine provenances against the old house borer, Hylotrupes bajulus, and brown rot fungus, Coniophora puteana

A.-M. Nerg (Corresponding Author), J. Heijari, U. Noldt, Hannu Viitanen, M. Vuorinen, P. Kainulainen, J.K. Holopainen

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22 Citations (Scopus)


We tested how terpenoid (i.e., monoterpenes and resin acids) composition and concentration in wood affects resistance against wood-borers and decaying fungi. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) wood from nine provenances having variable terpenoid profiles was studied against the old house borer, Hylotrupes bajulus, and the decay fungus, Coniophora puteana. Provenances represented a 1200-km N–S transect from Estonia to northern Finland, but they were all cultivated for 7 years in the same nursery field, in central Finland. Mean relative growth rate (MRGR) of small H. bajulus larvae positively correlated with the total monoterpene concentration of wood, and feeding was associated with high proportion of levopimaric+palustric acid in wood. Provenance did not affect the MRGR of small or big larvae, but big larvae consumed more wood and produced more frass on the northern Ylitornio trees than on the southern Rakvere and Ruokolahti trees. Low β-pinene and total monoterpene concentration and low β: α-pinene ratio in wood were all associated with a high number of eggs. The most northern Muonio provenance was the most favored as an oviposition site, differing significantly from Saaremaa, Tenhola, and Suomussalmi. Wood from Saaremaa, Tenhola, Ruokolahti, and Suomussalmi provenance was most resistant against decay fungus, differing significantly from that of Kinnula provenance. However, decay resistance was not clearly associated with the concentrations of wood terpenoids. These results suggest that monoterpene composition of wood affects resistance against wood-boring Cerambycid beetles, but resistance against wood-decaying fungi is not as clearly associated with wood terpenoids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • hylotrupes bajulus
  • coniophora puteana
  • scots pine
  • provenance
  • wood
  • wood extractives
  • resins
  • resin acids
  • monoterpenes
  • wood-borer
  • decay resistance


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