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Fatty acids, starch and biomass of Scots pine needles and roots in open-air ozone exposure


Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings were fumigated with 1.2–1.5 x ambient ozone (cumulative exposure) over 2 seasons in an open-air experiment. Starch and fatty acid concentrations were analyzed in needle and root tissue in the summer, autumn and early winter. Seedling growth was determined by measuring the height of the stem and the total shoot and root biomass. Significant decreases in growth were found in exposed seedlings, even though visible symptoms were lacking. Almost significant reductions in needle and root starch concentrations were found. In the ozone treated foliage, significant increases in myristic acid (14∶0) were detected, but the major fatty acids remained unchanged. Fatty acid ratios showed that the degree of unsaturation decreased in treated needles in the summer. In the roots of ozone treated seedlings, changes in fatty acids were different from those in the foliage. Decreases of the main root fatty acids (16∶0, 18∶0, 18∶1, 18:2, 18∶3) were detected in the summer. These results show that Scots pine is susceptible to enhanced levels of ozone. If the tropospheric ozone levels continue to increase it may have deleterious effects on Scots pine forests in Finland.

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Anttonen, S., Kärenlampi, L. Fatty acids, starch and biomass of Scots pine needles and roots in open-air ozone exposure. Trees 10, 74–82 (1995).

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Key words

  • Ozone
  • Pinus sylvestris (L.)
  • Lipids
  • Starch
  • Biomass