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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(5), 2769-2782; doi:10.3390/ijms12052769

Phenols in Leaves and Bark of Fagus sylvatica as Determinants of Insect Occurrences

1
Laboratory of Entomology, National Agricultural Research Foundation, Institute for Mediterranean Forest Ecosystem Research, Terma Alkmanos, Athens 11528, Greece
2
National Agricultural Research Foundation, Forest Research Institute, Vassilika 57006, Thessaloniki, Greece
3
Water and Environmental Management Research Centre, Faculty of Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TR, UK
4
ecosulis Ltd., The Rickyard, Newton St. Loe, Bath, BA2 9BT, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 January 2011 / Revised: 15 March 2011 / Accepted: 7 April 2011 / Published: 26 April 2011
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics)
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Abstract

Beech forests play an important role in temperate and north Mediterranean ecosystems in Greece since they occupy infertile montane soils. In the last glacial maximum, Fagus sylvatica (beech) was confined to Southern Europe where it was dominant and in the last thousand years has expanded its range to dominate central Europe. We sampled four different beech forest types. We found 298 insect species associated with beech trees and dead beech wood. While F. sylvatica and Quercus (oak) are confamilial, there are great differences in richness of the associated entomofauna. Insect species that inhabit beech forests are less than one fifth of those species living in oak dominated forests despite the fact that beech is the most abundant central and north European tree. There is a distinct paucity of monophagous species on beech trees and most insect species are shared between co-occurring deciduous tree species and beech. This lack of species is attributed to the vegetation history and secondary plant chemistry. Bark and leaf biophenols from beech indicate that differences in plant secondary metabolites may be responsible for the differences in the richness of entomofauna in communities dominated by beech and other deciduous trees.
Keywords: Fagus sylvatica; entomofauna; phenolics; secondary plant chemistry; insect traps; clustering; discriminant analysis Fagus sylvatica; entomofauna; phenolics; secondary plant chemistry; insect traps; clustering; discriminant analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Petrakis, P.V.; Spanos, K.; Feest, A.; Daskalakou, E. Phenols in Leaves and Bark of Fagus sylvatica as Determinants of Insect Occurrences. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 2769-2782.

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Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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