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Methyl Salicylate and Sesquiterpene Emissions Are Indicative for Aphid Infestation on Scots Pine

1
Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
2
Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(5), 573; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11050573
Received: 24 April 2020 / Revised: 15 May 2020 / Accepted: 17 May 2020 / Published: 20 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Biotic stresses on forest trees are caused by various pest insects and plant pathogens. Attack by these parasites is known to induce the emissions of various biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), and the profile of these emissions often differs between infested and healthy plants. This difference in emission profile can be used for the non-destructive early-stage diagnosis of the stressor organism. We studied how phloem feeding by a large pine aphid (Cinara pinea Mordvilko) on the branch bark of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) affects BVOC emissions compared to those of healthy plants in two experiments. We found that in aphid-infested plants, methyl salicylate (MeSA) emissions significantly increased, and the emission rates were dependent on aphid density on the studied branch. Aphid infestation did not significantly affect total monoterpene emission, while the emissions of total sesquiterpenes were substantially higher in aphid-infested saplings than in uninfested plants. Sesquiterpene (E, E)-α-farnesene was emitted at increased rates in both experiments, and the aphid alarm pheromone sesquiterpene (E)-β-farnesene, only in the experiment with higher aphid pressure. We conclude that the rapid increase in MeSA emissions is the most reliable indicator of aphid infestation in pine trees together with (E, E)-α-farnesene. View Full-Text
Keywords: conifer aphids; plant volatiles; BVOC emissions; terpenes; methylsalicylate; forest ecosystem; pest management; air quality conifer aphids; plant volatiles; BVOC emissions; terpenes; methylsalicylate; forest ecosystem; pest management; air quality
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Kivimäenpää, M.; Babalola, A.B.; Joutsensaari, J.; Holopainen, J.K. Methyl Salicylate and Sesquiterpene Emissions Are Indicative for Aphid Infestation on Scots Pine. Forests 2020, 11, 573.

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