Conifer defenses against bark beetle attack include, but are not limited to, quantitative and qualitative defenses produced prior to attack. Our objective was to assess host defenses of lodgepole pine and ponderosa pine from ecotone stands. These stands provide a transition of host species for mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae
; MPB). We asked two questions: (1) do the preformed quantitative host defenses (amount of resin) and (2) the preformed qualitative host defenses (monoterpene constituents) differ between lodgepole and ponderosa pines. We collected oleoresins at three locations in the Southern Rocky Mountains from 56 pairs of the pine species of similar size and growing conditions. The amount of preformed-ponderosa pine oleoresins exuded in 24 h (mg) was almost four times that of lodgepole pine. Total qualitative preformed monoterpenes did not differ between the two hosts, though we found differences in all but three monoterpenes. No differences were detected in α-pinene, γ-terpinene, and bornyl acetate. We found greater concentrations of limonene, β-phellandrene, and cymene in lodgepole pines, whereas β-pinene, 3-carene, myrcene, and terpinolene were greater in ponderosa pine. Although we found differences both in quantitative and qualitative preformed oleoresin defenses, the ecological relevance of these differences to bark beetle susceptibility have not been fully tested.
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