Increased resin flow in mature pine trees growing under elevated CO2 and moderate soil fertility

  • Authors: Novick, K.A.; Katul, G.G.; McCarthy, H.R.; Oren, R.
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Tree Physiology
  • DOI: 10.1093/treephys/tpr133


Warmer climates induced by elevated atmospheric CO2 (eCO2) are expected to increase damaging bark beetle activity in pine forests, yet the effect of eCO2 on resin production—the tree’s primary defense against beetle attack—remains largely unknown. Following growth-differentiation balance theory, if extra carbohydrates produced under eCO2 are not consumed by respiration or growth, resin production could increase. Here, the effect of eCO2 on resin production of mature pines is assessed. As predicted, eCO2 enhanced resin flow by an average of 140% (P = 0.03) in canopy dominants growing in low nitrogen soils, but did not affect resin flow in faster-growing fertilized canopy dominants or in carbohydrate-limited suppressed individuals. Thus, pine trees may become increasingly protected from bark beetle attacks in an eCO2 climate, except where they are fertilized or are allowed to become overcrowded.

  • Citation: Novick, K.A.; Katul, G.G.; McCarthy, H.R.; Oren, R. 2012. Increased resin flow in mature pine trees growing under elevated CO2 and moderate soil fertility. Tree Physiology 00:1-12. doi:10.1093/treephys/tpr133
  • Keywords: bark beetles, carbon allocation, Free Air CO2 Enrichment, Pinus taeda, resin flow, resistance
  • Posted Date: January 24, 2012
  • Modified Date: January 14, 2013
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.