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Changes in terpenes of three kinds of pine needles during litter decomposition

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Author(s): Gyu Gap Jo | Jong Hee Kim

Journal: Journal of Ecology and Field Biology
ISSN 1975-020X

Volume: 33;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 175;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: decomposition | GC-MS | litter bag | monoterpene | sesquiterpene

ABSTRACT
This study was designed to evaluate changes in the terpene composition of 3 types of pines (Pinus densiflora, Pinusthunbergii and Pinus rigida), while decomposing their leaf litter. Needle litters were placed at two different organic layerdepths, one on the surface and the other beneath the litter layer. Changes in the terpene composition of this litter weredetected using a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer. Among the monoterpenes acquired from the fresh needles ofP. densiflora and P. rigida, α-pinene (12.05% and 19.87%, respectively) was the major one, followed by β-pinene (2.90%and 14.07%). However, from the needles of P. thunbergii, β-pinene (20.77%) was the major one, followed by α-pinene(10.79%). Among the sesquiterpenes detected in P. densiflora, trans-caryophyllene (3.12%) was the highest compositioncompound, whereas germacrene-D (6.09%) for P. thunbergii and 1,6-cyclodecadiene (7.41%) and endo-1-bourbonanol(7.41%) for P. rigida were the highest content compounds. However, the total amounts of terpenes decreased sharply by40-85.4% in all three types of pine needle after 90-120 days of the experiment. The concentration of each terpene differedduring decomposition, and the majority of compounds disappeared from beneath the litter layer. It was determined thatthree types of reducing patterns of each compound appeared on the rate of loss of concentration during decomposition;one pattern decreasing sharply during the initial period, another pattern steadily or slowly decreasing, and a newlydetected pattern at low concentration occurring during decomposition.
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