Seasonal changes in above- and belowground carbohydrate concentrations of ponderosa pine along a pollution gradient

Tree Physiol. 2001 Feb;21(2-3):173-81. doi: 10.1093/treephys/21.2-3.173.


Seasonal patterns of carbohydrate concentration in coarse and fine roots, stem or bole, and foliage of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws) were described across five tree-age classes from seedlings to mature trees at an atmospherically clean site. Relative to all other tree-age classes, seedlings exhibited greater tissue carbohydrate concentration in stems and foliage, and greater shifts in the time at which maximum and minimum carbohydrate concentration occurred. To determine the effect of environmental stressors on tissue carbohydrate concentration, two tree-age classes (40-year-old and mature) were compared at three sites along a well-established, long-term O3 and N deposition gradient in the San Bernardino Mountains, California. Maximum carbohydrate concentration of 1-year-old needles declined with increasing pollution exposure in both tree-age classes. Maximum fine root monosaccharide concentration was depressed for both 40-year-old and mature trees at the most polluted site. Maximum coarse and fine root starch concentrations were significantly depressed at the most polluted site in mature trees. Maximum bole carbohydrate concentration of 40-year-old trees was greater for the two most polluted sites relative to the cleanest site: the bole appeared to be a storage organ at sites where high O3 and high N deposition decreased root biomass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution*
  • California
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Monosaccharides / metabolism
  • Ozone
  • Pinus / metabolism
  • Pinus / physiology*
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Seasons
  • Starch / metabolism


  • Monosaccharides
  • Ozone
  • Starch