The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) is an invasive species causing high mortality of eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis (L) Carriere) in the forests of eastern North America. Recent findings revealed that sapling eastern hemlocks artificially infested with hemlock woolly adelgid in a plantation setting responded to the insect with an array of induced resin volatile changes. Here we determine if eastern hemlocks growing beneath a forest canopy respond to hemlock woolly adelgid infestation with the same patterns of constitutive and inducible volatile resin production as those plantation specimens. We inoculated previously uninfested branches of mature and immature hemlocks in a central New England forest with hemlock woolly adelgid. We then sampled twig tissue of infested and uninfested trees in late spring, early summer, and mid-autumn, after known intervals of adelgid activity when an induced response might be expected. We identified and quantified resin volatiles by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Constitutive levels of total monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, and combined resin volatiles were all several-fold more abundant in forest trees than those previously measured in a plantation setting, pointing to further study of the influence of site factors on hemlock volatile production. Hemlock woolly adelgid infestation induced an array of changes in eastern hemlock's volatile profile, including many-fold increases in benzyl alcohol and methyl salicylate accumulation. Despite differences in constitutive concentrations of volatiles between the two sites, our findings verify that hemlock woolly adelgid elicits patterns of resin volatile induction in forest-grown eastern hemlocks quite similar to those previously observed in plantation grown trees.
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