Toxicity of phenolic compounds extracted from bark residues of different ages

Authors: Machrafi, Younes; Prévost, Danielle; Beauchamp, Chantal Jeanne
Abstract: In Quebec, Canada, industrial bark wastelands cover several hundred hectares of land. Bark residue that has piled up for decades tends to remain free of vegetation for years. To assess the revegetation potential of such sites, we sought to determine those factors responsible for poor plant growth. Phenolic compounds from fresh to 20-year-old bark residues were extracted with four solvents and quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). We simulated solutions (mixtures of standard phenolic compounds) to evaluate the potential toxic effects of phenolic compounds on the rhizobial growth, germination index, plant growth, nodule number, and nitrogen fixation activity of two legume species under laboratory conditions. The concentration of individual phenolic compounds varied from none detected to 350 µg/g bark residue. The extracted phenolic compounds differed among solvents and bark residues. The highest concentration of total phenolic compounds was from fresh bark; most of these were soluble in water or 0.1 M NaOH. For older bark residues, the total phenolic content depended on solvent strength, generally in the order of 2.0 M NaOH > 0.1 M NaOH = hot water > cold water. The biological activity of the simulated bark extracts was not established with the rhizobial growth inhibition test but with the germination index and rhizobium–legume symbiosis tests. With these, the toxicity of the simulated phenolic extracts decreased from fresh to the older bark residues. Plant dry weight, nodule number, and nitrogen fixation activity of vetch (Vicia sativa L.) were less negatively affected by high concentrations of phenolics than birdsfoot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus L.), although birdsfoot trefoil grew at lower concentrations. The rhizobium–legume symbiosis has potential for revegetating bark wastelands with less than 1 year old and older bark residues.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 7 November 2006
Open Access Date: 28 June 2016
Document version: AM
This document was published in: Journal of Chemical Ecology, Vol. 32 (12), 2595–2615 (2006)
Alternative version: 10.1007/s10886-006-9157-1
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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