Effects of α-pinene on life history traits and stress tolerance in the springtail Folsomia candida

Trine Grabau Jensen, Martin Holmstrup, René Bjerregaard Madsen, Marianne Glasius, Lam Ngoc Trac, Philipp Mayer, Bodil Ehlers, Stine Slotsbo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Volatile monoterpenes are emitted in large quantities to both air and soil by many plant species. While studies have addressed effects of monoterpenes on aboveground invertebrates, we have much poorer understanding of the possible effects of monoterpenes on soil invertebrates. Monoterpenes play a protective role in some plant species during heat and water stress, and therefore may provide similar protection against abiotic stress to soil invertebrates. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of the common monoterpene, α-pinene, on the soil living springtail, Folsomia candida (Collembola; Isotomidae). We hypothesized that exposure to α-pinene would lower the transition temperature of membranes, and thereby improve cold tolerance. Controlled exposure to α-pinene, which is a volatile liquid at room temperature, was made possible by passive dosing through the air-phase using a lipid donor. This lipid-based passive dosing approach also allows linking observed effects to concentrations in membrane when equilibrium is achieved. Equilibrium membrane concentrations above 116 mmol kg-1 caused springtails to become comatose, and coma recovery time was proportional to exposure concentration. Alpha-pinene delayed time to first egg laying, while the number of eggs laid and hatchability was unaffected. Springtails exposed to α-pinene showed increased survival of cold shock (-6 °C, 2 h), but no effects on heat (34 °C, 2 h) or drought tolerance (98.2% relative humidity, 7d) were observed. The present study has demonstrated that α-pinene has direct toxic effects to F. candida, but on the other hand can improve their cold tolerance considerably at membrane concentrations above 87 mmol kg-1.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108681
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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