Chemotaxonomic Implications of the n-Alkane Composition and the Nonacosan-10-ol Content in Picea omorika, Pinus heldreichii, and Pinus peuce
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The n-alkane composition and the nonacosan-10-ol content in the needle cuticular waxes of Serbian spruce (Picea omorika), Bosnian pine (Pinus heldreichii), and Macedonian pine (Pinus peuce) were compared. The amount of nonacosan-10-ol in the needle waxes of P. omorika was higher than those in P. heldreichii and P. peuce. The range of n-alkanes was also wider in P. omorika (C18C35) than in P. heldreichii and P. peuce (C18C33). The dominant n-alkanes were C29 in the needle waxes of P. omorika, C23, C27, and C25 in those of P. heldreichii, and C29, C25, C27, and C23 in those of P. peuce. The waxes of P. omorika contained higher amounts of n-alkanes C29, C31, and C33, while those of P. heldreichii and P. peuce had higher contents of n-alkanes C21, C22, C23, C24, and C26. The principal component analysis of the contents of nine n-alkanes showed a clear separation of the Serbian spruce populations from those of the two investigated pine species, which partially overlapped. The separation of the species was due to high contents of the n-alkanes C29 and C31 (P. omorika), C19, C20, C21, C22, C23, and C24 (P. heldreichii), and C28 (P. peuce). Cluster analysis also showed a clear separation between the P. omorika populations on one side and the P. heldreichii and P. peuce populations on the other side. The n-alkane and terpene compositions are discussed in the light of their usefulness in chemotaxonomy as well as with regard to the biogeography and phylogeny of these rare and endemic conifers.