Analytical approaches to the determination of simple biophenols in forest trees such as Acer (maple), Betula (birch), Coniferus, Eucalyptus, Juniperus (cedar), Picea (spruce) and Quercus (oak)

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Abstract

Analytical methods are reviewed for the determination of simple biophenols in forest trees such as Acer(maple), Betula(birch), Coniferus, Eucalyptus, Juniperus(cedar), Picea(spruce) and Quercus(oak). Data are limited but nevertheless clearly establish the critical importance of sample preparation and pre-treatment in the analysis. For example, drying methods invariably reduce the recovery of biophenols and this is illustrated by data for birch leaves where flavonoid glycosides were determined as 12.3 ± 0.44 mg g'1 in fresh leaves but 9.7 ± 0.35 mg g'1 in air-dried samples (data expressed as dry weight). Diverse sample handling procedures have been employed for recovery of biophenols. The range of biophenols and diversity of sample types precludes general procedural recommendations. Caution is necessary in selecting appropriate procedures as the high reactivity of these compounds complicates their analysis. Moreover, our experience suggests that their reactivity is very dependent on the matrix. The actual measurement is less contentious and high performance separation methods particularly liquid chromatography dominate analyses whilst coupled techniques involving electrospray ionization are becoming routine particularly for qualitative applications. Quantitative data are still the exception and are summarized for representative species that dominate the forest canopy of various habitats. Reported concentrations for simple phenols range from trace level (<0.1 µg g'1) to in excess of 500 µg g'1 depending on a range of factors. Plant tissue is one of these variables but various biotic and abiotic processes such as stress are also important considerations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-823
Number of pages15
JournalThe Analyst
Volume130
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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