The Effect of VOCs from the Branches and Leaves of Pistacia chinensis Bunge and Juniperus chinensis cv. Kaizuka on Mouse Behavior

Hui Li, Kun Li, Haodong Liu, Tao Jing, Xiuhua Song, Lingyu Xue, Chuanrong Li, Weixing Shen


To meet both landscape aesthetics and health needs, the effects of different concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from Pistacia chinensis Bunge (P. chinensis) and Juniperus chinensis cv. Kaizuka (J. chinensis) on mouse spontaneous behavior were studied during successive six-day experiments. The results were as follows: 1) The excitability of the mice and their total moving distance increased significantly upon exposure to low volatile concentrations of P. chinensis (P<0.05), whereas there was an opposite effect after exposure to J. chinensis. 2) The explorative capacity of mice was enhanced by J. chinensis; in contrast, P. chinensis treatment resulted in an opposite effect. 3) The scent of P. chinensis volatiles reduced mouse appetites while J. chinensis had the opposite effect. 4) P. chinensis volatiles helped enhance mouse tension. The number of fecal grains in the treatment group was always greater than that of the control group and increased with increasing volatile concentration to a number that was two times that of the controls when the volatile concentration reached a relatively high level. In contrast, in the J. chinensis environment, the mice were relatively relaxed, with overall numbers of fecal grains that were only 81.7% to 97.6% that of the controls. Overall, VOCs from J. chinensis had beneficial effects on mice. Therefore, more J. chinensis should be planted in urban green spaces. However, VOCs from P. chinensis could cause adverse effects on mice. Therefore, it is suggested to minimize their planting in city or repairing their branches to keep away from the smelling range of humans.


VOCs; Mice; Open-field test; Spontaneous behavior; Habitat forest

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