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Forests 2017, 8(9), 334; doi:10.3390/f8090334

Climatic Factors Shape the Spatial Distribution of Concentrations of Triterpenoids in Barks of White Birch (Betula Platyphylla Suk.) Trees in Northeast China

1
College of Pharmacy, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Harbin 150040, China
2
Alkali Soil Natural Environmental Science Center, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
3
Key Laboratory of Saline-alkali Vegetation Ecology Restoration in Oil Field, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin 150040, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
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Abstract

Betulin, betulinic acid and lupeol are naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoids with significant medicinal values. Great amounts of triterpenoids are found in the bark of white birch (Betula platyphylla Suk.) trees, which can be affected by climatic factors along the geographical gradients. In this study, site-based data of triterpenoids’ (betulin, betulinic acid and lupeol) concentrations were determined in barks of white birch trees from 48 sites in Northeast China. Triterpenoid concentration in white birch tree barks did not change in response to any geographical gradients along latitudes, longitudes or elevations. Instead, concentrations of betulin and lupeol in birch tree barks increased with the increase of temperature and precipitation but declined with the increase of relative humidity. As a result, betulin concentration was higher in birch trees in the northeastern and southwestern parts of the study area, and lower in the central part of the study area in Northeast China. Although betulinic acid concentration did not change with climatic factors, its distribution pattern was similar to betulin concentration. Lupeol concentration was highest in the north-eastern part and along the southern and eastern boundaries in the study area. Our results can supply information for precondition of triterpenoids’ extraction for industrial production, which can be an available approach to solve the issue of bark waste processing of white birch. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural product; climate change; transect; montane area; microclimate natural product; climate change; transect; montane area; microclimate
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, S.; Zhang, D.; Wei, H.; Zhao, Y.; Cao, Y.; Yu, T.; Wang, Y.; Yan, X. Climatic Factors Shape the Spatial Distribution of Concentrations of Triterpenoids in Barks of White Birch (Betula Platyphylla Suk.) Trees in Northeast China. Forests 2017, 8, 334.

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