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Study on the Habitat Characteristics of the Geoher

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    RESEARCH ARTICELS

    Study on the Habitat Characteristics of the Geoherb of Atractylodes Lancea Based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

    Lanping Guo 1, Luqi Huang 1*, Hong Yan 2, Dongmei Lv 1, Youxu Jiang 2

    Abstract: To study the habitat characteristics of Mao-Atractylodes lancea, which is a geographical product of Mt Maoshan in Jiangsu province of China and a kind of geoherb of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we determined the leading factors of A. lancea after stepwise regression, investigated the limiting factor and analyzed the datas. Then averages for 30 years about the main ecological factor were used to do spatial interpolation on the platform of IDIRIEIW, and overlay analysis was done between the Mt. Maoshan and the whole habitat of A. lancea. We found that Precipitation was one of the leading factors that affected the quality of A. lancea, and high temperature was a limiting factor that influenced the living of A. lancea. The habitat characteristics of Mao-A. lancea are that mean annual temperature is more than 15, monthly mean minimum temperature is between -2~-1, monthly mean maximum temperature is about 32, absolute minimum temperature is between -17~-15, drought season is between 1~2months, mean annual precipitation is between 1,000~1,160mm. In conclusion, habitat of Mao-A. lancea is characterized as highest temperature, short drought season and more precipitation, and the growth of Mao-A. lancea related to the environmental stress and showed the effects of the stress in turn.

    Key words: Mao-Atractylodes lancea; geographic information systems; Chinese herbal drugs

    Atractylode lancea (Thunb) DC. is perennial plant [1], which is known to be widely distributed to the north of Yangtze river in China. Their dried rhizomes, which have been used for diuretic and analgesic purposes as well as for stomach disorders in Traditional Chinese Medicine, are described in Chinese Pharmacopoeia as the botanical origin of the crude drug "Cangzhu".

    It is well known that Mao-A. lancea in Mt. Maoshan of Jiangsu province is a kind of geoherb, with the conception arising from traditional Chinese medicine and subjecting at least two meanings: 1) producing from a specific habitat and adapting well to the habitat, 2) having good curative effects with fewer side effects. In another words, Mao-A. lancea is a chemical type & ecotype apposite to Mt. Maoshan habitat and a geographical indicating product based on their good reputation.

    In the past few years, Mao-A. lancea decreased sharply and even faced imminence because of over collecting and the habitat losing. The highest annual purchasing amount of Mao-A. lancea was 6,000 kilogramme in history, but Mao-A. lancea have been hardly purchased since 1990's [2]. In order to change the imminent status, some A. lancea are cultivated in Jiangsu and Hubei provinces now, but the output and quality of the cultivated A. lancea are unstable which mainly attribute to the unsuited habitat [3].

    It was reported that the pharmacologically active components of the essential oil in A. lancea have regional variation with the ecological variation [4-9]. We analyzed the essential oil of A. lancea and found that Mao-A. lancea are characterized with the proportion that atratylon: hinesol: -eudesmol: atractylodin is (0.70-2.00): (0.04-0.35): (0.09-0.40): 1[9]. The experiment that transplanted the wild A. lancea all around China to Mt.Maoshan showed that although there is significant correlation to the original individual, the essential oil components of transplanted A. lancea were significant different to their original ones. The essential oil components of the later were closer to that of Mao-A. lancea. At the same time, there were fewer changes between the cultivated and wild Mao-A. lancea themselves [8]. It indicates that the habitat plays a key role in the growth of Mao-A. lancea.

    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is widely used and popularize with the development of computer technology. Using GIS to fulfill spatial data collection, storage, management, analysis and display makes a significant development in many fields, such as geosciences, ecology, agriculture petrology, etc.

    The purpose of this study is to find out the leading factors on the formation of the essential oil components and the limiting factors constraining the survival of A. lancea. Meanwhile, to compare the main ecological factors between the habitat of the geoherb and the whole distribution area of A. lancea through the special analysis platforms of GIS, we can get the characteristics in the habitat of Mao-A. lancea.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS

    1. Data sources

    The variation of essential oil components of 771 A. lancea individuals in 18 populations had been studied by Osami Takeda, a Japanese researcher, in 1990's. These samples occupied 4.5 (33.07, 37.53) latitude from north to south and 14.4 (107.03, 121.40) longitude from east to west and showed all the chemical types of A. lancea in China. The data of essential oil of A. lancea in this paper are come from Osami Takeda's research. (Table 1, Fig. 1) [4-8].

    Table 1. The content of essential oil of A. lancea in sample place

    PlaceNo.totalJiangsuXu0.010.080.110.290.120.431.80Li0.030.510.320.500.080.351.79Ya0.000.710.110.250.090.341.50Fo0.000.610.060.200.070.351.29HubeiTa0.020.005.350.300.000.015.63Ca0.090.003.502.470.000.146.20Dn0.170.002.832.680.000.075.75AnhuiHu0.130.032.043.170.000.345.71ShanxiBa0.220.001.291.780.000.223.50An0.300.002.092.120.000.164.65Hs0.210.000.631.660.000.182.67HenanSh0.390.000.211.650.000.212.45So0.040.100.050.290.000.671.15HebeiCh0.090.090.450.940.020.562.13Da0.070.370.260.830.040.472.03Za0.020.030.060.300.010.230.65ShangdongLao0.000.630.000.000.010.250.89Tt0.000.460.010.110.030.350.96I: elemol, II: atractylon, III: hinesol, IV: eudesmol, V: selina-4(14) selina, 7(11)-dienone, VI: atractylodin.

    Fig. 1 Spatial distribution of samples

    Climate data was obtained from meteorological stations, each of which is closest to the sample place. The mean of 6 items of climate, including mean annual temperature, annual precipitation, monthly mean minimum, monthly mean maximum, absolute minimum temperature and drought season for 30 years from 1971 to 2000 were studied in this paper (Table 2).

    Table 2. The mean values of the climate factors in 30 years of the sample place

    No.Absolute minimum temperatureMonthly mean minimum temperatureMonthly mean maximum temperatureDrought seasonAnnual mean temperatureAnnual mean precipitationXu-15.5-132115.41075Li-15.7-132215.11152Ya-16.7-232215.21022Fo-17.4-232215.31008Ta-16.2030213.61386Ca-17.9-331314.81099Dn-14.2-332415.1872Hu-13.1-131014.91738Ba-18.8-725510.9837An-16.0-432514.2623Hs-19.0-82359.0956Sh-20.0-630510.6723So-19.4-631513.1674Ch-33.5-222281.2511Da-25.0-153078.8612Za-22.6-832813.0528Lao-24.3-102256.8750Tt-15.2-527511.78062. Searching methods of the leading factors and limiting factors

    By using the total content, and the six components ( elemol, atractylon, hinesol, -eudesmol,Selina-4(14)selina-7(11)-dienone, atractylodin) which are in large ratio of the total essential oil as dependent variable, using the six climate factors as independent variable, the leading factors which influence the content of essential oil components were found by stepwise regression method.

    The limiting factor was determined based on the wild investigation and analyzing of the literatures and datum.

    3. Compare of the habitat of Mao-A. lancea with others

    Average values of the 6 above climate factors were used to do spatial interpolation analyses based on DEM (Digital Elevation Model) through the platform of IDIRIEIW. With Krige model and corresponding geographic parameter according to the distribution of meteorological stations and the climate factors, 6 maps with a average value of climate factors in each grid represents 10km10km in fact were got finally. Then the habitat characteristics, such as the average maximum and minimum of the climate factors of Mao-A. lancea were found based on the 6 maps and overlay analysis between the habitat of Mao-A. lancea and the whole distribution area were carried out.

    RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

    1. The leading factors influencing the quality of A. lancea

    Regression analysis indicated that the total content of essential oil and the component has the linear relation to annual precipitation respectively, and the component showed the linear relation to annual precipitation and drought season. And the regression equations are:

    Ytotal=-0.254+3.21510-3X (X: annual precipitation) (1)

    Y=-1.193+2.39510-3X (X: annual precipitation) (2)

    Y=0.220-2.0910-2X1-1.1810-4X2 (X1: Drought season, X2: annual precipitation) (3)

    According to the regression equations, precipitation is one of the most important leading factors that affects the total content of essential oil and the component and of A. lancea. The total oil and increase with the precipitation increasing. On the other hand, decreases with the precipitation or drought season increasing. As the increase of precipitation usually accompanies with the decrease of the drought season, and vice versa, changes in dynamical equilibrium.

    The curative effects of Mao-A. lancea in traditional Chinese medicine is regarded due to the special proportion of the pharmacologically active components [7], which are the results of adaptation response for Mao-A. lancea to the habitat. Since each component may have different leading factors and responds differently to the leading factors (such as linear, polynomial, exponential functional, logarithmic functional, etc.), and the ecological factors are often correlative and complementary, it is difficult to find out all the lending factors by forming Mao-A. lancea in this way.

    2. The limiting factor and Stress effects on forming Mao-A. lancea

    Our study found 4 items (mean annual temperature, monthly mean minimum temperature, monthly mean maximum temperature, absolute minimum temperature) relevant to the temperature in Mt. Maoshan, the habitat of Mao-A. lancea, were the maximum in the whole distribution area of A. lancea (Table 3).

    Table 3. The values in Mt. Maoshan and the whole distribution area of A. lancea

    Mt. MaoshanWhole distributions areaAnnual mean temperature15~15.48.8~15.4Monthly mean minimum temperature-2~1-15~1Monthly mean maximum temperature3227~32Annual mean precipitation1,000~1,160mm530~1,740mmDrought season 1~20~8Absolute minimum temperature-17.5~-15.5-25~-13 Drought season refers the month that the precipitation is less than 40mm

    A. lancea adapt cool and often grow at mountain slopes or roadsides with well drained. They distribute widely in the north of Mt.Maoshan, such as province Neimenggu, Hebei, Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Shanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Hubei, Anhui and Jiangsu, etc. And the province Hubei, Anhui, Jiangsu, which are seated at the subtropical belt, the middle and lower reaches of the Changjiang River, are the south edge of the whole distribution of it. In the province Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Sichuan, belonging to the tropic belt, A. lancea has been seen oddly and they vanish as the temperature increasing. That is to say, the habitat of Mao-A. lancea is the hottest place where A. lancea can grow well.

    At the same time, it was found that A. lancea tended to die when the temperature was more than 30. So we can conclude that high temperature is a limiting factor for A. lancea survival and breed.

    It was reported that secondary metabolites, the main effective components of Chinese Crude Drugs, were usually induced by environmental stress [10, 11], and terpene, also the main secondary metabolites of A. lancea, would increase with larger environmental stress [12, 13]. That means the conception of fitness to medicinal plants is maybe not the same to the common creatures, in other words, fitness to medicinal plants means not only well growth but also good accumulation of pharmacological components. Furthermore, accumulation of pharmacological components usually need appropriate stress, such as drought, high temperature, freezing cold and violent climate changes, etc. [14], which usually constrains the growth of plant, just like the Mao-A. lancea. The temperature of the habitat of Mao-A. lancea is the highest one among that of the whole distribution area, and the high temperature is a limiting factor on A. lancea growth, that means Mao-A. lancea are at the edge of the temperature tolerance for A. lancea to live and the high temperature even makes the growing site of the Mao-A. lancea is at the edge of the whole distribution area. In conclusion, the forming of the Mao-A. lancea related to the environmental stress and showed stress effects.

    3. The characteristics in the habitat of Mao-A. lancea

    There is no same ecological place like Mt. Maoshan was found by overlay analysis, a powerful method of GIS (Fig. 2). In another words, Mt. Maoshan has a unique climate in the whole distribution area of A. lancea. The specific proportion of essential oil of Mao-A. lancea is due to the unique climate of Mt. Maoshan which is featured with high-temperature, short-drought season and more rainfall. In detail, the climate parameters are shown as the following: mean annual temperature is more than 15, monthly mean minimum temperature is in the range of -2~-1, monthly mean minimum temperature is about 32, drought season is 1~2 month, annual precipitation is 1,000~1,160mm.

    Fig. 2 Best ecological growth place of Atractylodes Lancea based on GIS

    4. The adaptive places to growing A. lancea

    Since the accumulation of essential oil in A. lancea needs more precipitation, both Hubei and the south of Jiangsu, especially in Mt.Maoshan, with highest precipitation are very suitable to grow A. lancea that contains high pharmacological components. But it seems there are many more adaptive places in Hubei province to grow A. lancea than in Mt.Maoshan because A. lancea adapt cool and many places in Hubei are colder than Mt.Maoshan because of their high elevation mountains. For example, mean annual temperature, annual precipitation, monthly mean minimum, monthly mean maximum and absolute minimum temperature in Hubei are all lower than in Mt.Maoshan. And the fact that growing A. lancea in Hubei is easier than in Mt.Maoshan proved our inference.

    The chemical type of A. lancea in Hubei is different to that in Mt.Maoshan, the former contains more hinesol and -eudesmol (82.80% in total oil) and the latter contains mainly atractylon and atractylodin besides hinesol and -eudesmol [9]. So choices of adaptive places should be based on different subjects, Hubei is usually the ideal place to grow A. lancea for isolating of hinesol or -eudesmol. Nevertheless, Mt.Maoshan is the best adaptive place to grow A. lancea for clinic in traditional Chinese medicine.

    REFERENCES

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    8. Osami Takeda, Eiji Miki, Susumu Terabayaslli, et al. A comparative study on essential oil components of wild and cultivated Atractylodes lancea an A.Chinensid Planta Medica. 1996, 62: 444-449.

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    12. Josep P, Joan L. Effect of carbon dioxide, water supply and seasonally on terpene content and leaching of phenolics from sunflowers grown under varying phosphates nutrient conditions. Canad J. Bot. 1976, 54: 593.

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    (Edited by Xiumei Sheng, Lanting Shi,Yingqi Zhao and Yanling Xiao)

    * Corresponding to Luqi Huang, male, PhD in Botany and Pharmacognosy, professor, director in Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine; deputy director in WHO Collaborating Centre For Traditional Medicine; deputy director in the Committee for Chinese Materia Medica, Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine; Main research field: pharmacognosy and influence of environmental and genetic factors on geoherbs of Chinese crude drug; Postcode: 100700; Address: Tel: 010-64014411-2955; Fax: 010-64013996; E-mail: huangluqi@263.net

    Lanping Guo, female, PhD candidate; Main research field: pharmacognosy and influence of environmental and genetic factors on geoherbs of Chinese crude drug, E-mail: glpljh@sohu.com

    1 Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing, Postcode: 100700

    2 Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing, Postcode: 100091

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