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ISSN : 1598-5504(Print)
ISSN : 2383-8272(Online)
Journal of Agriculture & Life Science Vol.53 No.2 pp.65-75

Distribution of the Genetic Resource and the Biomass of Root Bark of Ulmaceae Species

Dong Jin Park3, Seong Hyeon Yong1, Woo Hyeong Yang1, Yuwon Seol1, Eunji Choi1, Hyeong Ho Kim1, Mi-Jeong Ahn2, Myung Suk Choi3
1Division of Environmental Forest Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 52828, Korea
2College of Pharmacy, gyeongsang National University, Jinju, 52828, Korea
3Department of Seed and Seedling Management, NFSV, Chungju, 27495, Korea
Corresponding author: Myung Suk Choi Tel: +82-55-772-1856 Fax: +82-55-772-1859 E-mail:
September 20, 2018 October 10, 2018 October 20, 2018


Stem and root of elm trees have used as traditional medical materials, but there is little information on the distribution and resources of habitats. Korean native growing Ulmus spp. (U. davidiana var. Japonica, U. parvifolia, U. davidiana, and U. macrocarpa) genetic resources studied through The National Forest Inventory of Korea data and field survey. The distributions of U. davidiana var. Japonica according to elevation distributed evenly. Both U. parvifolia and U. davidiana were inhabited mostly at less than 200 m of altitude. Each Ulmaceae species widely were distributed nationwide, but a dominant species was different depending on locals. It observed that Ulmaceae inhabits mainly in steep slopes of 31-45 degrees. Most of the habitats regenerated by natural seeding and the most abundant species were a codominant tree. Distribution of trees in U davidiana var. Japonica was 7 m-13 m, and in young U. parvifolia and U. macrocarpa, more than 25% of young trees less than 7 m observed. The distribution of the diameter of breast height of the U. davidiana var. Japonica was 46.4% for 11-20 cm, 52.6% for 11-20 cm in U. parvifolia. The average T/R ratio was 0.83, and the mean weight ratio of root bark was 62%. As the results of this study, the domestic Ulmaceae biomassare very small. It is difficult to harvest in that the habitat on the slope. Thus, it is too hard to develop functional materials using biomass at present. Therefore, it is necessary to develop technology for the selection and propagation of elite trees of Ulmaceae.



    Ulmaceae are plants distributed temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and temperate mountainous regions. U. parvifolia, U. macrocarpa, U. laciniata, and U. davidiana var. japonica. It is known that U. pumila, U. davidiana var. davidiana, and U. xmesocarpa are naturally occurring (Kim & Lee, 1989).

    The bark of stem and root of Ulmaceae trees have used for traditional medicinal materials for the treatment of dysplasia, such as insomnia, fever, gonad, gonorrhea, mastitis, and gastric ulcer (Im, 1999;Lee et al., 2004).

    In recent years, the antioxidant activity of elm(Lee et al., 2004), the antimicrobial activity of elm bark (Choi et al., 2003), the analgesic effect of the antiallergic action (Cho et al., 1996) importance of various species of elm trees has been increasing.

    The stem bark of elm is called Ube, the root bark is called Ugeunpi, and the fruit is called Ujun, and it has been widely used as a traditional medicine for a long time.

    In a study on the components of elm (Son et al., 1989;Moon et al., 1995) isolated the (+) - catechin and β-sitosterol derivatives from the root bark of the U. davidiana. (Kim et al., 1996) reported that the davidianone and mansonone’ were also isolated from the elm tree root. Lignanxylosides from four species, two types of neolignan glycosides and triterpene esters and sesquiterpenoid quinone were isolated from the elm stem and roots (Lee et al., 2001).

    However, this high medicinal value resulted in indiscriminate harvesting of herbivores and herbivores, resulting in a very severe level of habitat destruction (Song et al., 2011). Most of the elm is bloomed, and the period to reach the fruit is short, and it is scattered within a short time, so it is difficult to collect seeds. Especially, some species, including elm, are recalcitrant seeds with very short life span, which is a problem in supplying biomass (Tak et al., 2006). Especially, the medicinal plants have little data on the distribution of plants compared with the number of potted plants, and information on the national distribution is rare. In recent years, elm plants have increased their use for medicines and health functional materials, but they have problems in supplying biomass.

    The National Forest Inventory of Korea has been started since 1972 and has reorganized into a new survey system for the whole country since 2006, which is the fifth survey period. The 6th National Forest Inventory responded to a paradigm based on sustainable forest management and was transformed into a monitoring system of forest resources to actively cope with the increasing demand for various forest environmental statistics of international organizations and conventions (Korea Forest Service, 2005). The 6th National Forest Inventory, which started in 2011 as a monitoring system, was investigated by integrating national forest resources survey and forest health/ vitality survey, thereby increasing the efficiency of field surveys and eliminating redundancy in national forest surveys. The contents of the survey are as follows: general situation survey (location of specimens, classification of property, classification of forests, etc.), forest vegetation survey (size survey/middle layer vegetation survey), forest vegetation survey (bottom vegetation survey), and dead wood survey (KFRI, 2011). Although studies using the National Forest Inventory data were relatively active, most of them were timber species and studies on medicinal resource plants are very rare.

    Ulmaceae are rarely found in communities, so there is no forest investigation of these plant species alone. Recently, the importance of Ulmaceae has been increasing with the development of biotechnology. However, there is little information on the distribution of Ulmaceae purpose of this study is to provide data for the supply of Ulmaceae biomass by analyzing information on the distribution of Ulmaceae which are native to Korea.

    Material and Methods

    1 Study sites and research species

    The study area was analyzed from the 6th The National Forest Inventory data using the data of domestic survey sample points. The National Forest Inventory was conducted based on the systematic cluster sampling method, and the main head of the fixed table was arranged at intervals of 4 ㎞ × 4 ㎞, and it was possible to repeatedly survey the same sample points periodically at the sampling points classified as forests. In this study, we conducted a survey on the environmental factors of forests. The basic investigation area of the national forest resource investigation is a circle which is a base of investigation of the woodland investigation, and a radius of 11.3 m and an area of 0.04 ha. The distance from the center point to the boundary point is 16 m, and the actual large-diameter tree irradiation area excluding the basic irradiation area is 0.04 ha (KFRI, 2011).

    In this study, U. davidiana var. japonica, U. parvifolia, U. davidiana, and U. macrocarpa. Estimation of the amount of root bark was carried out by using Ulmusparvifolia. Three-years old U. parvifolia planted at the test ground of Gyeongnam Forest Environment Research Institute were collected and analyzed so that their roots were not injured.

    2 Investigation contents

    This study was carried out by using the 5th National Forest Inventory data. The distribution of forest area, distribution according to clinic, distribution according to sea level, distribution according to area, distribution according to slope and topography, ownership type and regeneration type, crown class and height class, age class, and breast diameter class were investigated.

    3 Estimation of root bark amounts

    The total plant weight, total root weight, root bark weight, and weight of root hair were measured to estimate the amount of root bark (Ugeunpi) used as a functional material. The shoots of U. parvifolia were collected from the test strips, and the roots and stem parts were washed with running water to wash the roots. The roots were then left at room temperature for 10 hours, and then the total plant weight, total root weight and root hair weight of the U. parvifolia were measured. Root weight was measured by weighing roots after drying in a dryer at 25℃ with the bark of the bark of the cork layer being peeled off. All experiments were performed over 3 replications.

    Results and Discussion

    1 Distribution by mountain area and ratio by forest types

    Distribution ofUlmaceae in the mountainous areas was investigated (Table 1). More than 98% of Ulmaceae was existed in the forest area. U. macrocarpa and U. davidiana were 100% inhabited in forest area. And 1.5% of U. davidiana var. japonica and 2.6% of U. parvifolia were grown in non-forest areas.

    The percentage of forest type was investigated. All species of Ulmaceae were distributed in more than 85% of the natural forests. In the case of U. parvifolia, 94.9% was present in natural forests and 85.7% of U. davidiana was present in natural forests. U. davidiana (14.3%) was the most species in Artificial forest, and U. parvifolia (5.1%) was the lowest species.

    Most of the elm species inhabited in forests because the elm trees are not yet recognized as highly profitable cultivars. Also, the existence of most Ulmaceae in natural forests is in line with the reasons mentioned above. There is U. davidiana. It is considered that U. davidianavar. japonica and U. parvifolia are present in non-forest area because some are used as landscaping and landscape trees.

    2 Distribution by forest physiognomy

    In forest physiognomy, more than 50% of all species were distributed in broad-leaved forests (Table 2). The most common species in broad-leaved forests is U. davidiana var. japonica and U. macrocarpa were the least distributed. U. davidiana and U. davidiana var. japonica were the least. U. macrocarpaand U. davidiana were the most common species in mixed forests.

    The distribution of elm trees in broad-leaved forests seems to be due to the presence of elm habitats in the broad-leaved forests around the valleys.

    3 Distribution by elevation

    The distribution of Ulmaceae varied according to elevation (Table 3). U. parvifolia was the most abundant species at less than 200 m and U. davidiana var. japonica was the least abundant species. U. parvifolia was the most abundant species at 200-400 m, and U. davidiana was the least abundant. U. macrocarpa was the most dominant species at 400-600 m and U. davidiana var. japonica was the most dominant species at 600-800 m.

    U. davidiana var. japonica tended to distribute evenly regardless of sea level. Also, U. davidiana var. japonica was found only in the high altitude of 800 m or higher. In the case of U. parvifolia and U. davidiana, more than 50% of the individuals were inhabited at an altitude of less than 200 m above sea level.

    4 Distribution by region

    The distribution of U. davidiana var. japonica and U. parvifolia were distributed nationwide (Fig. 1). There is U. davidiana var. japonica was the largest population in Gangwon Province, followed by Gyeongsangbuk-do and Chungcheongbuk-do. U. parvifolia was the most abundant in Jeju Island (23.1%), followed by Gyeongsangbuk- do, Gyeongsangnam-do and Jeollanamdo. U. macrocarpa was observed only in Gangwon province, Chungcheongbuk-do and Daegu Metropolitan city. U. davidiana was found most frequently in Gyeongsangnam- do.

    5 Distribution by slope and topography

    The distribution of Ulmaceae was very different according to the slope (Table 4). U. davidiana var. japonica was distributed in 58% of the steep slopes of 31-45 degree and 56.4% of U. parvifolia was distributed in the slope of 16-30 degrees. U. macrocarpa and U. davidiana also appeared to live in steep slopes.

    On the other hand, there was a difference in distribution according to the topography (Table 4). 73.6% of U. davidiana var. japonica were found in mountain sides, U. parvifolia in a piedmont and mountain sides, U. macrocarpa and U. davidiana in a piedmont and mountain sides.

    6 Ownership and forest regeneration types

    Ulmaceae was mostly distributed in private forests (Table 5). U. macrocarpa and U. davidiana were distributed in 100% private forests. U. davidianavar. japonica and U. parvifolia were found to be distributed in national forests with a small proportion.

    Most of the updates of Ulmaceae were made by natural regeneration, followed by afforestation and sprouting. All four species were over 85% natural regeneration and U. macrocarpa was the highest. The most abundant species were U. davidiana and sprouting was U. davidiana var. japonica. Only two species of U. davidiana var. japonica and U. parvifolia were used.

    7 Distribution by size and height of tree crown

    U. davidiana var. japonica was the most dominant semi-dominant tree (39.2%) and U. parvifolia was evenly distributed in the crown size (Table 6). U. macrocarpa and U. davidiana were dominated by semi-dominant tree.

    As a result, U. davidiana var. japonica was found to have a height of between 7 m and 13 m. In U. parvifolia and U. macrocarpa, more than 25% of young trees less than 7 m were observed. In the case of U. davidiana, it was confirmed that there are no individuals below 7 m, which indicates that natural regeneration is not done well.

    8 Distribution of age class and diameter class

    Most of the individuals of U. davidiana var. japonica were more than 4 age class (Table 7). The total volumes of more than 5 and 4 grade were 260.70 and 177.42 m3, respectively. In case of U. parvifolia, 4age class and 3 age class were mainly distributed. U. macrocarpa and U. davidiana were all distributed between 3-5 age classes.

    The distribution of Ulmaceae plants varied according to DBH class (Table 8). U.davidiana var. japonica had a middle tree ratio of 44.8% and the total volume was 210.87 ㎥, followed by large tree (30.3%) and young seedling+small tree (24.9%). U. parvifolia had the highest percentage of middle tree (48.7%), young seedling + small tree, and large tree. In the case of total volume, there was no significant difference between the total assets of the middle tree and total assets of young seedling + small tree. U. macrocarpa was the young seedling + small tree (48.1%) and the total volume was 3.22 ㎥. U. davidiana had the largest number of trees but the total number of trees was 0.74 ㎥.

    9 Distribution by DBH

    Ulmaceae was also different by DBH (Table 9). The ratio of U. davidiana var. japonica with diameter of 11-20 cm was 46.4, followed by 0-10 cm and 21-30 cm. In the case of total volume, it was the highest at 127.03 ㎥ from over 31 cm. U. parvifolia was 52.6% in size of 11-0 cm, followed by 0-10 cm. U. macrocarpa and U. davidianawere more than 50% of individuals of 0-10 cm size.

    10 Estimation of root bark biomass

    To estimate the amount of root bark used as a functional material, fresh weight of total plant weight, root weight, root bark weight and root hair weight were measured using 10 individual trees of U. parviflora (Table 10). The mean of total plant weight was 19.25 g, and the mean of root weight was 10.49 g and mean of T/R ratio was 0.83. The mean of root bark weight (FW) and root hair weight (FW) were 6.24 g and 0.89 g, respectively. The mean of fresh weight ratio (B/A) of root bark among total root weights was 0.62.

    Using these results, linear regression analysis was conducted for predicting root bark ratio of total root weight (Fig. 2). The linear regression equation was defined with “root bark (g FW)=0.506×Root (g FW)+ 0.9336 (R2=0.890)”. This result indicates that the root bark contents of U. parviflorahighly correlated to the biomass of root. Thus, methods for enhancing growth of root of U. parvifloraare required infurther studies. Especially, it seems that developments of techniques for cultivation of U. parviflora are promising because of phosphate starvation effect for enhancing root growth (Péret et al., 2011;Angkawijaya et al., 2017).

    As a result, the biomass of domestic Ulmaceae are very small, and they mainly located on a sloping site. These facts are problematic for harvesting biomass of useful biomaterial which obtains from Ulmaceae. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the techniques for mass production of Ulmaceae. Moreover, it requires that selection of superior or elite trees of Ulmaceae precede earlier than the other techniques. Using the results of this study, higher quality of Ulmaceaecan be selected.



    Distribution of Ulmaceae trees by growing region. (A: U. davidianavar. japonica, B: U. parvifolia, C: U. macrocarpa, D: U. davidiana)


    Estimation of root bark volume of U. parvifolia.


    Distribution of Ulmaceae trees according to distribution ratio within forest and forest types

    Distribution of Ulmaceae trees according to forest physiognomy

    Distribution of Ulmaceae trees according to elevation

    Distribution of Ulmaceae trees by slope and topography

    Distribution of Ulmaceae according to ownership ratio and forest regeneration types

    Distribution of Ulmaceae according to crown size and height

    The age class of Ulmaceae trees in Korea

    The diameter class of Ulmaceae in Korea

    Distribution of DBH and total volume of Ulmaceae

    Estimation of root bark biomass of U. parvifolia


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