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The optimal cultivation conditions for wild garlic (Allium victorialis var. Platyphyllum) under the forests as a non-timber forest product (NTFP)

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Wild garlic is a leafy edible vegetable but its production in cultivated land is very poor. It is difficult to grow everywhere due to the specific environmental conditions under which it grows on the wild. Optimal cultivation condition and biosynthetic level of organosulfur compounds through forest cultivation of wild garlic were determined in five experimental forest sites. The survival rate of transplanted wild garlic seedlings was 73.3% in the S1 site (Chamaecyparis obtusa dominant forest) but was as lower as 40% in Acer palmatum dominant forest and bare ground. During 3 years after seedling transplantation, the growth of wild garlic was high in Chamaecyparis obtusa dominant forest (S1) and Pinus koraiensis dominant forest (S5) compared to the other three sites. The soil physicochemical properties of these five sites are quite different from those of the major wild garlic producing areas in Korea. Organosulfur compounds, the main bioactive substance of wild garlic, consist of disulfide, methyl 2-propenyl, disulfide, methyl 1-propenyl, dimethyl trisulfide, diallyl disulfide, tetrasulfide, and trisulfide. These compounds were significantly different in each site, and the organic sulfur compound contents in P. koraiensis rain forest (S5) were 92.6% in the first year and 81.7% in the third year and decreased with plant growth. The growth of wild garlic was correlated with soil physicochemical properties, for example, available phosphate and calcium. Likewise, the concentration of soil minerals was correlated with the growth of plant and bulb of wild garlic. The results of the study will contribute improving the efficiency of the forest land with the cultivation of useful non-timer forest products.
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The optimal cultivation conditions for wild garlic (Allium
victorialis var. Platyphyllum) under the forests as a non-
timber forest product (NTFP)
Mi Jin Jeong .Hyun Jin Song .Hak Gon Kim .DongJin Park .
Seong Hyeon Yong .Eunji Choi .Yuwon Seol .Balkrishna Ghimire .
Myung Suk Choi
Received: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 September 2019
ÓSpringer Nature B.V. 2019
Abstract Wild garlic is a leafy edible vegetable but
its production in cultivated land is very poor. It is
difficult to grow everywhere due to the specific
environmental conditions under which it grows on
the wild. Optimal cultivation condition and biosyn-
thetic level of organosulfur compounds through forest
cultivation of wild garlic were determined in five
experimental forest sites. The survival rate of trans-
planted wild garlic seedlings was 73.3% in the S1 site
(Chamaecyparis obtusa dominant forest) but was as
lower as 40% in Acer palmatum dominant forest and
bare ground. During 3 years after seedling transplan-
tation, the growth of wild garlic was high in Chamae-
cyparis obtusa dominant forest (S1) and Pinus
koraiensis dominant forest (S5) compared to the other
three sites. The soil physicochemical properties of
these five sites are quite different from those of the
major wild garlic producing areas in Korea.
Organosulfur compounds, the main bioactive sub-
stance of wild garlic, consist of disulfide, methyl
2-propenyl, disulfide, methyl 1-propenyl, dimethyl
trisulfide, diallyl disulfide, tetrasulfide, and trisulfide.
These compounds were significantly different in each
site, and the organic sulfur compound contents in P.
koraiensis rain forest (S5) were 92.6% in the first year
and 81.7% in the third year and decreased with plant
growth. The growth of wild garlic was correlated with
soil physicochemical properties, for example, avail-
able phosphate and calcium. Likewise, the concentra-
tion of soil minerals was correlated with the growth of
plant and bulb of wild garlic. The results of the study
will contribute improving the efficiency of the forest
land with the cultivation of useful non-timer forest
products.
Keywords Organosulfur compounds Soil
physicochemical properties Cultivation under forest
Wild garlic Non-timer forest product (NTFP)
M. J. Jeong B. Ghimire
Plant Conservation Division, Korea National Arboretum
of the Korea Forest Service, Pocheon 11186, Republic of
Korea
H. J. Song D. Park
Department of Seed and Seedling Management, National
Forest Seed and Variety Center, Chungju 27495, Republic
of Korea
H. G. Kim
Gyeongsangnam-do Forest Environment Research
Institute, Jinju 52615, Republic of Korea
S. H. Yong E. Choi Y. Seol M. S. Choi (&)
Division of Environmental Forest Science, Gyeongsang
National University (Institute of Agriculture of Life
Science), Jinju 52828, Republic of Korea
e-mail: mschoi@gnu.ac.kr
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Agroforest Syst
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10457-019-00447-8(0123456789().,-volV)(0123456789().,-volV)
Introduction
Non-timber forest product (NTFP) are non-wood,
minor, alternative and secondary forest products,
which are useful substances, materials, and commodi-
ties obtained from forests without harvesting or
logging trees. They include game animals, fur-bearers,
nuts, seeds, berries, mushrooms, oils, foliage, medic-
inal plants, peat, fuelwood, and forage (Glossary of
Forestry Terms in British Columbia 2008). The
production, services, and marketing of NTFPs gained
importance in forest management for their increased
demand (Mahapatraa and Tewarib 2005).
In Asian countries, including Korea, the aging of
the population and instability of rural and mountain
village income structures are preventing efficient
management and utilization of the forests (Kang
et al. 2015). At this point, the study will help to
improve the discovery and cultivation of non-wood
forest product (NTFP). The production of NTFP can
lead to sustainable development by increasing rev-
enues in rural areas and increasing the value of forest
resources (Newmann and Hirsch 2000).
The wild garlic (Allium victorialis var. platyphyl-
lum) also known as great onion and wild onion,
belongs to the family Liliaceae, and distributed mainly
in the northern hemisphere, Asia including Korea,
China, and Europe. Their leaves and bulbs have been
used not only as wild-edible herbs but also as a
functional food for the control of gastritis and heart
failures (Moon 1984). In Korea, the leaves of wild
garlic are used as a vegetable, pickled in soy sauce,
kim-chi, and also as a traditional medicine for the
treatment of gastritis and heart failures (Lee et al.
2001). In South Korea, this perennial herb is wildly
distributed in Chiri, Mt. Odae, and Ulleung Island. The
growth of this plant is closely correlated with the
environmental condition particularly, soil moisture
and air humidity (Kim et al. 2011).
It has been reported that leaf contains 2–3% of
carbohydrate and ascorbic acid whereas the bulb
possesses organosulfur compounds (Lawson et al.
1991). This species has various biological activities
such as anti-cancer (Lee et al. 2001), anti-oxidant
(Shirataki et al. 2001), and anti-atherogenic (Kim et al.
2000b). The main component of wild garlic leaves is
organosulfur compounds. Organosulfur compounds in
wild garlic are important because they influence the
flavor and taste of vegetables (Gı
ˆtin et al. 2014).
Organosulfur compounds exist in the form of
s-alkenyl- or s-ally-L-cysteine sulfoxide but these
hydrophilic compounds are converted to disulfides
with garlic smell when alliinase is activated by tissue
injury (Lancaster and Shaw 1989). The organosulfur
compounds of wild garlic include antimicrobial,
antithrombotic, antitumor, hypolipidaemic, antiar-
thritic and hypoglycemic activities (Sengupta et al.
2004). The quality of wild garlic in Korea is very
important in terms of leaf shape and fragrance.
However, the level of organosulfur compounds of
wild garlic cultivated under forest cultivation has not
been determined yet.
The increase in demand of NTFP is due to the
efficacy of remedy and growing preference of the
green vegetable and medicinal plants cultivated with-
out the use of agrochemicals and fertilizer (Lambert
et al. 1997). The supply of natural medicinal plants in
forest cultivation should be increased to meet the
growing demand. Forest cultivation is desirable
because of the lower production cost compared to
agricultural cultures. However, many species are
difficult to cultivate because of certain biological
features or ecological requirements as slow growth
rate, special soil requirements, low germination rates,
susceptibility to pests, etc. (Schippmann et al. 2002).
In spite of its great edible and medicinal value, the
wild garlic is mainly produced in Ulleung Island and
production in other parts of Korea is still poor.
Wild garlic is a very expensive vegetable in Korea,
local market price per kilogram fresh leaf is around
$25. The profitability of wild garlic from the under-
forest farm was higher than other non-timber forest
products (Park et al. 2014). The propagation of this
plant is also difficult, and its forest cultivation has not
well established yet. Selection of optimal cultivation
was very important for the mass production of wild
garlic. However, studies pertaining to wild garlic have
only focused on vegetation research and growth
characteristics of major production sites. Therefore,
it is considered that the research on cultivation of wild
garlic in various direct forests is very much essential
for the mass-production of high-quality wild garlic.
Thus, this study has been conducted to determine of
optimal cultivation condition and biosynthesis of
organosulfur compounds through forest cultivation
of wild garlic (Fig. 1).
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Materials and methods
Experimental sites
The experiment was conducted at the experimental
extension of the Gyeongsang National University,
Sancheong, Korea. Five experimental sites were
selected based on dominant plant species and ecolog-
ical characteristics (Table 1). The site S1 was a
coniferous forest with Chamaecyparis obtusa domi-
nance, S2, and S3 sites were Acer palmatum and
Aesculus turbinata dominating the broad-leaved for-
est. Similarly, the S4 site was bare ground without
trees and S5 site was the artificial forest of Pinus
koraiensis. These sites were a generally good place for
cultivation under the forest of useful plants.
The experimental location is situated at an altitude
of 168 m (140–215 m) above sea level. Studied sites
were represented by an average tree layer cover degree
rate (77%, 30–95%), average sub-tree layer cover
degree rate (60%, 30–95%), and herb layer cover
degree rate (35%, 10–90%) except S4 site. The
vascular plants in five sites were surveyed two times
from Jun 2010 to 2012. Averages of 13 (6–18) species
were identified in the studied sites.
Experimental layout and transplanting of wild
garlic
Seedlings of Korean wild garlic were purchased from
Songwon Farm (Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea). Two
years old seedlings with 2–3 leaves were transplanted.
Each site used for the experiment had three plots of
size 6 m 96 m. The wild garlic was planted 30 cm 9
30 cm apart and the plant layout used was random
block design. That is, 50 seedlings were planted in
each plot and thus altogether 150 seedlings were
counted per site. The seedlings were transplanted on
March 15, 2010, and the process was repeated on the
same day for 3 years. No irrigation and fertilization
were done after planting. The same experiment was
performed for 3 years. Survival is shown in Fig. 2.
Soil analysis in five wild garlic cultivation sites
To analyze soil characteristics, five soil samples were
collected from each site. The mineral soil samples
from 20 cm depth were collected using a 3.7 cm
diameter core, after removing the litter layer. Samples
were processed immediately in the laboratory. The
roots and impurities were removed, sieved through a
fine mesh screen of less than 2 mm and air-dried at
room temperature. Thereafter, samples were analyzed
for texture (sand, silt, and clay fractions) by the
hydrometer method (Bowles 1986), organic matter
(Bremner and Jenkinson 1960), Total N (Bremner
1965), available P (Olsen and Sommers 1982), Cat-ion
Exchange Capacity (CEC), electrical conductivity
(EC) and pH measured in a soil:distilled water (w/v,
1:5). Soil heavy metal components were measured by
using PerkinElmer (lmer
Ò
Optima
TM
4300DV).
Determination of survival and growth of wild
garlic
The survival rate in transplanted sites was measured
during May 2011, 2012 and 2013 from adopted plants.
Fifteen plants from each plot were randomly selected
for observations of the growth parameters such as
survival rate, plant height, leaf number, etc.
As for the leaf growth, the new shoot part was
surveyed three times. Similarly, for the leaf width, the
longest and widest part was measured using the
WinFOLIA Software Program. The cluster analysis
based on each variable was done by using the SPSS
17.0 for Window. Lastly, the comparative analysis
was done by integrating the total variables such as
internode, leaf width, leaf length, leaf area, petiole
length, and shoot length.
Fig. 1 Map showing the research sites, GNU Academic Forest
located in Sancheong, Korea
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Determination of organosulfur compounds of wild
garlic in each site
For the determination of organosulfur compounds
10 g of each fresh bulb and stems were harvested and
homogenate, then transfer to Likens and Nickerson
apparatus (Likens and Nickerson 1964) with 1L of
distilled water. Blended 25 ml ether and 25 ml
n-pentane were injected to extraction flask. Both
flasks were heated on the heating mantle for 1 h.
Extract on the layer of blended ether and n-pentane
were collected after enough refrigerated with cooling
water flowed. Each extract was having overnight
containing sodium sulfate (NaSO
4
) for desiccation.
Each extract was evaporated in a rotary evaporator at
30 °C under nitrogen gas (N
2
) to 1 ml.
Table 1 Vegetation table of five sites
Vegetation unit S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
Dominant species Chamaecyparis
obtusa
Acer
palmatum
Aesculus
turbinata
Bare
ground
Pinus
koraiensis
Altitude (m) 140 149 141 147 215
The cardinal points of the compass
(°)
190 208 188 205 286
Slope degree (°)53325
Area of site (m
2
)2525252525
Depth of organic little layer (L, cm) 2 9 3 1 2
Coverage of T1 (%) 90 30 75 95
Coverage of T2 (%) 60
Coverage of S (%) 20 5 5 20
Coverage of H (%) 70 10 20 90 10
High of T1 (m) 13 13 7 14
High of T2 (m) 6
High of S (m) 1 0.4 1 1
High of H (m) 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
DBH of T1 (cm) 14 24 12 24
DBH of T2 (cm) 12
DBH of S (cm) 1
The number of plant species 18 17 13 6 12
Fig. 2 Survival rate of
transplanted wild garlic in
five experimental sites.
These characters were
measured for 3 years of
transplanting
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Each extract was analyzed on gas chromatography
(HP5890 SERIES II)-mass spectrometer (GC–MS, HP
5971 SERIES MSD) for metabolite profiling. The
analyses were carried out with silica capillary column
(60 mm 90.25 mm 90.25 lm i.d.). One microliter
of the sample was injected manually into the split
injector (1:20). GC condition used the method given
by Yang et al. (2002). The effluent of the GC column
was introduced directly into the source of the MS
spectra were obtained in the EI mode with 70 eV
ionization energy. The sector mass analyzer was set to
scan from 50 to 800 amu for 2 s. Compounds as
volatile constituents were identified by comparison
with retention times and mass spectra obtained with
the authentic standards in the GC–MS system used for
analysis. When an authentic sample was not available,
the identification was carried out by comparison of
mass spectra with those in the mass spectra library
(The Wiley Registry of Mass Spectral Data, 6th ed.).
The contents of volatile constituents in bulbs and stem
tissues were determined through the relative area (%)
on analyzed peaks. Analyses of volatile constituents
were conducted in three replications.
Statistical analysis
Soil physicochemical properties were analyzed by
collecting three samples from each site. Besides, the
analysis of organosulfur compounds of three individ-
uals per site was also analyzed. The correlation
coefficients were calculated to estimate the relation-
ship of the plant growth and soil physicochemical
properties and concentration of soil minerals. The
collected data were subjected to statistical analysis by
using SPSS software. One-way analysis of variance
(ANOVA) was conducted, and means were compared
using Duncan’s multiple range test (DMRT) at 0.05
level of probability. Values were represented as
mean ±standard deviation (SD).
Results and discussion
Survival rate and plant growth of transplanted wild
garlic
The Survival rate of transplanted wild garlic was
variable on five experimental sites (Fig. 2). Among
the experimental sites, the survival rate of transplanted
wild garlic was high (73.3%) in S1 site (C. obtuse
dominant forest) followed by S3 (70.2%, A. palmatum
dominant forest) and S5 (67.3%, Bare ground) in and
respectively. The lowest survival rate of wild garlic
was observed in the S2 site (23.3%). In the S4 site, the
survival rate was 46.7%. The survival rate of trans-
planted wild garlic was higher in the first year of
cultivation and decrease accordingly in the second and
third year (Fig. 2). The survival rate of wild garlic in
the S2 site decreased dramatically during the 2nd and
3rd years of transplanting.
Plant growth of transplanted wild garlic was also
variable on different experimental sites (Fig. 3).
During 3 years after transplanting, growth of wild
garlic was good in S1 and S5 site compared to the other
three sites. Shoot length was the shortest in S2 and S4.
The survival rate and growth rate of transplanted
wild garlic were closely correlated to experimental
sites. Studied sites were with a very different condition
of vegetation, soil, micro-environment, etc. Woo et al.
(2002) reported that the best environmental conditions
such as crown density, temperature, light intensity,
and humidity are strongly related to the growth and
several physiological characteristics of plants under
forest. In South Korea, the characteristics of growth
environments in the habitats with wild garlic were
considered to be related with valley species and
subalpine species such as Actinidia polygama,Cornus
controversa,Rhododendron brachycarpum and Sor-
bus commixta (Kim et al. 2011). Also, the importance
value of wild garlic in the herb layer was higher.
Therefore, survival and growth rate of transplanted
wild garlic in five different environmental sites were
highly dependent on soil moisture, air humidity,
crown density, temperature, and light intensity.
Appearance of leaf morphology of transplanted
wild garlic
Leaf shape of transplanted wild garlic was variable in
different experimental sites (Figs. 4A, 5). The width
of the leaf was also variable ranging from 3.5 to
7.0 cm in different sites. The horizontal leaf width was
highest in S1 and S5 and lowest in S4 among the five
sites. Leaf width was variable with a duration of time.
Leaf length was also variable in different experimental
sites (Fig. 4B). Average leaf length for all sites was
ranged from 10 to 18 cm. The longest leaf was found
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in S5 site than those of other sites. With the time
period, the vertical length was also increased.
Leaf area of transplanted wild garlic was highly
variable (Fig. 4C). The average leaf area in five
experimental sites ranged from 14 to 40 cm
2
. The
highest mean leaf area found in the S1 site was
40 cm
2
, whereas the lowest leaf area was 14 cm
2
in
S4. The leaves of wild garlic increased rapidly after
the third transplantation. These results suggest that the
leaf area is directly related to the cultivation period.
Leaf number in transplanted wild garlic was also
variable with experimental sites (Fig. 4D). Average
leaf number in transplanted wild garlic was 1.5–2.5.
Leaf number was not significantly different among the
five experimental sites. The survival rate of trans-
planted wild garlic was somewhat increased after 2nd
years and then decreased except in S3.
Leaves have to be optimally adapted to environ-
mental conditions and react most sensitively to the
environment. Thus, the causal relationships between
various environmental factors and leaf traits can be
recognized (Roche et al. 2004). Environmental factors
such as soil moisture and irradiance can affect leaf
morphology (Cescatti and Zorer 2003; Liao et al.
2007). Leaf size may decrease with a low supply of
light and water. Also, the morphology of leaf can
affect other functions of the plant. Kim et al. (2012)
reported that the cluster pattern of morphological
characters showed a positive correlation between the
caffeine contents and the leaf morphology.
Soil analysis in 5 sites
The collection of soil on each site was begun from the
first season of 2010. General properties of the soil of
Fig. 3 Shoot growth of
transplanted wild garlic in
five sites. These characters
were measured for 3 years
of transplanting. AShoot
growth and Bshoot diameter
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Agroforest Syst
all sites are presented in Tables 2and 3. Soil texture
was variable among 5 sites. In S2 and S3 it was silty
clay loam (SiCL), however, in S1, S5 and S4 it was
silty clay (SiC), silty loam (SiL) and loam (L),
respectively. Soil pH observed more consistent and
its value and ranged from 5.0 to 5.4 in five sites.
Organic matter level was lowest in the S1 site and
highest in S5 site. Similarly, the concentration of total
Fig. 4 Leaf growth and
number of transplanted wild
garlic in five sites. These
characters were measured
after 3 years of
transplanting. ALeaf width,
Bleaf length, Cleaf area,
and Dleaf number
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Agroforest Syst
Fig. 5 Shoot and bulb
growth of transplanted wild
garlic in five sites for
3 years. AS1, BS2, CS3,
DS4 and ES5 site
Table 2 Soil physicochemical properties of five studied sites
Sites Soil texture pH (H
2
O) OM (%) TN (%) Avail P (mg/kg) CEC (cmolc/kg) EC (dS/m) NaCl (%)
S1 SiC 5.4 2.75 0.161 4 13.97 0.12 0.010
S2 SiCL 5.4 4.74 0.249 47 15.84 0.12 0.010
S3 SiCL 5.1 4.43 0.248 4 15.62 0.11 0.010
S4 L 5.2 3.78 0.210 52 12.98 0.13 0.010
S5 SiL 5.0 6.10 0.193 5 15.51 0.19 0.010
OM organic matter, TN total nitrogen, Avail P available phosphate, CEC cation exchange capacity, EC electrical conductivity
Table 3 Mean values of elements components in soil (lg/ml)
Sites Cr Cu Fe Mn Ni Zn Co Al Ca Na K Mg Total
S1 0.139 1.842 44.114 24.421 0.284 2.735 0.463 1213.0 318.40 19.89 80.08 70.91 1776.28
S2 0.173 0.799 17.518 16.897 0.289 1.954 0.421 1516.0 49.70 25.28 44.62 25.83 1699.48
S3 0.130 0.713 20.328 12.672 0.119 0.637 0.269 1260.0 20.94 10.08 21.79 5.74 1353.42
S4 0.045 0.372 17.666 6.059 0.064 6.672 0.119 382.3 22.87 9.90 9.33 5.07 460.48
S5 0.179 0.151 17.190 37.327 0.125 0.788 0.651 1764.0 27.18 13.35 28.75 8.63 1898.32
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Agroforest Syst
nitrogen was low in the S1 site and high in S2 and S3.
The concentration of available phosphate was variable
and ranged from 4 to 52 mg/kg in five sites. It was low
in S1, S2 and S5 site, and high in S2 and S4 sites.
However, levels of CEC, EC, and NaCl were not much
varying among the sites.
The concentrations of elements in the soil for five
sites were significantly different (Table 3). Most
abundant element was aluminum, followed by calcium
and potassium. The smallest elements were chromium
and copper, which are heavy metals. The site
containing the most of these elements was S5 and
the least site was S4.
The soil physicochemical properties of all sites
were quite different from the soil of the native
population of wild garlic. The soil pH of native
populations was 5.2–5.8 and TN was 0.4–0.8%. In ex-
cation, Ca
?
,Mg
?
and K
?
values were 1.2–3.7, 0.5–1.8
and 0.3–0.5 cmolc/kg, respectively. The concentra-
tion of soil chemicals in 5 sites were generally low
compared to other cultivation sites. But S1 had greater
exchangeable Ca, Ma and K level than remaining four
sites and appear similar results according to Ca
?-
[Mg
?
[K
?
(0.77, 0.39 and 0.3 cmolc/kg).
Content of organosulfur compounds
in transplanted wild garlic
Transplanted wild garlic comprised 6 organosulfur
compounds: disulfide, methyl 2-propenyl, disulfide,
methyl 1-propenyl, dimethyl trisulfide, diallyl disul-
fide, tetrasulfide, and trisulfide (Table 4). The
organosulfur compounds levels in all sites ranged
from 0.3 to 30.1 mg/g by its dry weight. The highest
organosulfur compound was dimethyl trisulfide and
the lowest organosulfur compound was tetrasulfide.
The content of organosulfur compounds in five sites
reached a maximum of 92.6% in 1st year, 81.7% in the
3rd year after transplanting in S5 site. In the S3 site,
organosulfur compounds contained 58.6% in the 1st
year and 55.4% in the 3rd year after transplanting. The
result showed that except S2 site the content of
organosulfur compounds decreased in the 3rd year in
comparison to the 1st year of transplanting.
Most of the volatile constituents of wild garlic were
very high in five different forest sites. This is because
of the dissimilar physical environments in the sites.
Ncube et al. (2012) reported that the quality and
quantity of these chemical metabolites in plants are
influenced by a multitude of factors, chief among them
are environmental. Variation of volatile constituents
among the five sites could be the result of selective
factors such as soil moisture, air humidity, crown
density, temperature, and light intensity. These
parameters may affect the biosynthesis of volatile
composition.
The contents of sulfur compounds were different
between wild garlic of 1st and 3rd years (Table 4). The
content of sulfur compounds in 3-years—the old plant
was decreased compared to that of 1st-year plant. This
may be due to the less biosynthesis of secondary
metabolites in plants that grow rapidly.
Correlation of plant growth, soil characteristics,
and soil minerals
Plant growth of wild garlic was correlated with soil
physicochemical properties (Table 5). The bulb diam-
eter and the girth were negatively correlated with the
organic matter content, total nitrogen content and
available phosphate. In addition, the bulb length was
negatively correlated with soil pH, available phos-
phate concentration, potassium, calcium, and magne-
sium, but was positively related to organic matter
content, total nitrogen, and cation exchange capacity.
The occurrence of new roots was found to be
negatively correlated to the available phosphate
concentration. Likewise, bulb diameter, plant fresh
weight was negatively correlated with the organic
matter content, total nitrogen content and available
phosphate concentration. The plant growth was sig-
nificantly influenced by total nitrogen content and
available phosphate concentration.
Stem length was negatively correlated with avail-
able phosphate concentration, and stem diameter was
negatively correlated with total nitrogen and available
phosphate concentration. The length of the leaves was
negatively correlated with total nitrogen, available
phosphate concentration, and potassium. The leaf
diameter showed a significant effect on total nitrogen
and available phosphate concentration.
Phosphate was found to be very important among
various soil factors. Plant length, stem length and leaf
diameter were negatively correlated with available
phosphate in the soil: r = -0.924 (p\0.05),
r=-0.982 (p\0.01) and r = -0.919), respec-
tively. The phosphorus is a mineral which plays a
very important role in the plant growth and also
123
Agroforest Syst
essential for root development in many plants includ-
ing Allium. When the availability of phosphorus is
limited, plant growth is generally reduced. Phosphoric
acid was reported to affect quality as well as the yield
of onion (Birhanu 2016). The optimal concentration of
phosphoric acid in garlic is 300–500 mg in cultivated
land, but it is only about 1/10 of that in this research
site. In this study, the negative correlation between the
growth of phosphoric acid and wild garlic is presumed
to be due to the insufficient phosphorus content on the
site.
Calcium concentration also negatively correlated
with bulb length r=-0.899 (p\0.05). The com-
mercial calcium chloride solution when sprayed on the
leaves in order to increase the yield on the onion has no
beneficial effect on the yield and quality of the onion
(Fenn et al. 1991). The application of high concentra-
tions of calcium chloride which added extra cost to
farmers also causes leaf damage in some plants
(Warncke 2006). The calcium content in the soil of
this study site (5–7 mg/kg) was much higher than that
of other garlic fields in Korea. The negative correla-
tion between calcium content and garlic bulb growth
appears to be due to the high content of soil calcium in
the mountain area.
Other soil factors showed a negative correlation
with wild garlic growth. However, bulb length showed
Table 4 Contents of organosulfur compounds in transplanted wild garlic
Compounds Retention time (min) Year Concentration (%) Mean
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5
Disulfide, methyl 2-propenyl 9.764 1 17.7 4.3 3.2 12.5 10.9 8.27
3 15.1 4.3 4.3 14.3 8.4 8.23
Disulfide, methyl 1-propenyl 10.491 1 1.5 5.3 3.5 3.6 9.3 4.03
3 2.3 4.3 10.7 2.6 4.4 4.55
Dimethyl trisulfide 11.498 1 7.2 9.1 5.4 7.6 24.8 9.18
3 13.7 28.1 5.5 8.7 30.1 14.85
Diallyl disulphide 15.092 1 9.4 5.9 6.5 17.7 1.6 7.02
3 3.5 2.7 3.2 13.6 0.2 4.37
Tetrasulfide 15.533 1 1.6 4.3 4.9 2.0 1.2 2.50
3 0.8 2.2 3.3 1.4 0.4 1.85
Trisulfide 21.674 1 6.5 1.4 5.4 4.6 1.0 3.32
3 3.4 0.3 2.7 3.0 0.3 2.12
Total 1 82.7 72.2 58.6 91.6 92.6 66.45
3 65 67.9 55.4 79.1 81.7 58.68
Table 5 Correlation
coefficients between plant
growth of wild garlic and
soil physicochemical
properties
OM organic matters, TN
total nitrogen, AVAIP
available phosphate, and
CEC cation exchange
capacity
**p\0.01; *p \0.05
pH OM TN AVAIP CEC
Bulb diameter 0.322 -0.743 -0.616 -0.601 -0.329
Bulb girth 0.314 -0.765 -0.663 -0.564 -0.411
Bulb length -0.545 0.576 0.475 -0.597 0.839
New root 0.212 -0.247 -0.380 -0.822 0.339
Fresh weight 0.097 -0.498 -0.686 -0.805 -0.163
Plant length -0.413 0.099 -0.664 -0.924* 0.096
Stem length -0.447 0.150 -0.495 -0.982** 0.257
Stem diameter -0.020 -0.443 -0.733 -0.819 -0.218
Leaf length -0.314 0.323 -0.517 -0.867 0.411
Leaf width -0.183 -0.033 -0.694 -0.919* 0.127
123
Agroforest Syst
a positive relation with organic matter and total
nitrogen content.
Nitrogen is a necessary and important nutrient for
increasing the yield and quality of vegetables like
garlic (Gulser 2005). The higher level of N in the soil
ultimately increases the number and size of leaves and
the growing capacity of the plants. Especially in the
early stage of growth, garlic has a high nitrogen
demand. The highest yields can be obtained with high
N application of 300 kg N ha-1 (Sardi and Timar
2005).
Organic matter (OM) and total nitrogen (TN)
contents in forest soils were 4.1% and 0.17%, respec-
tively (Kim et al. 2018). However, in this study, the
OM content was higher than that of the total nitrogen
content, and the total nitrogen content also exceeds the
level of average N in forest soil in Korea reported by
Kim et al. (2018). In plant growth experiments in
Korean forest soils, there was a strong correlation with
organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (TN), cation
exchange capacity (CEC), and sand content (Kim et al.
2018). The previous study suggested that the growth
and quality of garlic are significantly affected by
physicochemical properties, especially by the levels of
sulfate, nitrate and phosphate ions in the soil (Kim
et al. 2000a). The results of this study also agree with
the fact that organic matter (OM), total nitrogen (TN),
and available phosphoric acid concentration were very
important factors for the growth of wild garlic.
Growth of the wild garlic was also affected by the
concentration of soil micronutrients (Table 6). Bulb
diameter (r= 0.938, p\0.05) and girth (r= 0.938,
p\0.05) were strongly correlated with Fe level. Also,
leaf length was positively correlated with Mn concen-
tration, r= 0.927, p\0.05. Similarly, the cobalt level
of soil also significantly correlated with leaf length,
r= 0.880 (p\0.05). However, the Zn level was
negatively correlated with the bulb length,
r=-0.878 (p\0.05).
The optimal cultivation site under the forests
of wild garlic
The results of this study can provide information about
the wild garlic cultivation in forests. Wild garlic is a
Korean ethnobotanical plant and the optimal habitat
environment of this plant is not well studied yet. This
plant is widely distributed in Korea, Siberia, China,
and Japan, and has been reported to have a very
difficult natural habitat particularly in cold area (Hong
et al. 2010). In addition, Ulleung Island, which is the
main production site, is the only known natural habitat
of wild garlic in Korea. The predominant vegetation of
wild garlic in natural habitat is diverse, including
coniferous forests (Pinus parviflora,Tsuga sieboldii,
Pinus densiflora, and Pinus thunbergii) and hardwood
forests (Fagus japonica var. multinervis,Acer okamo-
toanum,Tilia amurensis, and Alnus maximowiczii). In
other words, wild garlic is not significantly affected by
the forest floor, such as conifers and deciduous trees.
However, Hur et al. (2012) found that the coniferous
forest particularly dominated by Hinoki Cypress is
more suitable for the growth of wild garlic. In other
words, the suitable forest floor in cultivation under
forests varies from species to species and forest
composition. In addition, the site of wild garlic
community was 563.4 m above sea level and 27.8°
latitude. Soil texture showed sandy soil, sandy loam,
high quality sandy soil and loam, and the average
organic layer depth was 6 cm, soil pH was 5.40,
available phosphoric acid was 18.5 ppm, and cation
exchange capacity was 18.6 cmolc/kg.
The growth of wild garlic is likely to be related to
the soil physicochemical properties. In this study, wild
garlic growth was inversely related to the total
nitrogen content and available phosphate content. In
general, the total nitrogen content and the available
phosphate content have a positive correlation with the
growth of plants, but this study showed the opposite
result. This suggests that complex vegetation in forests
affects the soil environment, which in turn affects
lower vegetation such as wild garlic. Hur et al. (2012)
also found that there were significant differences in the
physicochemical characteristics of forest soils in the
wild garlic community. However, the physicochemi-
cal characteristics of the soils in this study were
somewhat different from those reported by Hur et al.
(2012). In particular, the total nitrogen content was
significantly different from the native communities.
Nitrogen content in this study was only 0.2%,
compared to 0.6% in Ulleung Island, the native habitat
of wild garlic.
High nitrogen content is usually effective for the
growth of most plants. However, in this study,
nitrogen was inversely proportional to the growth of
wild garlic. This result is similar to that of Lee and
Jeong (2018) who found LP medium containing very
low nitrogen sources had higher growth rates than
123
Agroforest Syst
medium containing high nitrogen sources during
in vitro culture of wild garlic.
In Korea, more than half of the forests are
dominated by pine trees, thus the soil pH is relatively
low ranged i.e. 4–5 (National Institute of Forest
Science. 2018). Low soil pH results into a low
concentration of available phosphates and thus limits
the soil microbial activity (Kochian et al. 2004).
Nitrogen sources in forest soils differ significantly
from arable land. Forest soils are not absorbed in the
form of nitrates (NO
3-
) but the nitrate uptake orm of
ammonium (NH
4?
) (Lee 2010). Nitrogen uptake in
wild garlic probably occurs for a short time from the
emergence of leaves to summer. This is the lowest
level of forest soil acidity in Korea, however, if the soil
acidity is low, it appears to be in the form of
ammonium and its use is limited in the short time.
However, this needs more detailed research.
Wild garlic is a leafy vegetable. The optimum
condition for its cultivation is that there is no problem
under conifers as the predominant type of forest is a
concern. Besides, even in the soil environment, pH is
not a limiting factor, although excessive nitrogen and
phosphoric acid can be a little problematic. In
particular, the concentration of available phosphates
seems to be the most important soil environmental
factor in wild garlic cultivation. Moreover, micro-
nutrients such as Fe, Mn, and Zn are more important
than the aforementioned macro-nutrients. However,
this needs additional confirmation. This study was
conducted over a short period of 3 years which may
not be sufficient and requires longer monitoring. Also,
it is necessary to determine more about the optimum
inorganic salt by controlling their supply which is
important for the growth of wild garlic. In addition,
physiological studies of wild garlic that affect various
environmental factors are also desirable.
Conclusion
Wild garlic is a very important non-timber forest
product (NTFPs) in Korea. The forest cultivation of
this plant is less productive than intensive field
cultivation, but it is cost-effective due to its efficacy
and eco-friendly image. However, forest cultivation
requires scientific study to identify the climate and soil
physicochemical properties of forest areas as well as
the content of bioactive compounds cultivating non-
Table 6 Correlation coefficients between plant growth of wild garlic and soil minerals concentration
Cr Cu Fe Mn Ni Zn Co Al Ca Na K Mg
Bulb diameter -0.074 0.851 0.938
*
0.075 0.324 -0.050 0.023 -0.105 0.867 0.015 0.685 0.765
Bulb girth -0.141 0.831 0.938
*
0.059 0.280 0.030 -0.008 -0.171 0.869 -0.022 0.660 0.757
Bulb length 0.573 -0.255 -0.304 0.298 -0.113 -0.878
*
0.331 0.657 -0.379 -0.188 -0.187 -0.370
New root 0.585 0.727 0.745 0.504 0.591 -0.660 0.541 0.560 0.710 0.326 0.791 0.702
Fresh weight 0.130 0.723 0.877 0.357 0.266 -0.262 0.281 0.131 0.807 -0.043 0.667 0.695
Plant length 0.371 0.216 0.484 0.753 -0.027 -0.489 0.629 0.444 0.430 -0.238 0.365 0.310
Stem length 0.444 0.204 0.423 0.707 -0.018 -0.633 0.607 0.523 0.352 -0.245 0.327 0.244
Stem diameter 0.074 0.628 0.827 0.387 0.141 -0.220 0.280 0.094 0.751 -0.159 0.579 0.616
Leaf length 0.709 0.177 0.369 0.927
*
0.221 -0.713 0.880
*
0.759 0.365 0.077 0.465 0.328
Leaf width 0.465 0.427 0.644 0.758 0.217 -0.526 0.678 0.502 0.608 -0.016 0.583 0.521
**p\0.01; *p \0.05
123
Agroforest Syst
timber forest products. In other words, the optimal
cultivation site with high productivity and good
content of active ingredients are most important for
the cultivation of useful NTFPs such as wild garlic. So
far, wild garlic has been produced mostly on Ulleung
Island, due to its specific cultivation conditions.
However, the result of this study suggested that this
plant can be grown in land-producing areas of some
other region of South Korea as well. This study also
indicated that wild garlic, which is known to be
relatively difficult to cultivate, can be produced easily
in the inland region rather than Korea’s main planta-
tion, Ulleung Island. Result of this study certainly is a
value for the cultivation and utilization of wild garlic.
However, we believe that study only for 3 years may
not be sufficient for the cultivation and production at a
commercial level. So, further research needs to
optimize physiological, biosynthesis of biological
compounds, determination of suitable cultivation sites
on the Korean peninsula. Nonetheless, the results of
this study expected to contribute greatly to the growth
and mass production of wild garlic.
Acknowledgements This work was supported by the Forest
Science Technology and Development Grant funded by the
Korea Forest Service (S211214L020120).
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