Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 923–935 | Cite as

Seasonal variation of natural products in European trees

  • Christian ZidornEmail author


The present review gives an overview about the status of research on seasonal variation of natural products in European trees. Due to their different life forms, gymnosperms, deciduous angiosperms, and evergreen angiosperms are reviewed separately. Besides trying to give an overview about the existing newer literature, the review tries to define some repetitively found trends and discusses some possible explanations for these trends. Moreover, open research questions are highlighted and some suggestions for future studies are given. These suggestions encompass both subjects and desirable quality standards with regards to experimental designs. The reviewed publications are mainly focused on leaves, some on fruits, and some on barks and twigs. Phenolics, including phenolic acids and flavonoids of different types as well as tannins, are the most often studied compound class; additionally, some papers assess seasonal variation of alkaloids, diterpenes, essential oils, lignans, simple organic acid, secoiridoids, and stilbenoids.


Chemical ecology Trees Holarctis Seasonal variation Plant natural products 



Thanks are due to Britta von der Heydt (Kiel) for logistic support. Special thanks go to Dr Serhat Sezai Çiçek (Kiel) and Dr Moira Madeo (Kiel and Malonno) for critical feedback on earlier versions of this manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pharmazeutisches Institut, Abteilung Pharmazeutische BiologieChristian-Albrechts-Universität zu KielKielGermany

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