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Geographic distribution and current status of the endangered genera Sinojackia and Changiostyrax

Xiaohong Yao 1, 2, Qigang Ye 1, Ming Kang 1, Hongwen Huang 1*   

  1. 1 Wuhan Botanical Garden/Wuhan Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074
    2 Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2005-03-09 Online:2005-07-20
  • Hongwen Huang

The genera Sinojackia and Changiostyrax (Styracaceae) including only seven species native to China are currently in the endangered status due to intensive human disturbances. We conducted an extensive field survey of their current native geographic distributions, and in situ and ex situ conservation status of the remnant populations. The results showed that in spite of a wide range of natural distribution of Sinojackia, most species in the genus maintained a small number of populations with very small population size, appar-ently resulting from habitat degradation and population losses. S. xylocarpa and S. rehderiana were extinct in Jiangshu Province where the type specimen was collected. During the survey, S. xylocarpa was rarely found in Shangcheng and Xinxian counties of Henan Province, and Guangshui and Changyang counties of Hubei Province. In addition, S.rehderiana was aslo extinct in the type specimen site in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. In past nearly 70 years, neither wild populations nor individuals of S. henryi were found since the type specimen was first identified in 1937, suggesting this species may be either a synonym mixed with other Sinojackia species or extinct in the wild. The populations of S. microcarpa were reduced rapidly in wild be-cause of anthropogenic destruction and only two sizeable populations were located in Zhejiang Province. S. sarcocarpa and S. oblongicarpa had only one population survived in Leshan and Huaihua, respectively, which suggested critically endangered in wild. A possible new taxon was found during the field survey andneeds for further taxonomic identification. Most species investigated had small number of populations and low seedling recruitment within each population because of low rate of seed germination. The deforestation by local residents had great impact on the survival of Sinojackia and Changiostyrax. Therefore, an integrat-ing conservation strategy should be urgently carried out and current in situ and ex situ conservation be rigidly forced in order to conserve the two endangered genera. We also suggest that all seven species should be in-cluded in the national endangered species list.

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