Biodiversity Science ›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (2): 198-207.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.212

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The diversity of climbing plants in the spermatophyte flora of China

Liang Hu1; Mingguang Li1*; Zhen Li2   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275

    2 School of Geographical Science and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275
  • Received:2009-12-30 Online:2010-03-20
  • Mingguang Li

Climbing plants (or climbers) are important components of vegetation. They are often overlooked in ecological research due to difficulties in field identification of species or clones. To explore the diversity of climbing plants in China, we report on their taxonomic composition, floristic element types and climbing methods. A total of 3,073 spermatophyte species belonging to 85 families and 409 genera are climbers, accounting for 11.3% of the spermatophyte flora of China, including 898 vines (3.3%) and 2,175 lianas (8.0%). Tropical floristic elements are common in China, including 87.9% and 79.2% of families and genera containing climber, respectively. Fourteen genera containing climbers are endemic to China. In terms of climbing methods, 56.7% are twining, 22.1% are sprawling, 17.0% are tendrillar and 4.2% are adhesive.

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