Biodiversity Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (3): 364-374.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.11222

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Vascular plant diversity of the Paracel Islands, China

Yi Tong1, 2, Shuguang Jian1, Quan Chen1, 2, Yuling Li1, 2, Fuwu Xing1, *()   

  1. 1 South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
    2 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2012-11-22 Accepted:2013-04-19 Online:2013-06-05
  • Xing Fuwu E-mail:xinfw@scib.ac.cn

The Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands) comprise a group of tropical islands that are located south of mainland China and have a particular natural flora. Based on a literature search and our own investigations, we present here a checklist of plants for 24 of the Paracel Islands. We also report an analysis of plant diversity, its distribution and relationship with that of neighboring regions. A total of 396 vascular plants were recorded which belonged to 262 genera and 85 families. Of these, 220 were wild species and 176 were cultivated. As a whole, the islands do not possess a rich flora; however, there are major differences in plant diversity among islands. The flora consists in large part of tropical elements, typical of tropical coral islands of China. The flora is most closely connected to that of Hainan Island, and closely related to those of Taiwan of China, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Key words: Paracel Islands, plant diversity, flora, plant list, tropical island, coral island

Table 1

Number of family, genus and species of vascular plants on the Paracel Islands"

植物类群
Plant type
科数
Family (%)
属数
Genus (%)
种数
Species (%)
野生植物 Wild plants
蕨类植物 Pteridophytes 3 (3.53) 3 (1.15) 4 (1.01)
裸子植物 Gymnosperms 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)
被子植物 Angiosperms 43 (50.59) 136 (51.91) 216 (54.55)
小计 Subtotal 46 (54.12) 139 (53.05) 220 (55.56)
栽培植物 Cultivated plants
蕨类植物 Pteridophytes 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)
裸子植物 Gymnosperms 4 (4.71) 4 (1.53) 5 (1.26)
被子植物 Angiosperms 4 (4.71) 4 (1.53) 5 (1.26)
小计 Subtotal 63 (74.12) 140 (53.44) 176 (44.44)
总计 Total 85 (-) 262 (-) 396 (-)

Table 2

The areal-types of major wild plant families with more than five species on the Paracel Islands"

科名
Family name
属数
No. of genera
种数
No. of species
分布区类型
Areal-types
禾本科 Poaceae 30 48 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
蝶形花科 Papilionaceae 13 19 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
大戟科 Euphorbiaceae 6 14 泛热带分布 Pantropic
莎草科 Cyperaceae 4 13 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
锦葵科 Malvaceae 5 12 泛热带分布 Pantropic
茜草科 Rubiaceae 7 10 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
旋花科 Convolvulaceae 4 11 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
菊科 Compositae 8 9 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
苋科 Amaranthaceae 5 7 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
茄科 Solanaceae 3 7 世界分布 Cosmopolitan
椴树科 Tiliaceae 3 5 热带亚洲、非洲和南美洲间断 Trop. Asia, Africa & C. to S. Amer. disjuncted
苏木科 Caesalpiniaceae 3 5 热带亚洲、非洲和南美洲间断 Trop. Asia, Africa & C. to S. Amer. disjuncted
马鞭草科 Verbenaceae 5 5 热带亚洲和热带美洲间断分布 Trop. Asia & Trop. Amer. disjuncted
合计 Total 96 165 -

Table 3

The genera areal-types of wild vascular plants on the Paracel Islands"

分布区类型
Areal-types
属数
No. of genera (%)
1 世界分布 Cosmopolitan 10 (-)
2 泛热带分布 Pantropic 82 (63.57)
2-1 热带亚洲、大洋洲和南美洲(墨西哥)间断 Trop. Asia, Austr. & C. to S. Amer. disjuncted 3 (2.33)
2-2 热带亚洲、非洲和南美洲间断 Trop. Asia, Africa & C. to S. Amer. disjuncted 3 (2.33)
3 热带亚洲和热带美洲间断分布 Trop. Asia & Trop. Amer. disjuncted 10 (7.75)
4 旧世界热带 Old World Tropics 16 (12.40)
4-1 热带亚洲、非洲和大洋洲间断 Trop. Asia, Africa & Austr. 1 (0.78)
5 热带亚洲至热带大洋洲 Tropical. Asia & Trop. Austr. 7 (5.43)
6 热带亚洲至热带非洲 Trop. Asia to Trop. Africa 2 (1.55)
7 热带亚洲 Trop. Asia 2 (1.55)
8 北温带分布 N. Temp. 1 (0.78)
10-3 欧亚和南非洲(有时也在大洋洲)间断 Eurasia & S. Africa disjuncted 1 (0.78)
(17) 澳大利亚、新西兰、新喀里多尼亚、新几内亚和温带南美间断 Extratropical Trans-Pacific disjunction 1 (0.78)
合计 Total 139 (100)

Table 4

The species areal-types of wild vascular plants on the Paracel Islands"

分布区类型
Areal-types
种数
No. of species (%)
1 世界分布 Cosmopolitan 8 (-)
2 泛热带分布 Pantropic 58 (27.36)
2-1 热带亚洲、大洋洲和南美洲(墨西哥)间断 Trop. Asia, Austr. & C. to S. Amer. disjuncted 6 (2.83)
2-2 热带亚洲、非洲和南美洲间断 Trop. Asia, Africa & C. to S. Amer. disjuncted 9 (4.25)
3 热带亚洲和热带美洲间断分布 Trop. Asia & Trop. Amer. disjuncted 15 (7.08)
4 旧世界热带 Old World Tropics 18 (8.49)
4-1 热带亚洲、非洲和大洋洲间断 Trop. Asia, Africa & Austr. 4 (1.89)
5 热带亚洲至热带大洋洲 Trop. Asia & Trop. Austr. 14 (6.60)
6 热带亚洲至热带非洲 Trop. Asia to Trop. Africa 15 (7.08)
6-1 华南、西南到印度和热带非洲间断分布 South and Southwest China to India and Tropical Africa disjuncted 4 (1.89)
6-2 热带亚洲和东非或马达加斯加间断分布 Tropical Asia and East Africa or Madagascar disjuncted 1 (0.47)
7 热带亚洲 Trop. Asia 25 (11.79)
7-1 热带印度至华南 Trop. India to S. China 8 (3.77)
7-2 东南亚至华南 Southeast Asia to S. China 5 (2.36)
7-5 越南至华南 Vietnam to S. China 4 (1.89)
7-6 马来西亚至华南 Malaysia to S. China 2 (0.94)
7-7 菲律宾至华南 Philippines to S. China 2 (0.94)
7-8 中南半岛至华南 Indo-China to S. China 3 (1.42)
7-17 印度和华南 India and S. China 1 (0.47)
8 北温带 North Temperate 7 (3.30)
10-1 地中海区、西亚(或中亚)和东亚间断分布 Mediterranean, West Asia (or Central Asia) and East Asia disjuncted 1 (0.47)
11 温带亚洲分布 Temp. Asia 2 (0.94)
14-2 中国-日本分布 Sino-Japan (SJ) 5 (2.36)
15 中国特有分布 Endemic to China 3 (1.42)
合计 Total 220 (100)

Table 5

The species statistics of vascular plants on 24 islands of the Paracel Islands"

岛名
Island name
种数
No.of species
栽培种数
No. of cultivated plants
野生种数
No.of wild species
特有种数*
No. of
endemic species
科数
No. of families
属数
No. of genera
陆地面积**
Area
(km2)
永兴岛 Woody Island 353 166 187 191 82 244 2.1
石岛 Rocky Island 80 27 53 0 33 64 0.08
东岛 Lincoln Island 103 27 76 9 35 79 1.6
盘石屿 Passu Keah 5 1 4 0 4 4 0.4
中建岛 Triton Island 57 22 35 0 31 49 1.2
晋卿岛 Drummond Island 41 6 35 1 26 38 0.21
琛航岛 Duncan Island 105 34 71 4 42 83 0.28
广金岛 Guangjin Island 37 3 34 0 24 31 0.06
羚羊礁 Antelope Reaf 13 3 10 0 12 12 -
金银岛 Money Island 99 36 63 4 43 77 0.36
甘泉岛 Robert Island 57 7 50 4 27 48 0.31
珊瑚岛 Pattle Island 109 35 74 3 40 83 0.30
全富岛 Quanfu Island 1 1 0 0 1 1 0.02
鸭公岛 Yagong Island 5 1 4 0 5 5 0.01
银屿 Silver Islet 13 1 12 1 12 13 0.01
石屿 Stone Islet 2 0 2 0 2 2 0.002
西沙洲 West Sand 13 4 9 1 13 13 0.04
赵述岛 Tree Island 38 10 28 0 26 31 0.22
北岛 North Island 19 3 16 0 16 17 0.40
中岛 Middle Island 9 0 9 1 8 8 0.13
南岛 South Island 20 1 19 0 15 17 0.17
北沙洲 North Sand 5 0 5 0 5 5 0.02
中沙洲 Middle Sand 11 0 11 0 10 11 0.05
南沙洲 South Sand 15 1 14 0 14 15 0.06
西沙群岛 Paracel Islands 396 176 220 - 85 262 -
历史记载 Historical records 333 134 199 - 79 221 -
新增加 Newly added 63 42 21 - 6 40 -

Table 6

The similarity indices of flora among the Paracel Islands and its six adjacent countries/or regions"

邻近国家或地区
Adjacent countries or regions
相似性指数
Similarity index (%)
属 Genera 种 Species
海南岛 Hainan Island 98.56 96.82
中南半岛 Indochina 96.40 88.64
马来西亚 Malaysia 95.68 85.45
印度尼西亚 Indonesia 93.52 84.09
菲律宾 Philippines 94.24 80.91
中国台湾 Taiwan, China 92.09 79.09
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