The theory that Hainan Island could have been in contact with northern Vietnam and Guangxi during the Eocene and drifted to its present location by moving southeast with the uplift of the Himalayas and extrusion of the Indochina block was recently suggested. To further discuss the biogeographical origin of Hainan Island, 5 families and 36 genera of seed plants on the island were examined in this paper. These families and genera have species that show a distribution pattern of southern and southeastern Yunnan, southwestern Guangxi, and Hainan in China. Life forms of these taxa include trees, shrubs, lianas and herbs, which are present in various tropical forests in these regions. The logical and reasonable explanation for the distribution pattern is that Hainan Island could have been in contact with northern Vietnam and Guangxi. This paper presents information on these families and genera of biogeographical importance, specifically in relation to the origin of Hainan Island for further studies on molecular biogeography, phylogeography and genetic diversity.
Received: 05 January 2017
Published: 31 August 2017