Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (9): 918-923.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017118

• On the Mandate of Botanical Gardens • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Botanical gardens’ challenge—correspondence with Academician De-Yuan Hong’s “Three ‘What’: mission of a botanic garden”

Zaifu Xu*()   

  1. Kunming Division of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223
  • Received:2017-04-13 Accepted:2017-09-08 Online:2017-09-20 Published:2017-10-04
  • Contact: Xu Zaifu


The paper praises and explores De-yuan Hong’s “Three ‘What’: mission of a botanic garden (BG)”, which explores which plants have been collected, what plant resources have been developed for use, and which threatened plants have been saved. The number of BGs has increased from 110 to 200 since 1980s, and they have collected about 20,000 species of native plants, or 2/3 of China’s flora, which is of course much higher than 1/3 of the world’s flora that are cultivated in more than 2,000 BGs worldwide. In this case, the author suggests that Chinese BGs would rater collect and protect a huge number of plant species than pay more attention to threatened plants they have important values for scientific research, economic use, or spiritual and cultural importance with the current limited resources. However, on the other hand, research on efficient conservation must be strengthened by BGs as the number of newly threatened species is equal to the decreasing number of threatened species since the 1980’s. This has led to the protecting rate of national emphasized species still pace up and down on 80% in Chinese BGs. As the national level, the author hopes that the relevant government departments will pay more attentions to improve the imbalance between the richest plant diversity and the most unique environment areas and the gaps that BGs have in our country, and advance support for BGs to carry out research on efficient plant conservation ex situ in BGs.

Key words: plant ex situ conservation, changed from quantity to quality, efficient conservation, BGs science distribution pattern