Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (3): 217-228.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017336

Special Issue: 物种形成与系统进化

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity •     Next Articles

Assessment of the evolutionary history of Lauraceae in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve using DNA barcoding

Hou Qinxi1,2, Ci Xiuqin1,2, Liu Zhifang1,2, Xu Wumei3, Li Jie1,*()   

  1. 1 Laboratory of Plant Phylogenetics and Conservation, Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 School of Energy and Environment Science, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500
  • Received:2017-12-25 Accepted:2018-02-24 Online:2018-03-20 Published:2018-05-05
  • Contact: Li Jie


Global biodiversity is diminishing at an unprecedented rate due to anthropogenic changes in the environment and establishing nature reserve is one of the most effective strategies for reducing biodiversity loss. Xishuangbanna, located in Southwest China, is a famous biodiversity hotspot and Lauraceae plants play an important role in the composition of its forest vegetation. To assess the role of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve (XNNR, established in 1958) in the conservation of evolutionary history of Lauraceae and to demonstrate the importance of combining phylogenetic information with biodiversity conservation, the evolutionary distinctiveness (ED), phylogenetic diversity (PD), species richness (SR), and endangerment categories of Lauraceae plants in Xishuangbanna were investigated. Results show that XNNR conserves only half of Lauraceae species (54.5%) found in Xishuangbanna, while 88.8% of PD was protected. However, there are still some areas (e.g. Daluo Town and Yiwu Town) with high PD that are not listed as conservation areas. A total of 19 species with high ED values (> 0.1) were found in Xishuangbanna, of which five species (26.3%) were not conserved in the XNNR, while 20 (37.0%) of 54 endangered species were not distributed in the nature reserve. Only three species with both high ED and endangerment categories were not found in the nature reserve. Our study shows that the XNNR has protected a large proportion of PD and species with high conservation value, however, some important evolutionary history and endangered species of Lauraceae are still not conserved in the XNNR, indicating that the traditional assessment solely based on species richness could not incorporate phylogenetic information completely. We therefore conclude that PD should be considered in establishing nature reserves to maximize the evolutionary potential in an uncertain future.

Key words: evolutionary history, phylogenetic diversity, evolutionary distinctiveness, nature reserve, DNA barcoding, Lauraceae