Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (2): 211-218.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018255

• Bioinventory • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A catalogue of plant type specimens and history of plant collecting in Shennongjia National Park

Xie Dan1,2,Wang Yuqin3,Zhang Xiaoshuang3,4,Wu Yu5,Yang Jingyuan6,Zhang Daigui3,*()   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 College of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 College of Biology and Environmental Sciences, Jishou University, Jishou, Hunan 416000
    4 Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan 650201
    5 College of Life Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, Hunan 410081
    6 Administration of Shennongjia National Park, Shennongjia, Hubei 442421
  • Received:2018-09-21 Accepted:2019-01-30 Online:2019-02-20 Published:2019-02-15
  • Contact: Zhang Daigui


Here we provide a brief overview of the history of higher plant collection in the Shennongjia National Park based on a literature review and specimen data. The local history of collecting dates back 140 years to when Irish botanist Augustine Henry first visited the area. Since then, 21,402 specimens collected in the Shennongjia region have been added to the herbarium of the Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (HIB); 16,483 specimens are in the herbarium of the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (PE) and 1,851 specimens are in the museum of Huazhong Agricultural University (CCAU). Most of the specimens were collected during three periods: 1956-1959, 1976-1981, and 1985-1987; with a peak of collecting in 1976. Most specimens were collected between April and November, with August being the month with maximum collection. The number of specimens of each varies greatly, from the 295 specimens of Viburnum betulifolium to a single specimen of 612 species; nearly 2/3 of the species are represented by fewer than ten specimens. Thus, more effort should be focus on collecting insufficiently sampled taxa rather than on those already well represented. All areas should be covered as thoroughly as possible, especially difficult to reach habitats at high elevations, in valleys, on cliffs, and in less-populated areas. Additional fieldwork should be undertaken in less favorable growing seasons, such as in winter and early spring. Thirty nine species, two varieties, and three forms, representing 34 genera in 24 families have been described from Shennongjia. The checklist provides references for meeting the requirements for United Nations World Natural Heritage Site status and for its management and conservation.

Key words: taxonomy, Hubei, type specimens, new species, herbarium