Biodiv Sci ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (11): 1260-1267.DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019056

• Bioinventories • Previous Articles    

Diversity and distribution of lycophytes and ferns in the Loess Plateau

Weibo Du1,Yuan Lu2,3,*()   

  1. 1 School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, Lanzhou 730000 2 Xi'an Botanical Garden of Shaanxi Province, Shaanxi Botanical Institute, Xi'an 710061
    2 Xi'an Botanical Garden of Shaanxi Province, Shaanxi Botanical Institute, Xi'an 710061
    3 Shaanxi Engineering Research Centre for Conservation and Utilization of Botanical Resources, Xi’an 710061;
  • Received:2019-02-27 Accepted:2019-05-27 Online:2019-11-20 Published:2020-01-17
  • Contact: Lu Yuan

Abstract:

Species cataloguing is the basis for understanding their biodiversity. In the study, the diversity and geographical distribution of lycophytes and ferns in the Loess Plateau have been analyzed by utilizing published monographs, the current literature, and Herbaria specimens’ information. Following the order system from Flora of China, families and genera are classified relying on the latest research update on molecular taxonomy in this paper. Data analysis shows that the Loess Plateau is diverse with 165 species, 2 subspecies, 5 varieties, 42 genera and 18 families of lycophytes and ferns, which including 35 species endemic to China (20.35% of total species). The top five families are Pteridaceae (29 species, including subspecies and varieties), Dryopteridaceae (28 species), Polypodiaceae (19 species), Athyriaceae (16 species), and Aspleniaceae (16 species). The top six genera are Asplenium (16 species), Dryopteris (15 species), Polystichum (12 species), Woodsia (11 species), Selaginella (10 species), and Lepisorus (10 species). No rare and endangered plants, or endemic genera to China are contained. According to the ecological type, lycophytes and ferns are divided into 4 categories in the Loess Plateau, including terrestrial (112 species), lithophytes (75 species), epiphytes (18 species), and hydrophytes (3 species). The species of terrestrial or lithophytes are rich to 89.53% of the total species in this area. While the lycophytes and ferns of the Loess Plateau are located at the current geographical distribution edge, the distributions found in this study are consistent with our current understanding of lycophytes and ferns in China.

Key words: Loess Plateau, biodiversity, lycophytes, ferns, epiontology, biological catalogue