Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 135-143.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019233

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Evaluation of in situ conservation effectiveness on medicinal vascular plants in national nature reserves in central China

Chi Xiulian1,Guo Ting2,Wang Qinggang2,Jing Zhixian1,Zhang Xiaobo1,Li Xiaolin1,Sun Kai1,Wang Tielin1,Yang Guang1,*()   

  1. 1 National Resource Center for Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Dao-di Herbs, Beijing 100700
    2 Department of Ecology and Ecological Engineering, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Organic Farming of Beijing City, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193
  • Received:2019-07-23 Accepted:2019-10-23 Online:2020-02-20 Published:2020-03-27
  • Contact: Yang Guang


The conservation of wild resources including medicinal plants has drawn widespread attention from the academic community and society at large. This study integrates the results of scientific investigation reports of 49 national nature reserves (NNR), other related literature, and “the Fourth National Census of Traditional Chinese Medicine Resources” in central China (including Hunan, Hubei, and Henan provinces) to establish a catalogue of medicinal vascular plants (MVP). Based on this dataset and the catalogue of plant species in central China, this study evaluated the effectiveness of NNR networks on conservation of MVPs in central China. We show that 6,071 MVP species, including 1,479 endemic MVP species, 224 threatened MVP species, and 448 frequently used MVP species were covered by at least one NNR in central China. Their in situ conseravation rates were 81.93%, 87.98%, 78.87% and 91.80%, respectively. However, about 32.16% (2,383 MVP species, including 644 endemic MVP species, 119 threatened MVP species and 69 frequently used MVP species) of all the conserved MVPs were only found in 1-5 NNRs. The NNR of the forest ecosystem type performed the best protection efficiency, covering a total of 5,875 MVP species, 1,444 endemic MVP species, 211 threatened MVP species and 442 frequently used MVP species. National nature reserves of Shennongjia, Jintongshan, Mangshan, Xingdoushan and Hunan Shunhuangshan were hotspots for richness of all MVP species, endemic MVP species, and threatened MVP species, playing important roles in MVP conservation in central China. As a whole, existing NNRs in central China protect most MVPs in this region. However, there remains an urgent need for in situ protection of MVPs. Conservation gap species are urgently required to continue field dynamic monitoring and other protective activities.

Key words: endemic medicinal plants, threatened medicinal plants, frequently used medicinal plants, nature reserves, conservation contribution rate, conservation gap