Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (12): 1599-1606.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021342

• Special Feature: National Key Protected Wild Plants • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An updated red list assessment of gymnosperms from China (Version 2021)

Yong Yang*()   

  1. Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037
  • Received:2021-08-30 Accepted:2021-11-05 Online:2021-12-20 Published:2021-11-23
  • Contact: Yong Yang


Aims: It is important to conduct periodical red list assessments, understand the threatened status and threats, for effective species conservation. Here we report a new red list assessment of gymnosperm species native to China with a comparison between this new assessment and the earlier assessment released in 2013.
Methods: We collected species data from published references and databases and adopted the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria ver. 3.1 for the red list assessment.
Results: This new red list assessment of gymnosperms includes 274 species and infraspecies, belonging to 37 genera and 8 families, all of which are native to China. Compared with the red list version released in 2013, 2 families were reduced in priority, while 3 genera and 40 species and infraspecies increased in priority during this study. These changes are caused by updating recent taxonomic novelties and adding a few taxa missing in the previous assessment. Among the 274 assessed specific and infraspecific taxa, 139 were listed as threatened (including Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), and Vulnerable (VU)). Of the total assessed species, up to 50.7% are listed as threatened, which is similar to the proportion of the previous assessment. In addition, there are 27 species and infraspecies listed as Data Deficient (DD), approximately 9.9% of the total assessed species.
Conclusions: Threats to Chinese gymnosperm species include internal attributes of relic and endemic species, over-exploitation, habitat loss, and global warming. The high ratio of Data Deficient (DD) species suggests that it is necessary to conduct targeted field investigations to better understand the living status and threats of gymnosperms in China in order to lay a solid foundation for the next red list assessment. The new assessment will be helpful to guide conservation practices of Chinese gymnosperms.

Key words: . China, gymnosperms, red list, taxonomy, threatened species, conservation