Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (2): 21344.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021344

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Current status of taxonomy, systematics and conservation of the white pines in China and adjacent regions

Yanyan Liu1, Chang Liu2,3, Xiaoxin Wei2,*()   

  1. 1 College of Plant Protection, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002
    2 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    3 College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2021-07-27 Accepted:2021-11-05 Online:2022-02-20 Published:2022-02-28
  • Contact: Xiaoxin Wei


Background & Aims Species delimitation and systematic analysis are essential for species catalogue and biodiversity conservation. Pinus, the largest genus of conifers and arguably, is the most important genus of trees in the northern Hemisphere. In this genus, subsect. Strobus is one of the most species-rich and taxonomically problematic lineages. East Asia (mainly China and adjacent regions) harbors more than half of the subsect. Strobus species (or five-needle pines), and most of them have narrow or very patchy distribution. Of them, a number of species are included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Recently, Pinus dabeshanensis and P. wangii were upgraded from second-level protection to top-level protection on the newly released China’s List of Wild Plants under State Priority Conservation. This paper summarizes the progresses and problems in taxonomy, population genetics and conservation of the white pines distributed in China and adjacent areas, which would be helpful for accurate species conservation.

Review Results In recent years, with the successful application of phylotranscriptomics in gymnosperms, the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of the white pines distributed in China and adjacent regions were mostly resolved. Both in-situ and ex-situ conservation strategies have been taken for protecting the threatened white pines. Nevertheless, we still need a better of knowledge to understand the endangered mechanism and the evolutionary potential of these pines to respond to environmental change.

Perspectives Extra effort should be put on basic research and field investigation. We propose to integrate multiple disciplines and strengthen the application of new technologies and approaches in the research to promote accurate species conservation.

Key words: Pinus, white pines, species delimitation, population genetics, endangered species conservation