Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (5): 22127.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022127

Special Issue: 生物入侵

• Data Papers • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A dataset on catalogue of alien plants in China

Qinwen Lin1, Cui Xiao2,3, Jinshuang Ma4,*()   

  1. 1 National Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    2 State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093
    3 School of Ecology and Nature Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083
    4 National Botanical Garden, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2022-03-23 Accepted:2022-05-17 Online:2022-05-20 Published:2022-05-19
  • Contact: Jinshuang Ma


It is an important basis for the research on the prevention and early warning mechanism of alien invasive plants in China to figure out the types of alien plants in China, where they come from, how to enter China, what kind of groups of these alien plants are, as well as their biological and ecological characteristics. The information of alien plants recorded in Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae, Flora of China and their records in the Chinese province flora is very limited due to various reasons. At present, there is no any available database including the complete information of alien plants in China. By integrating materials related to alien plants in recent years, and textual research on the origin, then added the habits of alien plants through literature, then using computer network, databases and big data analysis technical means, after information treatment and taxonomic correction, with reconstruction of the classification, this paper finally provided a dataset on catalogue of alien plants in China. There are 14,710 data in this set, with 14,710 taxa of Chinese alien plants belonging to 3,233 genera and 283 families (including 13,401 original species, 332 hybrids, 2 chimeras, 458 subspecies, 503 varieties and 14 forms). Each taxon includes basic information such as taxon, Chinese family name, family name, Chinese genus name, genus name, Chinese name, surname, scientific name, authors, living status, life span, growth habit, native countries or regions, and introduced provinces in China. The data set shows that alien plants have accounted for a considerable proportion in the composition of the Chinese flora (By December 31, 2021, there are 52,177 taxa of vascular plants in China, including 37,464 native taxa and 14,710 alien taxa, the proportion of alien plants is as high as 28.19%). In terms of survival status, cultivated plants account for 91% of all alien plants, escape plants account for 7.36%, naturalized plants account for 6.69% and invasive plants account for 2.66%; The analysis of life forms shows that perennial groups account for the vast majority of alien plants (13,625 species, about 92.6%), and the number of herbs (8,937 species, about 60.8%) is more than that of trees (2,752 species, about 18.7%), shrubs (4,916 species, about 33.4%) as well as the other life forms. Most of the alien plants in China were from North America (4,242 species), Africa (3,707 species), South America (3,645 species), and Asia (3,102 species), but less were from Europe (1,690 species) and Oceania (1,305 species). The top 10 provinces in China with more exotic plants are Taiwan (6,122 species), Beijing (5,244 species), Fujian (3,667 species), Guangdong (3,544 species), Yunnan (3,404 species), Shanghai (2,924 species), Jiangsu (2,183 species), Jiangxi (1,789 species), Zhejiang (1,658 species) and Hubei (973 species). This data set is the first comprehensive and systematic collation of alien plants in China. It can be used as a reference for research related to alien plants, as well as basic data for plant diversity research. It can also be used as a reference dataset for people in agriculture, forestry, prataculture, horticulture, herbal medicine, nature protection and environmental protection, as well as teachers and students in colleges and universities.

Key words: alien plants, cultivated plants, escape plants, naturalized plants, invasive plants, plant diversity