Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (8): 22207.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022207

• Special Feature: 2021 New Taxa Collection • Previous Articles     Next Articles

2021 annual report on new taxa and nomenclatural changes of Chinese plants

Cheng Du1,*(), Jun Liu2, Wen Ye3, Shuai Liao4   

  1. 1. Eastern China Conservation Centre for Wild Endangered Plant Resources, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Shanghai 201602
    2. Zhejiang University Library, Hangzhou 310027
    3. School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian 361102
    4. School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241
  • Received:2022-04-21 Accepted:2022-06-15 Online:2022-08-20 Published:2022-08-31
  • Contact: Cheng Du


Aim: Each year, more than 220 species from China are documented as new species. However, much of this information has yet to be updated in international databases. Here we aimed to update the annual report with the newly discovered taxa and name changes of existing plants in China from the year 2021.

Methods: Information on newly discovered taxa and name changes for Chinese higher plants were collected by reviewing 222 journals and monographs, where 380 articles published in 62 journals and 2 monographs concerning the new taxa and nomenclatural changes of higher plants published in 2021. For each species, we compiled the scientific name, author, location, type specimen, and other relevant information.

Results: In 2021, a total of 342 new taxa of higher plants from China were reported, including 1 new family, 11 new genera, 289 new species, 3 new subspecies, 18 new varieties, and 20 new forms. The newly described species belong to the Marchantiophyta (5 species), Bryophyta (4 species), Lycopodiophyta (3 species), Pteridophyta (22 species), Gymnospermae (2 species), and Magnoliophyta (253 species). A total of 111 new species had been published with detailed molecular evidence, 76 of which were considered threatened species according to IUCN standards. Four provinces in southwestern China, including Yunnan, Xizang, Sichuan, and Guangxi, were the sources of the majority of the discoveries. The species found in these regions account for 63.3% of the total reports collected in our review. Taiwan, Hainan, Yunnan, Zhejiang, and Guangdong have the highest densities of newly discovered species. Additionally, we identified 134 new combinations and new rank names. We identified 9 replacement names transferred from other species distributed across China. Sixty-two plants were reported as novel to China, 92 names were given as synonyms of 62 taxa, 7 names were revised, and 2 genera and 10 species were re-recognized. Further, 49 names were designated lectotypes or neotypes, 9 species were rediscovered, and 7 were considered no longer present in China.

Conclusion: In 2021, a net increase of 364 new plant taxa of higher plants occurred in China, accounting for 0.98% of the total growth. Also, 230 plant names have been changed, accounting for 0.62% of total changes. The high number of new plant species found in China has been consistent and held in the year 2021, implying that the country, mainly located in the subtropical regions of the northern hemisphere, still has many plants waiting to be discovered.

Key words: higher plants, new taxa, new name changes, China