Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (2): 22495.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022495

Special Issue: 物种形成与系统进化

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Vascular plant diversity of National Key Protected Wild Plants, threatened species, and endemic species ex situ conserved in botanic gardens of China

Lisong Wang1, Qingqing Zhan2, Jingping Liao2, Hongwen Huang1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Lushan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jiujiang, Jiangxi 332900
    2. South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
  • Received:2022-08-28 Accepted:2022-10-15 Online:2023-02-20 Published:2023-01-13
  • Contact: *Hongwen Huang, E-mail:


Background & Aims: As one of the mega-biodiverse countries in the world, China has implemented in situ and ex situ biodiversity conservation programs through the national parks and the national botanic gardens system respectively to responsibly study and conserve this diversity. We aimed to provide a baseline reference for the current national botanic garden system program.

Methods: We assessed the ex situ conservation profile in Chinese botanic gardens of plants from three categories: National Key Protected Wild Plants (NKPWP), threatened species, and endemic species. Statistical and comparative analyses of integrated data sets show that there are 7,141 species of vascular plants that have been conserved ex situ in botanic gardens of China. These species span 1,271 genera and 265 families, accounting for 76% of families, 42% of genera, and 23% of species of vascular plants in China.

Results: Among the 7,141 species, 743 species are National Key Protected Wild Plants, 2,095 species are threatened, and 5,957 species are endemic to China, accounting for 72%, 59% and 37% of the total number of species catalogued for these categories in China, respectively. These species include 2,555 trees, 1,025 shrubs, 3,117 herbs, 419 climbers, and 25 aquatic plants. The phylogenetic diversity is variable among these gardens, with a low proportion of shared species across gardens.

Key words: botanic gardens, ex situ conservation, National Key Protected Wild Plants, threatened species, endemic species