Biodiv Sci ›› 2001, Vol. 09 ›› Issue (4): 393-398.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2001058

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Species diversity and distribution pattern of seed plants in China

YING Tsun-Shen   

  1. Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany , Institute of Botany , Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100093
  • Received:2001-05-09 Revised:2001-09-20 Online:2001-11-20 Published:2001-11-20

Abstract: China has an extremely diverse flora with very high levels of endemism that has given China first place in the Northern Hemisphere in floristic richness. A combination of three reasons explains the floristic richness of China. First , the large area , long time for the organisms to evolve and climatic stability of China has made the country an important region of plant diversity in the Northern Hemisphere. Second , China is unique in being the country in the world that includes a region with vegetational continuity betweent ropical , subtropical , temperate , and boreal forests. Third , the tectonically active , highly dissected and elevated geography of China has made the country an important center of surrival , speciation and evolution. The diversity of plant is not uniformly distributed over China , but is concent rated in the south-central part of China which reaches from ca. 20°0′to 35°0′N. The diversity and levels of endemism within three localized hot-spots in south-central China , the Hengduan range ,the C. China and the Lingnan region , are notable in comparison with other regions. The Mt . Hengduan flora in particular is the richest of the three Chinese Hot-spots. However , of all the Hot-spots ,the Hengduan Range. C. China and Lingnan region are most in need of conservation attention.