Biodiv Sci ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (6): 572-577.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017271

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Conservation status of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations in China

Zejin Zhang1,2, Yanpei Guo2, Jin-Sheng He2, Zhiyao Tang2,*()   

  1. 1 National Academy of Innovation Strategy, Beijing 100863
    2 College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2017-10-28 Accepted:2018-01-04 Online:2018-06-20 Published:2018-09-11
  • Contact: Tang Zhiyao
  • About author:# Co-first authors


China is characterized as one of the countries with the greatest diversity worldwide, mostly because of its vast area and heterogeneous topography. Meanwhile, the long history of human activity has led to the decrease of populations for considerable species in China. To protect these species, the Chinese government proposed a list of the first batch of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations (PSESP). In this study, we developed a fine-resolution distribution database for 120 PSESPs, explored the distribution patterns, and evaluated the in situ conservation status of the PSESPs by overlapping species distribution with terrestrial national and provincial nature reserves (NNRs and PNRs) in China. We found the greatest richness of PSESPs in the southeast regions of Yunnan, the southwest regions of Guangxi, and the southwest regions of Hainan Island. On average, NNRs covered 21.5%, while PNRs covered an additional 10.9% of the distribution areas of PSESPs. However, 35 PSESPs (29% of the total) were not covered by NNRs and 17 PSESPs (14%) were not covered by either NNRs or PNRs. We proposed that nature reserves specifically designed for the PSESPs need to be constructed in the Yunnan and Hainan provinces.

Key words: nature reserves, pattern, species richness, PSESP