Biodiv Sci ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (7): 787-795.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2019400

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The conservation status of orchids in Guangdong Province

Lingling Zhang, Ziyue Liu, Ruijiang Wang*()   

  1. South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650
  • Received:2019-12-18 Accepted:2020-07-15 Online:2020-07-20 Published:2020-09-29
  • Contact: Ruijiang Wang


To ensure Guangdong orchids and the genetic diversity well conserved, we conducted a comprehensive survey of orchids throughout the Guangdong Province and assessed their endangered species categories between 2017 and 2019. Botanical gardens were also surveyed in addition to nature reserves in the province to evaluate ex situ conservation versus in situ conservation of orchids, respectively. We performed route and plot inventories and identified the endangered species category for each orchid species, and then compared which orchid species were present under in situ conservation ex situ conservation, or both. Our results indicate that: (1) There are 235 orchid species belonging to 80 genera in Guangdong Province, among which 20 species are endemic. (2) 186 orchid species are threatened species, including 11 Critically Endangered species, 114 Endangered species, and 61 Vulnerable species. (3) 111 orchid species are conserved in nature reserves, 156 species in botanical gardens, and 96 species in both nature reserves and botanical gardens, indicating low conservation efficiency. (4) There was not a significant difference among orchid species under in situ conservation, ex situ conservation, or both, suggesting that the conservation work of orchids lacks selectivity. Thus, we suggest that the conservation efforts of orchids in Guangdong Province should focus on basic data collection and continuous field monitoring. Furthermore, future work should aim to increase the number of conserved orchid species, to be more selective when identifying orchid species for ex situ conservation, and to improve the coordination between ex situ conservation and in situ conservation. Successful orchid conservation must also involve legislation, public education, and integration of an orchid conservation network in Guangdong Province.

Key words: rare and endangered plants, in situ conservation, ex situ conservation, botanical garden