Biodiv Sci

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Distribution, present situation and conservation strategy of the genus Phacellaria

Dongxue Li1, Yulong Ding2*   

  1. 1 Research Institute of Forestry,Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091
    2 College of Forest Resources & Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037
  • Received:2004-12-21 Revised:2005-03-04 Online:2005-05-20 Published:2005-05-20
  • Contact: Yulong Ding


There are eight species in the genus Phacellaria, six of which are distributed in tropical and subtropical mountain areas of South and Southwest China. The species belonging to this genus are obligate holoparasites on the plants of Loranthaceae and Dendrotrophe (Santalaceae). Based on previously collected specimens, documents and field investigation, we found that Phacellaria is becoming more and more vulnerable, and is well on its way to becoming endangered in the near future. The main factors contributing to the growing vulnerability of Phacellaria species are: (1) deforestation resulting in a dramatic decline in the population density of the hosts of Phacellaria, and (2) the decrease in number of Dicaeum spp., the small birds who disperse seeds of Phacellaria, due to habitat loss and capture for the pet trade. We suggest two solutions to this dilemma. The first is to recover the previously damaged ecosystems of Phacellaria and Dicaeum spp., and the second is to enhance research on the biological characters of Phacellaria species.