Aims: In order to provide background information for the conservation of plant diversity in Liaoning Province, to more precisely assess plant endangerment and conservation levels, and to better provide reliable basic data for agronomy, forestry, ecology, and systematics research, this paper is the first to summarize and catalog the higher plants found in Liaoning for several generations, including bryophytes and vascular plants.
Methods: The bryophytes catalog was based on the officially published literature and specimens collected from Liaoning Province which were deposited in the Herbarium of Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The vascular plants’ catalog was based on the first-hand data of field surveys, reliable literature, peer communication, plant hobbyists’ communication and specimens.
Results: A total of 3,241 species, 73 subspecies, 447 varieties and 119 forms belonging to 254 families and 1,176 genera were included in the catalog process. All bryophytes were native wild plants and were first listed in Liaoning Province including 491 species, 4 subspecies and 7 varieties belonging to 83 families and 205 genera. Among them, 373 species, 1 subspecies and 5 varieties belonging to 52 families and 156 genera of mosses, 114 species, 3 subspecies and 2 varieties belonging to 29 families and 46 genera of liverworts, and 4 species belonging to 2 families and 3 genera of hornworts. The updated catalog of the vascular plants included a total of 2,750 species, 69 subspecies, 440 varieties and 119 forms belonging to 171 families and 971 genera. Among them, 13 species belonging to 2 families and 3 genera of lycophytes, 83 species, 2 subspecies and 7 varieties belonging to 17 families and 39 genera of ferns, 47 species, 1 subspecies, 13 varieties and 2 forms belonging to 5 families and 19 genera of gymnosperms and 2,607 species, 66 subspecies, 420 varieties and 117 forms belonging to 147 families and 910 genera of angiosperms. In addition, among the vascular plants, 2,077 species, 62 subspecies, 378 varieties and 93 forms belonging to 149 families and 741 genera of wild species (13 species belonging to 2 families and 3 genera of lycophytes, 83 species, 2 subspecies and 7 varieties belonging to 17 families and 39 genera of ferns, 12 species, 6 varieties and 1 form belonging to 4 families and 8 genera of gymnosperms, and 1,969 species, 60 subspecies, 365 varieties and 92 forms belonging to 145 families and 133 genera of angiosperms). Included in this are 673 species, 7 subspecies, 62 varieties and 26 forms belonging to 104 families and 390 genera of cultivated species (35 species, 1subspecies, 7 varieties and 1 form belonging to 5 families and 17 genera of gymnosperms and 638 species, 6 subspecies, 55 varieties and 25 forms belonging to 99 families and 373 genera of angiosperms). 2,235 species, 65 subspecies, 421 varieties and 116 forms belonging to 158 families and 796 genera of native species (13 species belonging to 2 families and 3 genera of lycophytes, 83 species, 2 subspecies and 7 varieties belonging to 17 families and 39 genera of ferns, 29 species, 1 subspecies, 12 varieties and 2 forms belonging to 5 families and 14 genera of gymnosperms, and 2,110 species, 63 subspecies, 402 varieties and 114 forms belonging to134 families and 740 genera of angiosperms). Additionally, the catalog included 515 species, 4 subspecies, 19 varieties, and 3 forms belonging to 88 families and 316 genera of alien species (18 species, 1 subspecies, 1 variety belonging to 3 families and 10 genera of gymnosperms and 497 species, 3 subspecies, 18 varieties and 3 forms belonging to 85 families and 306 genera of angiosperms).
Conclusion: The inventory is only a phased summary of higher plants and needs to be continuously updated. Additionally, the authenticity of some species, such as Aster incisus, Artemisia carvifolia, Bupleurum scorzonerifolium and Selaginella tamariscina, listed in the catalog in Liaoning Province requires further verification, including field investigation and specimen study. It is important to note that some species may have already existed but had not been discovered for a long time. Therefore, field investigation and research work, especially in these weak areas, should be both continued and strengthened. Also, a full-coverage regional survey should be initiated to advance the research further.