Plant Diversity ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (04): 237-249.doi: 10.1016/j.pld.2019.06.007

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Forest characteristics and population structure of Glyptostrobus pensilis, a globally endangered relict species of southeastern China

Cindy Q. Tanga, Yongchuan Yangb, Arata Momoharac, Huan-Chong Wangd, Hong Truong Luue, Shuaifeng Lif, Kun Songg, Shenhua Qianb, Ben LePageh,i, Yi-Fei Donga, Peng-Bin Hana, Masahiko Ohsawaj, Buu Thach Lee, Huu Dang Trane, Minh Tri Dange, Ming-Chun Penga, Chong-Yun Wanga   

  1. a Institute of Ecology and Geobotany, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Dongwaihuan South Road, University Town, Chenggong New District, Kunming, Yunnan 650504, China;
    b Key Laboratory of Three Gorges Reservoir Region's Eco-Environment, Ministry of Education, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400045, China;
    c Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, 648 Matsudo, Chiba 271-8510, Japan;
    d Institute of Botany, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan 650091, China;
    e Southern Institute of Ecology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam;
    f Research Institute of Resource Insects, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Kunming, Yunnan 650224, China;
    g School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China;
    h Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 3401 Crow Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA 94583, USA;
    i The Academy of Natural Science, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA;
    j The Nature Conservancy Society of Japan, Mitoyo Bldg.2F, 1-16-10 Shinkawa, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0033, Japan
  • Received:2019-03-14 Revised:2019-06-17 Published:2019-09-21
  • Supported by:
    We acknowledge funding by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31760152 and 31500355), the Key National Research and Development Plan Program of China (2016YFC050310203), the Natural Science Foundation Project of CQ CSTC, China (cstc2016jcyjA0379) and the National Program on Space Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam (project VT-UD.09/18-20).

Abstract: The Chinese water pine Glyptostrobus pensilis is the sole surviving species of the genus Glyptostrobus. It is endemic to southern China, central Vietnam, and eastern Laos, and today it is nearly extinct in the wild. Forest community characteristics and population structure of G. pensilis in China have remained unknown up to now. We investigated six swamp forest stands and analyzed their forest community characteristics (i.e. vertical stratification, species composition, and diversity) and population structure, including the frequency distribution of DBH (diameter at breast height) and age-classes as found in Fujian Province, southeastern China.
The vertical stratifications of all the forest stands were rather simple. The remaining wild specimens ranged from roughly 15 to some 357 years for an average of ca. 85 years, with only a few individuals less than 20 years old. Compared with the stands and populations of G. pensilis in Vietnam, the taxonomic compositions of the stands in the two regions were different, except for the dominant species-G. pensilis. The ShannoneWiener index showed the overstory of each stand had much lower diversity (0.26 on average) in Fujian Province than that (1.97 on average) in Vietnam, whereas the diversity indices were about the same (around 2.41) for the understories in the two regions. Furthermore, we discovered 18 G. pensilis seedlings at the study sites in Fujian Province. This discovery demonstrates that G. pensilis regeneration is extremely poor and its populations are declining, although these populations are relatively healthier than those in Vietnam.

Key words: Age-class, Fujian Province, Glyptostrobus, Regeneration, Relict plant, Vietnam