Plant Diversity ›› 2018, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (04): 172-180.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.007

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Pollination ecology in China from 1977 to 2017

Zongxin Rena, Yanhui Zhaoa, Huan Lianga,b, Zhibin Taoa,b, Hui Tanga,b, Haiping Zhangc, Hong Wanga   

  1. a Key Laboratory for Plant Biodiversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan 650201, China;
    b Kunming College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan 650201, China;
    c School of Life Sciences, Yunnan University, Kunming, Yunnan 650091, China
  • Received:2018-04-28 Revised:2018-07-30 Online:2018-08-25 Published:2018-09-08
  • Contact: Zongxin Ren, Hong Wang
  • Supported by:

    This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31300199 and 41561014) and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association, Chinese Academy of Sciences (2014355).


China is one of most biodiverse countries in the world, containing at least 10% of all angiosperm species. Therefore, we should anticipate a diverse, pollinator fauna. China also has a long history of applied ethnobiology, including a sustainable agriculture based on apiculture and plant-pollinator interactions. However, the science of pollination ecology is a far younger sub-discipline in China, compared to in the West. Chinese studies in pollination ecology began in the 1970s. For this review, we compiled a complete reference database (>600 publications) of pollination studies in China. Using this database, we identified and analyzed gaps and limitations in research on the pollination systems of native and naturalized species. Specifically, we asked the following questions:1) What do we know about the pollination systems of native, Chinese species? 2) How does Chinese pollination ecology compare with the development of pollination research abroad and which aspects of research should be pursued by Chinese anthecologists in the near future? 3) What research on pollination in China will advance our understanding and contribute to our ongoing analyses of endemism and conservation? Subsequently, we segregated and identified prospective lines of future research that are unique to China and can only be done in China. This requires discussing priorities within a systematic approach.

Key words: China, Biodiversity, Conservation, Himalayas, Pollination, Pollinators