Plant Diversity ›› 2016, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (01): 53-62.

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

How to conserve threatened Chinese plant species with extremely small populations?

 Sergei Volis   

  1. Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, China
  • Received:2015-12-27 Online:2016-02-25 Published:2016-01-27


The Chinese flora occupies a unique position in global plant diversity, but is severely threatened. Although biodiversity conservation in China has made significant progress over the past decades, many wild plant species have extremely small population sizes and therefore are in extreme danger of extinction. The concept of plant species with extremely small populations (PSESPs), recently adopted and widely accepted in China, lacks a detailed description of the methodology appropriate for conserving PSESPs. Strategies for seed sampling, reintroduction, protecting PSESP locations, managing interactions with the local human population,  and other conservation aspects can substantially differ from those commonly applied to non-PSESPs. The present review is an attempt to provide a detailed conservation methodology with realistic and easy-to-follow guidelines for PSESPs in China.

Key words: Biodiversity, Endangered plants, PSESP, in situ, ex situ, quasi in situ, Conservation actions, Conservation guidelines, Chinese plant conservation, Nature reserves