Plant Diversity ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (05): 343-349.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2021.06.003

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Orchid conservation in China from 2000 to 2020: Achievements and perspectives

Zhihua Zhoua, Ronghong Shia, Yu Zhangb, Xiaoke Xingc, Xiaohua Jind   

  1. a Department of Wildlife Conservation, National Forestry and Grassland Administration, No. 18, Hepingli Dongjie, Beijing, 100714, China;
    b Beijing Botanical Garden, Wofosi Rd, Xiangshan, Beijing, 100093, China;
    c Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, 100193, China;
    d Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IBCAS), Nanxincun 20, Xiangshan, Beijing, 100093, PR China
  • Received:2021-04-05 Revised:2021-06-03 Online:2021-10-25 Published:2021-11-18
  • Contact: Zhihua Zhou, Xiaohua Jin
  • Supported by:
    We thank Dr. Zong-Xin Ren for comments on an early draft. This work was supported by Grants from National Forestry and Grassland Administration, China (No. 2019073018, 2019073019), National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31870195, 31670194).

Abstract: We review achievements in the conservation of orchid diversity in China over the last 21 years. We provide updated information on orchid biodiversity and suggestions for orchid conservation in China. We outline national policies of biodiversity conservation, especially of orchid conservation, which provide general guidelines for orchid conservation in China. There are now approximately 1708 known species of Orchidaceae in 181 genera in China, including five new genera and 365 new species described over the last 21 years. The assessment of risk of extinction of all 1502 known native orchid species in China in 2013 indicated that 653 species were identified as threatened, 132 species were treated as data-deficient, and four species endemic to China were classified as extinct. Approximately 1100 species (ca. 65%) are protected in national nature reserves, and another ~66 species in provincial nature reserves. About 800 native orchid species have living collections in major botanical gardens. The pollination biology of 74 native orchid species and the genetic diversity and spatial genetic structure of 29 orchid species have been investigated at a local scale and/or across species distributions. The mycorrhizal fungal community composition has been investigated in many genera, such as Bletilla, Coelogyne, Cymbidium, Cypripedium, and Dendrobium. Approximately 292 species will be included in the list of national key protected wild plants this year. Two major tasks for near future include in situ conservation and monitoring population dynamics of endangered species.

Key words: Orchid diversity, In situ conservation, Ex situ conservation, Conservation biology, List of national key protected wild plants