Plant Diversity ›› 2018, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (04): 165-171.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.07.001

• Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Studies on diversity of higher fungi in Yunnan, southwestern China: A review

Bang Feng, Zhuliang Yang   

  1. Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, Yunnan, China
  • Received:2018-04-17 Revised:2018-07-05 Online:2018-08-25 Published:2018-09-08
  • Contact: Zhuliang Yang
  • Supported by:

    This work was financed by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB31000000), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770030) and Yunnan Applied Basic Research Project (2017FB022).


Yunnan is exceedingly rich in higher fungi (Ascomycota and Basidiomycota). Given that the number of fungi (including lichens) occurring in a given area is, as Hawksworth suggested, roughly six times that of local vascular plants, a total of approximately 104,000 fungal species would be expected in Yunnan. However, to date only about 6000 fungal species, including roughly 3000 species of higher fungi, have been reported from the province. Although studies on Yunnan's fungi started in the late nineteenth century, significant progress has been made only in the last forty-five years. Over the first twenty-five years of this period, studies on fungal diversity in this area have largely been about taxonomy based on morphological characters and partially on geographical distribution. Over the past twenty years, the combination of both morphological and molecular phylogenetic approaches has become the preferred method to help understand the diversity and evolution of higher fungi. This review focuses on our current knowledge of how geological, geographical, and ecological factors may have contributed to the diversity patterns of higher fungi in Yunnan. Based on this knowledge, three aspects for future studies are suggested.

Key words: Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Biogeography, Evolution, Fungal diversity, Yunnan