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21 January 2011, Volume 33 Issue 01
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  • Articles
    Plant Conservation in the Future: New Challenges, New Opportunities
    Peter H.RAVEN
    2011, 33(01):  1-9.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10255
    Abstract ( 1979 )   HTML ( )   PDF (431KB) ( 2763 )   Save
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     Throughout the world, plant diversity is being reduced rapidly by the extinction of species and of local differentiated populations. In presenting possible solutions to this very serious problem I will first briefly describe the factors that have led to the development of China′s wealth of biodiversity; then examine the causes of extinction, with an emphasis on the situation in China; and conclude with recommendations on how to most effectively conserve plants in this huge and botanically diverse country.

    Strategies and Challenges in Plant Germplasm Conservation
    LI De-Zhu-Yang-Xiang-Yun-Hugh W.Pritchard
    2011, 33(01):  11-18.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.11023
    Abstract ( 2528 )   HTML ( )   PDF (1045KB) ( 2894 )   Save
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    This paper discusses scientific issues, action plans and strategies for plant germplasm conservation in general and seed banking in particular. Germplasm conservation is an insurance policy against extinction, and currently preserves tens of thousands of wild plant species. In this report, we introduce the background and current status of the Germplasm Bank of Wild Species, and compare its strategy with that of other major ex situ conservation facilities in the world, e.g., the Millennium Seed Bank. In the context of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, we also discuss the estimated number of threatened species in China, which could be greater than 25% of the flora. Some scientific conservation-related techniques, such as cryopreservation, are described in brief. Seed banking is the most cost-effective approach in all ex situ conservation approaches. Cryopreservation will become increasingly important in accomplishing the ex situ conservation goal and in enabling the long-term preservation of seeds, including recalcitrant ones. This paper also highlights the necessity of increased efforts to train young scientists in taxonomy and seed biology to improve efficiency, validity of seed identification, and long-term management prospects of seed banks.

    Prospects for Chinese Botanical GardensFoundation items: Supported by Chinese Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation
    HE Shan-An
    2011, 33(01):  19-23.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10216
    Abstract ( 2021 )   HTML ( )   PDF (3014KB) ( 1918 )   Save
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    In China, a new period of development in the first decade of the 21st Century with rapid urbanization, was marked by investment in construction of over five billion yuan. At this time of rapid change it is important for botanical gardens to follow three principles, “scientific contents, artistic appearance, and cultural display”, so as not to become public parks. The scientific component is important. It is not necessary for every botanical garden to do basic botanical research but they should all be involved in plant conservation issues, especially ex-situ conservation and keep accurate data on their living collections. Although a heavy responsibility this documentation is the foundation and the bottom line of scientific meaning for a botanical garden. Economic plant research, exploring new resources, was a major contribution of botanical gardens historically and remains important for sustainable cities and the national economy of China. Education and ecotourism are important ways for botanical gardens to serve the public displaying the interesting plant collections to enhance relaxation and well-being. It is reasonable to make income through all activities in a botanical garden but this should not be the major goal. It should be understood botanical gardens are comprehensive and multi-functional bodies determined by science, the arts and culture.

    The Best of Both Worlds——Building Gardens With a Sense of Place
    Patricia D.RAVEN
    2011, 33(01):  24-30.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10240
    Abstract ( 1598 )   HTML ( )   PDF (5630KB) ( 2039 )   Save
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    The last decade in China has been a period of great growth and renewal. More and more public garden has been built, many those gardens are built with Western-influenced styles and lack of Chinese factor. A garden with a strong sense of place will clearly put the visitor in a specific locality by astute use of design to support a distinctive regional character. Here the author gives several examples of famous gardens about how to keep the sense of place and try to give some useful suggestion on Chinese garden build.

    The Role of a Modern Botanic Garden: the Evolution of Kew
    David J.MABBERLEY
    2011, 33(01):  31-38.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10241
    Abstract ( 1773 )   HTML ( )   PDF (4990KB) ( 2855 )   Save
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    The history of botanic gardens in the United Kingdom is sketched out with particular reference to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and its changing role to meet societal requirements over 250 years. Kew′s position as a modern scientific institution confronting today′s environmental issues through its Breathing Planet Programme yet retaining its heritage buildings and collections is pinpointed.

    Botanical Literature Goes Global: The Biodiversity Heritage Library
    Judith A.WARNEMENT
    2011, 33(01):  39-45.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10239
    Abstract ( 1769 )   HTML ( )   PDF (3790KB) ( 2793 )   Save
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     Scholars in the natural sciences rely on historic literature more than any other branch of science. Yet much of this material has limited global distribution and much of it is available in only a few select libraries. This wealth of knowledge is available only to those few who can gain direct access to significant library collections, a situation that is considered one of the chief impediments to the efficiency of research in the field. Community support and new technologies led to the formation of the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The BHL is an international collaboration of natural history libraries working together to make biodiversity literature available for use by the widest possible audience through open access and sustainable management.

    Saving Our Planet′s Flora, the Contribution of the French National Natural History Museum to the Implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
    Ma?té DELMAS
    2011, 33(01):  46-52.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10248
    Abstract ( 1980 )   HTML ( )   PDF (383KB) ( 1884 )   Save
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    The National Natural History Museum plays a key role in the implementation of the GSPC through its botanical gardens, the Conservatoire Botanique National du Bassin Parisien, the Herbarium, and also by providing expertise on all areas of the Strategy (botany, conservation, ethonobotany, article 8j, substainable use), etc. For 2 of the goals of GSPC (conserving plant diversity, Understanding and Documenting Plant Diversity), the Muséum has developed activities all over the world, including compilation of various flora and description of new species, as well as establishment of plant conservation schemes and habitat protection policies. It also conserves endangered species in the botanical garden.

    Genomics Grand for Diversified Plant Secondary Metabolites
    Xin FANG, Chang-Qing YANG, Yu-Kun WEI, Qi-Xia MA, Lei YANG, Xiao-Ya CHEN
    2011, 33(01):  53-64.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10233
    Abstract ( 2318 )   HTML ( )   PDF (452KB) ( 3359 )   Save
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    Plants can generate an overwhelming variety of structurally diversified organic compounds called secondary metabolites. These compounds usually perform interesting biological activities and important functions in influencing interactions between plants and other organisms. They are also widely utilized as pharmaceuticals, insecticides, dyes, flavors and fragrances. Plant genome sequencing, transcriptome and metabolome analyses have provided huge amounts of data to explain the great diversity of secondary metabolites. This knowledge in turn will help us better understand their ecological role and is a creating novel tool for genetic engineering of plant secondary metabolism.

    Framework for Sustainable Use of Medicinal Plants in China
    Chang LIU, Hua YU, Shi-Lin CHEN
    2011, 33(01):  65-68.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10249
    Abstract ( 2164 )   HTML ( )   PDF (221KB) ( 3322 )   Save
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    China is the birth-place of Traditional Chines Medicine (TCM) and has a rich diversity of medicinal plant resources. With the rapid increase in consumer demands for crude drugs and natural health products, many medicinal plant species are threatened with extinction from overexploitation and habitat destruction. To ensure the sustainable use of medicinal plant resources, we discuss in this article, a conservation framework consisting of conservation strategies, cultivation practices and various technologies. Conservation strategies include establishing in-situ and ex-situ conservation centers, setting up government policies and regulations, establishing methods for resource surveying and trade monitoring and establishing and enforcing Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). In terms of technologies, we use a remote multi-level sensing system and DNA barcoding technologies as examples to demonstrate their roles in the conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plant resources in China.

    Floristics of Higher Plants in China——Report from Catalogue of Life: Higher Plants in China Database
    Li-Song WANG
    2011, 33(01):  69-74.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10258
    Abstract ( 2632 )   HTML ( )   PDF (969KB) ( 2519 )   Save
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    Biodiversity research increasingly relies on distribution networks for dealing with large-scale primary data. Up-to-date information on biodiversity is critical for the proper management and conservation of any area. The first step towards conservation should be to compile an authoritative species inventory or checklist. Catalogue of Life: Higher Plants in China (CNPC) is an ongoing biodiversity informatics project with the aim to integrate existing higher plants inventory data, and provide access via an internet based web service to public user and the scientific community. The CNPC, for the first time, provides integrated and authoritative taxonomic information on higher plant species found in China, and this database will be permanent, free and continously updated. Presently, a total of 34377 species have been included in the database. Among of them, 16620 species are only found in China. Taxa are classified into 432 families and 3941 genera. The CNPC will be an important source for scientists working on Chinese flora, and will play an important role in helping to achieve the targets set under the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation in the future.

    The Austrian Botanic Gardens Work Group, an Example of Active  Networking to Promote Small Botanic Gardens
    Roland K.EBERWEIN
    2011, 33(01):  75-79.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10234
    Abstract ( 2008 )   HTML ( )   PDF (218KB) ( 1613 )   Save
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    The continuously increasing demands on botanic gardens during the last few decades have led to a huge in increase administration and an urgent need for additional specialized personnel, especially botanists, teachers, database specialists and administrative staff. Instead of meeting these requirements, many botanic gardens are faceing a severe decrease in funding and personnel. Larger gardens provide the opportunity to distribute several tasks to different employees, whereas small gardens are short staffed and often run by a single curator who has to fulfill all functions. In order to meet actual demands more easily, the Austrian botanic gardens are linked nationally via an active workgroup. This network not only allows the distribution of information but also facilitates the sharing of duties. A listserver speeds up the communication and correspondence within the workgroup, collection priorities and projects (e.g., GSPC) are coordinated, seedbanking becomes decentralized, printed matters are shared and distributed, etc. Small gardens with only few employees can participate in projects by taking on small-ideally using with their special resources-in order not to fall behind. In addition, there is also an urgent need for international networking by means of plant and seed exchange (Index Seminum), BGCI membership, discussion groups, personal contacts and projects. Mission statements, special marketing strategies for public relations, integrating projects of other workgroup members and adapted public awareness programs are important to focus attention to small gardens and to help them keep alive.

    Safeguarding China′s Botanical HeritageFoundation item: BGCI′S Program in China——BGCI′s integrated conservation programme in China
    Xiang-Ying WEN, Joachim GRATZFELD, Sheng-Ji PEI
    2011, 33(01):  80-84.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.11014
    Abstract ( 1701 )   HTML ( )   PDF (218KB) ( 1756 )   Save
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    China′s rich floral diversity includes more than 33000 vascular plant species, representing approximately 10 percent of all known plant species. Over half of these species are endemic to China. However, China′s rapid economic development in the last 30 years and continuous population growth have seriously damaged plant resources in the wild and the ecological environment, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of endangered species. There are nearly 4000 to 5000 higher plants that are now threatened or on the verge of extinction. To help halt the loss of Chinese plant diversity, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has developed a China programme and opened its first office based in Guangzhou in 2008. This office works along with Chinese partners aiming to secure Chinese plant diversity through integrated conservation approaches with reintroduction/population reinforcement, engagement of local communities in conservation activities, capacity building in horticulture and environmental education and public outreach.

    Today and Tomorrow of Plant Collection in Chenshan Botanical Garden, Shanghai
    TIAN Qi- , XIAO yue-E-, HU Yong-Hong
    2011, 33(01):  85-90.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10246
    Abstract ( 2762 )   HTML ( )   PDF (508KB) ( 2577 )   Save
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    The plant collection of Chenshan Botanical Garden (CSBG) was started in 2005, when construction of the Garden began. This paper discussed the background of Chenshan Botanical Garden together with general planning and progress of the plant collection and the plant record system. Two collections are noted, the living collection and specimen collection. The former includes species collection and cultivars. The aim of the species collection is to collect plants of species which are distributed in China, especially ones in East China. The cultivar collection reflects interests with ornamental plants which are suitable to be planted in Shanghai and world-renowned such as Iris, Hydrangeas, Viburnums, Weigelas and Spiraeas. By 2010, there are more than 9000 taxa of living plants in the collection, including 1700 species(+infraspecific taxa) from local East China; 2800 cultivars from nurseries around the world; 4500 species and cultivars of tropical and subtropical plants from South China and other tropical areas of Asia. The Herbarium of Chenshan Botanical Garden (CSH) has collected 10000 specimens for research and reference for the living plants collection.

    Phylogeographical Study on Primula poissonii (Primulaceae) from Hengduan Mountains
    SONG Min-Shu-, LE Ji-Pei-, SUN Hang-, LI Zhi-Min
    2011, 33(01):  91-100.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10247
    Abstract ( 2889 )   HTML ( )   PDF (1231KB) ( 3038 )   Save
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    The topological effect of the Hengduan Mountains (HM) during the Quaternary climatic oscillation must have important effects on spatial distribution and genetic structure of plants distributed there. In this study, we examined the chloroplast trnL-F and trnT-L sequence variation of Primula poissonii, a relatively common alpine perennial endemic to this region. Eleven haplotypes were detected by analyzing 167 individuals from 13 populations of this species. Only three of them are commonly shared while the others are respectively fixed in the single population. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) for populations of P.poissonii showed that the genetic variation mainly resided among populations (99.08%), and the estimates of interpopulation differentiation were very high (GST =0.916, FST=0.99077, NST=0.973). Further, a highly significant phylogeographic structure was present (NST>GST, P<0.01) whereas the value of average gene flow was low (Nm=0.08) in the entire geographical range. Along with the nested clade analysis (NCA), our results indicate there were multiple refugia for this species during the glacial stages. We failed to detect the interglacial or postglacial range expansion in this species as commonly revealed for the other temperate plants. The nested clade analysis indicated that allopatric fragmentation was likely the major processes that shaped the present spatial distribution of haplotypes in this species. The special phylogeographic structure of P.poissonii may have resulted from a combination of both climatic oscillation and complex topology of HM.

    Liverworts and Hornworts of Fujian, China: an Updated Checklist and Bryofloristic Accounts
    ZHANG Xiao-Qing-, ZHU Rui-Liang-, HUANG Zhi-Sen-, CHEN Yun-Tai-, CHEN Wen-Wei
    2011, 33(01):  101-122.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.11005
    Abstract ( 3712 )   HTML ( )   PDF (989KB) ( 3139 )   Save
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    Fujian, located in the subtropics of southeastern China, is a province on the southeast cost of China directly across from Taiwan. Although the diversity of vascular plants of Fujian has been extensively studied, the diversity of liverworts and hornworts of this province is poorly understood. In this study, an updated checklist of Fujian liverworts and hornworts is provided based on published bryological literatures and our recent fieldwork as well as some specimens deposited in the herbarium of East China Normal University. The liverwort and hornwort flora of Fujian consists of 351 species of liverworts belonging to 79 genera in 41 families, and six species of hornworts belonging to four genera in one family. The present paper contributes 82 species as new records for this province. Tropical and subtropical families, such as Lejeuneaceae (94 spp.), Frullaniaceae (32 spp.), Plagiochilaceae (25 spp.), Radulaceae (23 spp.) and Lepidoziaceae (21 spp.) are the primary components of Fujian liverwort and hornwort flora. Sixty-three genera are represented by fewer than five species including 33 with only one representative species. The areal-type of Fujian liverworts and hornworts is mainly dominated by the East Asia element, the Tropical Asia element and the North Temperate element. Only one species, Solenostoma parviperianthum, is endemic to this province. In comparison with Taiwan, despite the close affinity, the diversity and the endemism of Fujian liverworts and hornworts are still far behind those of Taiwan.

    The Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens and Natural Areas: A Floristic Case Study from Royal Botanical Gardens, Canada
    David A.GALBRAITH, Natalie E.IWANYCKI, Brechann V.McGOEY, Jamie McGREGOR
    2011, 33(01):  123-131.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10235
    Abstract ( 2562 )   HTML ( )   PDF (681KB) ( 2168 )   Save
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    As leaders calling for the conservation of the world′s plants, botanical gardens protect plants within living collections. Many also study, manage and restore plants in natural habitats. Royal Botanical Gardens (Ontario, Canada) has integrated both horticultural and natural heritage in its mission for decades. Envisioned by municipal leaders in the 1920s as a combination of nature sanctuaries and civic gardens, RBG now includes forests, wetlands and other habitats, gardens and built spaces. Today RBG is Canada′s largest botanical garden on the basis of area. In the 1950s RBG began to inventory plant diversity. The checklist of spontaneous vascular plants now exceeds 1170 species, of which 752 are native. This is 37% of Ontario′s native vascular plants and 19% of the native vascular flora of Canada. The RBG nature sanctuaries are among the richest locations in Canada for species-level diversity. We examine the history of floristic exploration within RBG and compare plant species-area relationships among protected natural areas in Ontario. This comparison supports the contention that the nature sanctuaries, and in particular Cootes Paradise, could be considered an important area for plants in Canada, and relative to the nation′s flora, a biodiversity hotspot. The fact that a candidate vascular plant hotspot for Canada lies within a major botanical garden presents opportunities for raising public awareness of the importance of plant diversity, as well as focusing attention on the scientific and conservation biology needs of communities and individual species in this area.

    Nomenclatural Notes on Alien Invasive Vascular Plants in China
    YAN Xiao-Ling, MA Jin-Shuang
    2011, 33(01):  132-142.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1143.2011.10256
    Abstract ( 4302 )   HTML ( )   PDF (689KB) ( 2883 )   Save
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    Based on literatures of invasive plants, the scientific names of thirty alien invasive plants in China are reviewed here, since more than one name were used for one species by different anthers. The data from the floras updated were employed to compile the scientific name for each species. The vernacular name, basionym (if present), synonym(s) for each species, along with their distributions in China were provided.