J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2022, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (1): 105-117.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13189

• Molecular Ecology and Evolution • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial phylogenetics of the Chinese angiosperm flora provides insights into endemism and conservation

Xiao‐Xia Zhang1†, Jian‐Fei Ye1,2†, Shawn W. Laffan3, Brent D. Mishler4, Andrew H. Thornhill4,5,6, Li‐Min Lu1, Ling‐ Feng Mao7, Bing Liu1,8, You‐Hua Chen9, An‐Ming Lu1, Joseph T. Miller6,10* and Zhi‐Duan Chen1,8*   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2 Beijing Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    3 School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, SydneyNSW, 2052, Australia
    4 University and Jepson Herbaria, and Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, BerkeleyCA, 94720‐2465, USA
    5 The University of Adelaide, Environment Institute, AdelaideSA, 5005, Australia
    6 State Herbarium of South Australia, Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Department for Environment and Water, AdelaideSA, 5001, Australia
    7 College of Biology and the Environment, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
    8 Sino‐Africa Joint Research Center, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    9 Chengdu Institute of Biology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China
    10 Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Copenhagen, Denmark

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondences: Joseph T. Miller (jmiller@gbif.org); Zhi‐Duan Chen (zhiduan@ibcas.ac.cn, Dr. Chen is fully responsible for the distribution of all materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2021-07-16 Accepted:2021-11-10 Online:2022-01-13 Published:2022-01-01

Abstract: The flora of China is well known for its high diversity and endemism. Identifying centers of endemism and designating conservation priorities are essential goals for biodiversity studies. However, there is no comprehensive study from a rigorous phylogenetic perspective to understand patterns of diversity and endemism and to guide biodiversity conservation in China. We conducted a spatial phylogenetic analysis of the Chinese angiosperm flora at the generic level to identify centers of neo- and paleo-endemism. Our results indicate that: (i) the majority of grid cells in China with significantly high phylogenetic endemism (PE) were located in the mountainous regions; (ii) four of the nine centers of endemism recognized, located in northern and western China, were recognized for the first time; (iii) arid and semiarid regions in Northwest China were commonly linked to significant PE, consistent with other spatial phylogenetic studies worldwide; and (iv) six high-priority conservation gaps were detected by overlaying the boundaries of China's nature reserves on all significant PE cells. Overall, we conclude that the mountains of southern and northern China contain both paleo-endemics (ancient relictual lineages) and neo-endemics (recently diverged lineages). The areas we highlight as conservation priorities are important for broad-scale planning, especially in the context of evolutionary history preservation.

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