South Chinese BioProvince
This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) comprises the coastal zone of China from Macao (Macau) to Nanning, the Luichow Peninsula, Hainan Island, the southern tropical region of Yunnan and the northern tip of Vietnam. It also extends into the eastern extremites of Burma and the northern parts of Thailand and Laos. The geology is complex and varied while the climate is essentially subtropical. The rich flora includes a number of endemic genera such as Chaydaia, Dasydesmus, Eberhardtia, Graphistemma, Hainania, Paedicalyx, Rhaphiocarpus, Sapindopsis, Sinosideroxylon, Thysanospermum and Xanthophytopsis, and many endemic species. Hainan Island is particularly important for its endemic plant taxa with several endemic genera including Cathayanthe, Chunia, Metapetrocosmea, Pentastelma and Wenchengia, and over 500 endemic species. Hainan supports what have been described as globally unique ecosystems while Hainan’s Dongzhaigang Mangrove Reserve is one of the World’s most important wetlands. Another important floristic area is Fan Si Pan, the highest mountain (3143 m) in Vietnam, situated near the Chinese border. Here about 30% of the flora is endemic and comprises a strange archaic element. This includes a number of monospecific families such as Bretschnederaceae, Pentaphyllacaceae, Rhoipteleaceae and Sargentodoxaceae, and various endemic genera. The mountain appears to have provided a refuge for certain taxa during glacial extensions but it is also thought to be an important centre for angiosperm radiation in its own right as reflected in its high biodiversity.
The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.
|Endemic Plant Flora (Hainan)|