Assessment of the evolutionary history of Lauraceae in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve using DNA barcoding

HOU Qinxi1,2 CI Xiuqin1,2 LIU Zhifang1,2 XU Wumei3 LI Jie1

(1.Laboratory of Plant Phylogenetics and Conservation, Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223)
(2.University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049)
(3.School of Energy and Environment Science, Yunnan Normal University, Kunming 650500)

【Abstract】Global biodiversity is diminishing at an unprecedented rate due to anthropogenic changes in the environment and establishing nature reserve is one of the most effective strategies for reducing biodiversity loss. Xishuangbanna, located in Southwest China, is a famous biodiversity hotspot and Lauraceae plants play an important role in the composition of its forest vegetation. To assess the role of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve (XNNR, established in 1958) in the conservation of evolutionary history of Lauraceae and to demonstrate the importance of combining phylogenetic information with biodiversity conservation, the evolutionary distinctiveness (ED), phylogenetic diversity (PD), species richness (SR), and endangerment categories of Lauraceae plants in Xishuangbanna were investigated. The results show that XNNR conserved only half of Lauraceae species (54.5%) found in Xishuangbanna, while 88.8% of PD was protected. However, there were still some areas (e.g. Daluo Town and Yiwu Town) with high PD that were not listed as conservation areas. A total of 19 species with high ED values (> 0.1) were found in Xishuangbanna, of which five species (26.3%) were not conserved in the XNNR, while 20 (37.0%) of 54 endangered species were not distributed in the nature reserve. Only three species with both high ED and endangerment categories were not found in the nature reserve. Our study shows that the XNNR protected a large proportion of PD and species with high conservation value, however, some important evolutionary history and endangered species of Lauraceae were still not conserved in the XNNR, indicating that the traditional assessment solely based on species richness could not incorporate phylogenetic information completely. We therefore conclude that PD should be considered in establishing nature reserves to maximize the evolutionary potential in an uncertain future.

【Keywords】 evolutionary history; phylogenetic diversity; evolutionary distinctiveness; nature reserve; DNA barcoding; Lauraceae;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (31770569, 31500454) Biodiversity Conservation Strategy of Strategic Biological Resources Service Network Plan by Chinese Academy of Sciences (ZSSD-013)

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This Article



Vol 26, No. 03, Pages 217-228

March 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • Supplementary Material
  • Footnote