Composition and geographical affinity of the tree species Caryota obtusa forests in the Honghe region, SW China

CHEN Wenhong1,2 SHI Jipu3 WEN Jun4 GUO Shiwei1 CHANG Yanfen3 SHUI Yumin1,2

(1.Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China 650201)
(2.Karst Biodiversity Conservation Institute of Yunnan, Kunming, China 650201)
(3.Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla, Yunnan, China 666303)
(4.United States National Herbarium, Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, USA)

【Abstract】 Caryota obtusa forests are characterized as showy vegetation with rich species diversity and a unique habitat in the Honghe region of China. Due to its food and horticulture value, mature Caryota obtusa individuals have become more rare in the field. Here, we sampled six plots in a deep karst valley of the Honghe region of Yunnan, China. In each 20 m × 20 m plot, our examination focused on species composition of trees via the measure of any trees with DBH ≥ 4 cm. Importance values were produced from datasets of their relative abundance (RA), relative frequency (RF), and relative prominence (RP). On one hand, we analyzed the composition and geographical affinity of the tree species in Caryota obtusa forests based on the two patterns of geographic distributions (areal-type and natural geographic unit), respectively. On the other hand, we selected the top 5 dominant tree species based on importance value and illustrated their distributions to confirm the position of sampled vegetation in the background of the entire distribution of the target species. The above survey and analysis revealed that there were 67 tree species contained in the sampled vegetation, which was a Caryota obtusa + Streblus macrophyllus community and the geographic affinity of the vegetation belonged to the geographic unit of Indo China Peninsula with some strong karst background. Our study implies that the vegetation sampled here reached its northernmost distribution and deserved to be prioritized in conservation as it was a biodiversity hotspot in IndoChina Peninsula.

【Keywords】 northernmost tropic; karst valley; palm; relic habitat; tropic vegetation;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (31370228) National Geographic Society Grant of USA (NGS8288-07) Open Fund of Key Laboratory of East Asian Plant Diversity and Biogeography, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KLB201205)

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This Article


CN: 11-3247/Q

Vol 25, No. 08, Pages 823-829

August 2017


Article Outline


  • 1 Materials and methods
  • 2 Results
  • 3 Discussion
  • Supplementary Material
  • References