Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2019, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (1): 1-15.doi: 10.17521/cjpe.2018.0091

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Species richness patterns and resource plant conservation assessments of Rosaceae in China

Dong-Ting ZOU1,Qing-Gang WANG2,Ao LUO1,Zhi-Heng WANG1,*()   

  1. 1 Institute of Ecology and Key Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes of the Ministry of Education, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2 College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Organic Farming of Beijing City, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
  • Received:2018-04-18 Accepted:2018-05-29 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-01-20
  • Contact: Zhi-Heng WANG
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Basic Research Program of China(2017YFA0605101);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31522012);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31470564);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31621091)


Aims Rosaceae is a widely-distributed family with numerous economic resource plants in China. However, the species richness pattern and the current conservation status of resource plants remain poorly evaluated. Here we aim to identify the economic resource plants of Rosaceae in China, estimate the species richness patterns for all Rosaceae plants combined and for different resource groups and evaluate the relationships between species richness patterns and environmental variables. We also evaluate the current conservation status of economic resource plants of Rosaceae.
Methods We first made the species list of all 914 Rosaceae species in China and identified the species with different economic usages, including edible, ornamental, medicinal plants and fruit germplasm resources. We then collected high-resolution distribution maps of all Rosaceae species, estimated the species richness patterns by overlapping these maps, and identified the diversity hotspots of different species groups. With high-resolution environmental data, we compared the effects of different environmental variables on the species richness and species composition of all Rosaceae species combined and the four main resource groups using generalized linear models (GLM) and redundancy analysis (RDA). Finally, we evaluated the conservation status of Rosaceae with distribution data overlaid by maps of nature reserves of China in ArcGIS.
Important findings 1) The species richness hotspots of Rosaceae in China are mainly located in the mountain areas in the north, east and west of Sichuan basin as well as Hengduan Mountains. 2) Species richness patterns of Rosaceae are mainly determined by humidity factors. 3) Poorly protected species are mainly in Hengduan Mountains, Southeast Yunnan and Xizang, and concentrated in the genus of Rubus.

Key words: Rosaceae, species richness, humidity, plant resource, plant diversity conservation, natural reserve

Table 1

Numbers of resources plant species and poorly protected species in genera with ≥15 species in Rosaceae"

Genus name
Number of
Number (proportion) of poorly protected species
Edible plants
Ornamental plants
Medicinal plants
Fruit germplasm resource
Total number of resource species
Number (proportion)
of poorly protected resource species
悬钩子属 Rubus 206 74 (0.359) 27 10 63 171 175 51 (0.291)
蔷薇属 Rosa 94 27 (0.287) 10 53 37 36 57 3 (0.053)
委陵菜属 Potentilla 83 11 (0.133) 4 16 36 0 40 0
绣线菊属 Spiraea 67 13 (0.194) 0 37 23 0 39 3 (0.077)
花楸属 Sorbus 64 13 (0.203) 2 11 17 22 26 0
栒子属 Cotoneaster 61 4 (0.066) 0 20 16 55 58 3 (0.052)
石楠属 Photinia 43 17 (0.395) 0 7 9 1 10 0
樱属 Cerasus 38 0 5 13 15 19 23 0
苹果属 Malus 23 2 (0.087) 7 19 14 20 21 1 (0.048)
山楂属 Crataegus 18 5 (0.278) 6 6 13 15 16 4 (0.250)
绣线梅属 Neillia 15 7 (0.467) 0 6 3 0 6 0

Fig. 1

Species richness pattern of Rosaceae in China. Colors reflect number of Rosaceae species in each grid cell."

Fig. 2

Species richness patterns and hotspots of the four main resource groups (edible, ornamental, medicinal plants and fruit germplasm resources) of Rosaceae. The left column shows species richness patterns. The central column shows species richness hotspots (different colors represent different quantiles of species richness in each grid cell). The right column shows the ratios of the number of resource species and the number of all species in each grid cell."

Fig. 3

The overlaid map of species richness hotspots of the four resource groups (edible, ornamental, medicinal plants and fruit germplasm resources) of Rosaceae. The orange and red colors represent the number of resource groups sharing the grid cell as their hotspot (see Materials and Methods 1.5). Green color represents national and provincial natural reserves in China."

Table 2

Relationships between species richness patterns and environmental variables for all species combined and for the four main resource groups (i.e. edible, ornamental, medicinal plants and fruit germplasm resources) of Rosaceae"

Environmental variables
Edible plants
Ornamental plants
Medicinal plants
Fruit Germplasm Resource
MAT 14.4 24.1 15.4 16.6 19.0
MTCQ 21.4 20.5 18.0 18.1 29.2
MTWQ 3.7 20.1 7.7 9.3 3.7
AP 25.2 27.3 21.6 25.9 27.9
MI 35.0 24.3 28.7 31.1 36.2
AET 23.2 35.3 24.7 28.4 28.0
气候季节性 Climate
TSN -19.3 -5.2 -9.7 -8.2 -30.6
PSN -11.1 -8.6 -9.8 -12.7 -12.0
生境异质性 Habitat
logELER 21.0 2.4 11.3 10.9 19.4
logMATR 20.1 2.0 10.8 10.2 18.7
logAPR 9.3 2.3 5.6 5.8 7.1
Climate Change since the LGM
anomaly_MAT -12.7 -7.7 -7.1 -9.0 -17.1
anomaly_AP -5.5 n.s. -3.7 -1.8 -6.8
velocity_MAT -25.3 -10.6 -17.2 -17.4 -30.9
velocity_AP -11.5 -15.9 -11.9 -10.5 -17.8

Table 3

Conservation status of species diversity hotspots of Rosaceae"

Type of hotspot
Number of
grid cells
Proportion of grid cells covered by natural reserves
Mean number of natural reserves in each grid cell
Proportion of area
covered by natural reserves
Proportion of grid cells with < 10% of area covered by natural reserve
所有物种 All species 189 0.693 1.47 0.135 0.397
食用植物 Edible plants 165 0.721 1.58 0.102 0.327
园林植物 Ornamental plants 187 0.717 1.52 0.124 0.380
药用植物 Medicinal plants 185 0.735 1.55 0.122 0.373
水果种质资源 Fruit germplasm resource 172 0.727 1.57 0.137 0.424
四类热点 Type IV hotspot 78 0.782 2.01 0.161 0.333
三类热点 Type III hotspot 94 0.691 1.18 0.091 0.426
二类热点 Type II hotspot 25 0.680 1.40 0.116 0.360
单一热点 Type I hotspot 65 0.631 1.11 0.068 0.446

Table 4

The number of poorly protected species of the four main resource groups (edible, ornamental, medicinal plants and fruit germplasm resources) of Rosaceae"

Resource type
Total number
of species
Number of poorly protected species
Proportion of poorly protected species
Edible plants
120 1 0.008
Ornamental plants
286 12 0.042
Medicinal plants
495 8 0.016
Fruit germplasm resource
398 61 0.153

Fig. 4

Species richness pattern of poorly protected species in Rosaceae. The definition of poorly protected species is the intersection between narrowly-ranged species (bottom 25% of range sizes) and the species whose distributed grid cells are less protected (bottom 25% numbers of distributed grids covered by natural reserves)."

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