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Demonstration of Conservation and Reintroduction of Rare and Endangered Species, Dipteronia dyeriana, Magnolia odoratissima and M. aromatica

Dipteronia dyeriana (Yunnanjinqianqi): There are only two species in the genus Dipteronia Oliv., an endemic group to China. Dipteronia dyeriana is one of them, with distribution limited to southeastern Yunnan. It is very suitable for studies on the systematics and evolution of Aceraceae. It is a valuable species with potentials for horticulture and landscape architecture. Our recent phytochemical study revealed bioactive components with anti-tumor properties.? D. dyeriana was introduced to Kunming Institute of Botany successfully in 1992 and has been fruiting for years. More than six hundred, 2 - 3 metres high plants have been reproduced to date. Since all the seedlings originated from a single provenance, we collected over three thousand seeds of D. dyeriana from different provenances in 2008. D. dyeriana is categorized as Rare in “China Plant Red Data Book (Volume 1)” and as Critically Endangered (CR) in “National Protected Wild Plants in China’s Yunnan Province”.

云南金钱槭(Dipteronia dyeriana)
云南金钱槭(Dipteronia dyeriana)芽

Magnolia odoratissima (Xinxiangyulan): This species only occurs in Guangnan, Qiubei and Xichou counties in Yunnan with very few individuals. Its viridian leaves and beautiful flowers are big and aromatic, good for city landscaping and essence extraction. 10 seedlings were introduced to Kunming Botanic Gardens a few years ago. The seedlings are about 3 metres high now and grow well enough for taking cuttings and many plants have been reproduced to date. M. odoratissima is categorized as Endangered (EN) in “Magnolias of China” and as Critically Endangered (CR) in “National Protected Wild Plants in China’s Yunnan Province”.

Magnolia aromatica (Xiangmulian): It sporadically occurs in southeastern Yunnan and southwestern Guangxi. In Yunnan, its distribution area is limited to 30 hm2 in Wenshan Prefecture. It is a suitable species to study systematics and evolution of Magnoliaceae. Its aromatic, big and white flowers of graceful shape and vermeil fruits make it a perfect plant for urban landscaping and essence extraction. 10 seedlings were introduced two years ago in Kunming Botanic Gardens. The seedlings are about 3-4 metres high now and grow well enough for taking cuttings. M. aromatica is categorized as Endangered (EN) in “Magnolias of China” and “The Red List of Magnoliaceae”; in “National Protected Wild Plants in China’s Yunnan Province, it is categorized as Critically Endangered (CR).

  
馨香玉兰(Magnolia odoratissima
香木莲(Magnolia aromatica

Dipteronia dyeriana and Magnolia odoratissima are endemic to China with narrow distributions and very small populations, are not cultivated widely and not well researched.

Conservation and development are two themes of biodiversity conservation in the world, and plant resource conservation is one important part of biodiversity conservation and is a necessary approach to support sustainable development. Many institutions in China are protecting and studying critically endangered plants, however, exchanges of knowledge and expertise between them is still limited. In this project, ex situ conservation will be carried out and demonstration experiments of reintroductions will be implemented in Daweishan Nature Reserve in Pingbian Miao Autonomous County, Yunnan.

“Kunming Base” of Yunnan Introduction and Propagation Centre for Rare & Endangered Plant Species is the only ex situ conservation-based institution founded in Karst areas (mainly for Magnoliaceae) in south China in 1991. The area is 5 ha big. With years of experience of introduction, cultivation, propagation and research, we have conserved more than 120 threatened plant species in the centre. Nearly 70 Magnoliaceae, especially those recently found in Yunnan, have been collected and conserved here.

The Daweishan Nature Reserve in Pingbian Miao Autonomous County is a public institution under the leadership of the Forestry Department of Yunnan. Daweishan Nature Reserve is located in the southeast frontier of Yunnan and near to the border of Vietnam and China, close to the original sites of our target species, i.e. Dipteronia dyeriana, Magnolia odoratissima, and Magnolia aromatica. It is 15 kilometres far from Pingbian County site. Daweishan Nature Reserve was opened to public as a provincial scenic and historic interesting area in 1993. It was authorized as a national nature reserve by the State Council in June 2001. It is 30 kilometres long from north to south, and 6 kilometres wide from east to west. The total area is over 43993 hm2. The highest peak is 2365 metres; the second highest point is 2354 metres high, while the lowest altitude is 225 metres. It belongs to the tropical-subtropical ecological type with an annual temperature of 16.5 ℃ and the climate here is described as “flowers bloom in winter, spring stays forever”. There are various types of forestry ecosystems and abundant plants and animals in the reserve. Over 480 nationally protected plant species and over 160 nationally protected animal species live in the reserve and it is reputed as a natural “gene bank of plants and animals”, “the crown of plant kingdom” and a “biological museum”. The reserve is an important place for biodiversity conservation and ecotourism.

The three critically endangered species do not occur in Daweishan Nature Reserve, but they are naturally distributed close to the nature reserve. It is therefore suitable bio-physically for reintroduction. The implementation of this project will increase the plant diversity of Daweishan Reserve.


OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT:

  • Survey intensively three critically endangered plant species.
  • Carry out ex situ conservation of three critically endangered plants (Yunnan Introduction and Propagation Centre for Rare & Endangered Plant Species).
  • Study propagation techniques.
  • Carry out demonstration studies for reintroduction.
  • Publicize functions of rare and endangered plants in biodiversity conservation.
Partner: Yunnan Introduction and Propagation Centre for Rare & Endangered Plant Species