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The Ex-situ Conservation for Four Chinese Magnolia species

毛果木莲(Magnolia hebecarpa)

The family Magnoliaceae is one of the most primitive groups of angiosperms (flowering plants),which comprises 2 genera and over 300 species mainly distributed throughout southeastern Asia and tropical America. Approximately 2 genera and more than 160 species of Magnoliaceae are found in China, which include 53% species of Magnoliaceae in the world. Southwest and South China including Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Guizhou and their neighbor areas are the center of modern distribution and diversity conservation of Magnoliaceae in the world. China is the country with the richest species of Magnoliaceae all over the world, so it deserves the reputation of “Magnolia Kingdom”. A great deal of ancient anther and magnolioid fossil records suggest that magnolias possibly originated from China.

However, due to over-utilization of magnoliaceous plant resource, degradation of natural habitats and decline of natural reproductive ability, many magnoliaceous plants have become endangered and extinct in the wild. More than 30 species of Magnoliaceae were listed in China’s Red Data Book of Endangered Plants as rare and endangered species, 45 species included in the Red List of Magnoliaceae . Magnoliaceae is one of the families which contain the most rare and endangered species in angiosperm. Therefore, in order to conserve the biodiversity, to renew the degraded tropical and subtropical forest-ecosystem and to protect the environment which mankind relies on, it is necessary to conserve the germplasm of magnoliaceous plants, and rescue some rare and endangered species.

So far, the most of Chinese magnolias species have been ex-situ conserved in the botanical garden except for the few, such as Magnolia angustioblonga, M. hebecarpa, M. ingrata, and M. longipedunculata. 

金花含笑(Magnolia. ingrata


According to previous investigation and knowledge, Magnolia angustioblonga (EN) only occurs in Maolan Natural Reserve, Libo County, Guizhou Province. It was estimated that there are about 100 − 200 mature individuals scatteredly remaining. M. hebecarpa (CR) is distributed in forest fragments and along rivers at 300 −1200m altitude in Pingbian County, Yunnan Province. It was estimated that there are about 50 −100 mature individuals scatteredly remaining.  M. ingrata (EN) is only distributed in forest fragments at 1300−1800m altitude in Maguan County, Yunnan Province.  It was estimated that there are about 30−50 mature individuals scatteredly remaining. All the existing populations of above three species are very small, furthermore it is very rare to see good fruit-bearing. Their distributations are fragmental.  M. longipedunculata (DD) is only distributed in evergreen broad-leaved forest at alt. 700−800m altitude in Mt. Nankunshan, Longmen County, Guangdong Province, but there is no sufficient data about the population amount, population scale, and the ecological and biological characteristics. Up to now only one tree has been found. Therefore, we must carry out the field investigation for M. longipedunculata to evaluate its conservation status, and the ex-situ conservation for above four species.

The main objectives of this project are to evaluate the conservation status of Magnolia longipedunculata, and to ex-situ conserve four magnolia species in South China Botanical Garden.

Partner: South China Botanical garden, CAS