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30 December 2008 The Tropical Flora of Southern Yunnan, China, and Its Biogeographic Affinities
Zhu Hua
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Abstract

The flora of Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan, southwestern China, consists of 3340 native seed plant species belonging to 1176 genera and 182 families. Tropical floristic elements at the generic level form a major contribution (78.3%) to the total flora of southern Yunnan, of which the dominant geographic elements are those of tropical Asian distribution. The tropical Asian flora of Xishuangbanna is similar in composition to other tropical floras from Yunnan, especially in the families with the most species richness. These regional floras have similarities of more than 89% at the family level and more than 76% at the generic level, but share only 43%–50% similarity at the specific level. Comparison with mainland Southeast Asia (Thailand) and Malesia (Malay Peninsula) floras reveals that most of the dominant families from southern Yunnan are also dominant in mainland Southeast Asian and Malesian floras. The floristic similarities between the flora of southern Yunnan and those of tropical Asia are more than 80% at the family level and more than 64% at the generic level. This suggests that the tropical flora of southern Yunnan has a close affinity with tropical Asian flora and supports the idea that the flora of southern Yunnan, together with mainland Southeast Asian flora, belongs to the Indo-Malaysian floristic subkingdom of the Paleotropical kingdom as suggested by Takhtajan, or the Malaysian subkingdom of the Paleotropical kingdom as suggested by Wu and Wu. However, situated at the northern margin of tropical Asia, the flora of southern Yunnan comprises less strictly tropical elements compared to Malaysian flora and, consequently, represents only a marginal type of Indo-Malaysian flora. The tropical flora of southern Yunnan is supposed to be derived from tropical Asian flora with the formation of the eastern monsoon climate after the Tertiary.

Zhu Hua "The Tropical Flora of Southern Yunnan, China, and Its Biogeographic Affinities," Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 95(4), 661-680, (30 December 2008). https://doi.org/10.3417/2006081
Published: 30 December 2008
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KEYWORDS
Biogeographic affinity
floristic composition
southern Yunnan
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