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Abstract: Species catalogue is the basic biota data of a natural geographical region or administrative division, and is the premise of biodiversity research, conservation and rational utilization. However, due to continuous advances of plant taxonomy and systematics, as well as different standpoints of taxonomists, botanical references have adopted a variety of taxonomic systems and treatments. Species catalogue therefore needs continuous updates. This study is based on data collected from taxonomic references ranging from monograph, herbarium to field investigation, including Flora of Yunnan, Checklist of Yunnan Seed Plants, Flora of China, among others. After rigorous data processing and review, we archived the Catalogue of Seed Plants in Yunnan Province (version 2016). As the most authoritative and accurate data set of seed plants in Yunnan so far, this catalogue is expected to facilitate the research, conservation, and rational utilization of seed plants, providing bases for biodiversity management and relevant policy-making. The data set contains information on 16,064 species, covering 2,392 genera and 253 families of seed plants in Yunnan Province. These include 113 species of gymnosperms (including infraspecies, or 105 species excluding infraspecies) in 25 genera and 9 families, and 15,951 species of angiosperms (including infraspecies, or 14,433 excluding infraspecies) in 2,367 genera and 244 families. The data set consists of four parts of data: family name in Latin, family name in Chinese, scientific name and Chinese name.
Keywords: Yunnan; seed plants; catalogue
|Title||The catalogue of seed plants in Yunnan Province|
|Data authors||Chen Jiahui, Deng Tao, Zhang Daigui, Le Jipei, Zhou Zhuo, Sun Lu, Li Yanbo, Li Wenqing, Shi Mingming, Sun Hang|
|Data corresponding authors||Sun Hang (firstname.lastname@example.org); Chen Jiahui (email@example.com)|
|Geographical scope||Yunnan Province (E97°31′～106°12′, N21°08′～29°15′)|
|Data volume||6.79 MB|
|Data service system||<http://www.sciencedb.cn/dataSet/handle/489>|
|Sources of funding||Cataloguing of Yunnan Biota, Yunnan Provincial Department of Environmental Protection (2016) (530007081508006); Service project of special research institutes of Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Plant Big Data Platform and iFlora Project of Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KIB2016005).|
|Dataset composition||This data set covers 16,064 species of seed plants in 253 families and 2,392 genera (including infraspecies), among which 113 species in 9 families and 25 genera (including infraspecies) are gymnosperms, and 15,951 species in 244 families, 2,367 genera (including infraspecies) are angiosperms. The data set includes information on the plants' family name in Latin, family name in Chinese, species name in Latin, and species name in Chinese.|
Due to its unique geographical location, complex topography and diverse ecological environments, Yunnan Province is home to abundant plants and is known as "Kingdom of the Plants". Being the intersection zone of the world's three biodiversity hotspots, namely Eastern Himalaya, Indo-Burma, China's Southwest Mountains,1–3 the place has attracted extensive attention worldwide. According to the comprehensive biodiversity evaluation criteria proposed by Wan Bentai et al.,4 Yunnan should be ranked among the "abundant". Nationwide, Yunnan is among the top for biodiversity cataloging research, and is an area highly concerned by botanists and environmentalists.5 As biodiversity investigation and research advanced in recent years, numerous new taxa in Yunnan have been discovered and published. While most of them are new species, some are new genera, and some are even elevated to new families according to research advances, such as Borthwickiaceae.6 In recent years, approximately 20 new species in Yunnan were discovered or described each year.
With advances in plant taxonomy and systematics, biologists proposed an angiosperm APG system (I-IV) and a new system of gymnosperm based on molecular phylogenetics.7–8 However, debates continue on whether a classification system should be mainly based on molecular or morphological evidence. Meanwhile, due to continuous advances in plant taxonomy, systematics and species cataloging, the scope of families, genera and species are being re-delimited by floras such as Flora of Yunnan and Flora of China, which then adopted different plant systems. Varied plant systems and taxonomic treatments are likely to cause inconvenience or even confusion to researchers in life science, agriculture, forestry, medicine, environmental science, as well as to government managers. As plant catalogue is the basis of plant research and conservation, it is important to re-catalogue the plants of Yunnan based on the latest advances on plant taxonomy and systematics.
In this study, we integrated the latest advances in plant taxonomy and systematics, consulted taxonomists' opinions, and re-catalogued the seed plants of Yunnan based on floras such as Flora of China and Flora of Yunnan. A data set of seed plants in Yunnan was compiled – the Catalogue of Seed Plants in Yunnan Province (hereinafter referred to as "CSPY").
2.1 Data source
The raw data of CSPY were mainly collected from Flora of Yunnan and Checklist of Yunnan Seed Plants. Other sources include: (1) Flora of China, Chinese Seed Plant Dictionary, etc., which recorded plant distribution in Yunnan; (2) latest classification revisions, advances in molecular phylogeny, and new taxa or species discovered in Yunnan since 1984; (3) other publications containing seed plant records in Yunnan, such as local floras, natural reserve biodiversity investigation reports, regional biodiversity monographs (such as The Seed Plants in Subnival Area of Hengduan Mountain), etc.; (4) herbariums of the following institutions: Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (KUN); Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (PE); Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CDBI); Institute of Life Sciences, Sichuan University (SZ); Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (HNWP); Xishuangbanna Botanical Garden (HITBC); Yunnan University (YNKU); Southwest Forestry University (SWFC), etc., and some online databases such as Chinese Virtual Herbarium (CVH, www.cvh.ac.cn), National Specimen Information Infrastructure (NSII, http://www.nsii.org.cn), Chinese Field Herbarium (CFH, http://www.nature-museum.net); and (5) recent field expedition outcomes and expert opinions/advice on specific taxa. We also collected synonyms of the plants' scientific names not listed in the above-mentioned floras, mainly from Dictionary of Families and Genera of China, The Families and Genera of Angioserms in China: A Comprehensive Review, and other taxonomy-related journals. We also included the name of the species wrongly recorded as distributed in Yunnan and of those unrecorded ones with actual distribution in Yunnan. In addition, we have corrected misspelled names of the species (mainly records from Flora of Yunnan, Flora of China, and local floras or monographs) (e.g., Sigesbeckia is misspelled as Siegesbeckia). All of the above-mentioned data have been included for subsequent processing.
2.2 Methods and criteria of data processing
(1) Synonym processing
We used the following databases for synonym matching and processing: Tropicos (http://www.tropicos.org), The Plant List (http://www.theplantlist.org), Species 2000 China Node (http://www.sp2000.cn/joaen/index.php), and Flora of China (http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2). We first searched species names against these databases for possible synonyms. We then manually checked all the synonyms and the unmatched names carefully. A full checklist of seed plants in Yunnan was therefore achieved, coupled with a set of advice on anomaly treatment for further expert review.
(2) Taxonomic system selection
We delimited the scope of family and genus based on the latest achievements in plant taxonomy and systematics, and hence adopted the APG IV system9 for angiosperm, and the Flora of China system for gymnosperm.
(3) Expert opinion as the golden rule
Considering taxonomists were experts of a specific plant taxon, we tended to value their opinions over others when treating plant species of their specialization. However, reasons were required when they disagreed on our proposed treatments.
(4) Treatment of new species recorded in Flora of Yunnan
In Flora of Yunnan, some new species were named and described. For these species, we referred to the original description in the flora to decide whether the new species was legitimate or not. All illegitimate species have been removed.
(5) Principles for infraspecies processing
In order to truly reflect the plant diversity of Yunnan Province, we used the concept of variety or subspecies. When a species had two or more subspecies or varieties and only one variety/subspecies (but not the original/ancestral) was distributed in Yunnan, we only included the variety/subspecies, and counted it as a species in plant diversity statistics.
(6) Major principles for selecting Chinese family, genera and species names
The Chinese names of a taxon were mainly from Red List of Biodiversity in China: Advanced Plants Edition, published in 2015 jointly by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of P.R. China and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. For names not matched or included in the Red List, we preferred the Chinese names in Flora of Yunnan, and then Flora of China. For new species published, original Chinese names were proposed if names were not given in the original reference.
2.3 Review process
The CSPY review process involved three steps: working group review, expert review, and final review.
(1) Working group review
A preliminary examination was carried out by the working group, during which the names of all the species in the raw data were reviewed one by one in accordance with the above principles.
(2) Expert review via meetings and letters
Meeting review: We invited plant taxonomists to meetings held at Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, to review and revise the checklist proposed by the working group.
Letter review: Expert review was in the meantime carried out through e-mail. The working group made corresponding revisions according to experts' written opinions.
(3) Final review
All of the reviewers' comments were combined and summarized. The working group then checked and reviewed the checklist: duplicate names were removed, editing errors and typos were corrected, and the information was formatted to form a preliminary version of the catalogue; in the meantime, an evaluation report was generated and submitted to the expert committee for approval.
The CSPY data set covers 16,064 species of seed plants in Yunnan Province, which belong to 2,392 genera and 253 families. These include 113 species of gymnosperms (including infraspecies, or 105 species excluding infraspecies) in 25 genera and 9 families, and 15,951 species of angiosperms (including infraspecies, or 14,433 species excluding infraspecies) in 2,367 genera and 244 families. The data set consists of four parts of data: family name in Latin, family name in Chinese, scientific name and Chinese name (Figures 1 & 2).
In order to ensure the quality of the data, an advisory committee, a core expert group and a working group were established for data evaluation and review.
The advisory committee consisted of 15 experts from Endangered Species Scientific Commission (P.R.C), Yunnan Endangered Species Scientific Commission of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yunnan Provincial Department of Environmental Protection, Yunnan Provincial Department of Forestry, and Yunnan University. Six academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in the advisory committee guided the evaluation process.
The core expert group was composed of 28 senior experts from 11 research institutes and universities.
The working group consisted of researchers from Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Jishou University.
The CSPY data set is so far the most authoritative and accurate catalogue of seed plants in Yunnan Province. It provides statistical basis for future scientific research, biodiversity conservation, rational resource utilization, as well as biodiversity-related management and policy-making concerning the seed plants in Yunnan Province, particularly of government-department levels.
Relatively simple in structure, this data set contains information organized into four data fields, accessible at Science Data Bank: <http://www.sciencedb.cn/dataSet/handle/489>. Users who request information beyond online provision can contact Chen Jiahui (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sun Hang (email@example.com). The CSPY data set also has an online platform (http://bio360.kun.ac.cn/index/special), which is under continuous upgrades and updates.
We thank members of the Advisory Committee and the Core Expert Panel of this project for their valuable guidance and advice during their review of this catalogue.
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1. Chen J, Deng T, Zhang D et al. The catalogue of seed plants in Yunnan Province. Science Data Bank. DOI: 10.11922/sciencedb.489
How to cite this article
Chen J, Deng T, Zhang D et al. The catalogue of seed plants in Yunnan Province. China Scientific Data 3 (2018). DOI: 10.11922/csdata.2017.18.zh