Flora of Beijing: an overview and suggestions for future research

Type Journal Article - Urban habitats
Title Flora of Beijing: an overview and suggestions for future research
Volume 1
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
Page numbers 30-44
URL http://www.urbanhabitats.org/v01n01/beijing_full.html
This paper reviews Flora of Beijing (He, 1992), especially from the perspective of the standards of modern urban floras of western countries. The geography, land-use and population patterns, and vegetation of Beijing are discussed, as well as the history of Flora of Beijing. The vegetation of Beijing, which is situated in northern China, has been drastically altered by human activities; as a result, it is no longer characterized by the pine-oak mixed broad-leaved deciduous forests typical of the northern temperate region. Of the native species that remain, the following dominate: Pinus tabuliformis, Quercus spp., Acer spp., Koelreuteria paniculata, Vitex negundo var. heterophylla, Spiraea spp., Themeda japonica, and Lespedeza spp. Common cultivated species include Juglans regia, Castanea mollissima, Ziziphus jujuba, Corylus spp., Prunus armeniaca, Hydrangea bretschneideri, and Lonicera spp. Crop plants such as corn and wheat are also very common. Few species are endemic to Beijing, but some semiendemic species are shared with the neighboring province of Hebei. This paper includes lists of plants, including native, endemic, cultivated, nonnative, invasive, and weed species, as well as a list of relevant herbarium collections. We also make suggestions for future revisions of Flora of Beijing in the areas of description and taxonomy. We recommend more detailed categorization of species by origin (from native to cultivated, including plants introduced, escaped, and naturalized from gardens and parks); by scale and scope of distribution (detailing from worldwide to special or unique local distribution); by conservation ranking (using IUCN standards, for example); by habitat; and by utilization. Finally, regarding plant treatments, we suggest improvements in the stability of nomenclature, descriptions of taxa, and the quality and quantity of specimens used. We also recommend that information on and treatment of cultivated species, along with illustrations of species and maps, should be included in Flora of Beijing to promote a deeper understanding of the flora.

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