J Syst Evol ›› 2020, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (5): 663-672.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12642

Special Issue: Virtual Issue to Celebrate the Legacy and Life of Professor Wen-Tsai Wang

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An updated Chinese vascular plant tree of life: Phylogenetic diversity hotspots revisited

Hai-Hua Hu1,2† , Bing Liu1,3† , Yi-Shuo Liang1 , Jian-Fei Ye1,2,4, Saddam Saqib1,2 , Zhen Meng5 , Li-Min Lu1 * , and Zhi-Duan Chen1 *   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3 Sino‐Africa Joint Research Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    4 Beijing Botanical Garden, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    5 Computer Network Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
  • Received:2020-02-26 Accepted:2020-05-25 Online:2020-06-01 Published:2020-09-01


Large‐scale phylogenies provide a framework for interdisciplinary investigations in taxonomy, evolutionary biology, biogeography, ecology, and conservation. Integration of regional tree of life and species distribution data has greatly promoted spatial phylogenetic studies on biodiversity, floristic assembly, and biogeographic regionalization. In this study, we updated the phylogenetic tree of Chinese vascular plants by integrating data from public databases and sequences newly generated by our laboratory, to facilitate the exploration of floristic and ecological questions at a country scale. A phylogenetic tree with 15 092 tips and 14 878 species was obtained, including 13 663 species (44.0%) and 2953 genera (95.7%) native to China. Only two families (Corsiaceae and Mitrastemonaceae) and 133 genera native to China are not sampled in this study. Low proportion of sampling is detected in orders with high species diversity and those with low species diversity. The Hengduan Mountains, plus the western Qinghai–Tibet Plateau and western Xinjiang, show the greatest gap of target molecular data for angiosperms. Our phylogeny of Chinese vascular plants recovers relationships among and within major lineages that are highly congruent with published phylogenies at a broader scale. Most families (98.7%) are supported as monophyletic, and 573 genera (17.9%) are recognized as non‐monophyletic. Finally, hotspots of phylogenetic diversity for the Chinese angiosperms at both the genus and species levels are identified based on our phylogram, implicating conservation priorities for phylogenetic diversity. The updated phylogeny of Chinese vascular plants is publically available to generate subtrees through our automated phylogeny assembly tool SoTree in the DarwinTree platform (http://www.darwintree.cn/flora-sotree-v2/index.shtml).

Key words: China, phylogenetic diversity hotspots, phylogram, SoTree, species-level tree, vascular plant