J Syst Evol ›› 2023, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (6): 979-989.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12939

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Geographic patterns and environmental correlates of taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of aquatic plants in China

Ya-Dong Zhou1, Hong Qian2, Ke-Yan Xiao3, Qing-Feng Wang3,4*, and Xue Yan3,4*   

  1. 1 School of Life Sciences, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330031, China;
    2 Research and Collections Center, Illinois State Museum, Springfield, Illinois, USA;
    3 Wuhan Botanical Garden/Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China;
    4 Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, China
    [Correction added on 30 October 2023, after first publication: Results and Discussion sections, Figures 2D, 3A, 4D, S3, and Tables S4, S5 have been revised]
    *Authors for correspondence. Qing-Feng Wang. E-mail: qfwang@wbgcas.cn; Xue Yan. E-mail: yanx@wbgcas.cn
  • Received:2022-05-10 Accepted:2022-11-30 Online:2022-12-07 Published:2023-11-01

Abstract: Studies on large-scale geographic patterns of aquatic plant diversity can promote research on the generality of macroecological patterns in different ecosystems. Here, we compiled a checklist of 889 aquatic angiosperms in China, including 738 helophytes (emergent and marshy plants) and 151 hydrophytes (submerged, free-floating, and floating-leaved plants). We explore the geographic patterns and environmental correlates of aquatic plant diversity based on six metrics including species richness (SR), weighted endemism (WE), phylogenetic diversity (PD), phylogenetic endemism (PE), the standardized effect size of phylogenetic diversity (PDses), and the standardized effect size of mean phylogenetic distance (MPDses). Our results show that the diversity of aquatic plants in China is extremely uneven, with high diversity in southeastern China and low diversity in northwestern China, and the geographic patterns of taxonomic and PD are generally consistent. The pattern of helophytes differs from that of hydrophytes. Notably, the wavy-shaped pattern of aquatic plant diversity (especially SR and PD for hydrophytes) across the latitude observed in this study is not consistent with those previously observed for aquatic plants in other continents. Climatic variables and water environmental variables are the main drivers of aquatic plant diversity in China; however, the effects of individual variables differ between helophytes and hydrophytes. Water environmental variables have a greater impact on PDses and MPDses of hydrophytes than those of helophytes. Overall, our work provides insight into understanding the large-scale patterns of aquatic plant diversity and is a critical addition to previous studies on the macroecological pattern of terrestrial organisms.

Key words: aquatic plant, endemism, helophyte, hydrophyte, phylogenetic diversity, species richness