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A comparative floristic study on the seed plants of the east side and the west side of the northern Gaoligong Mts in Northwestern Yunnan, China



A comparative floristic study on the seed plants of the east side and the west side of the northern Gaoligong Mts in Northwestern Yunnan, China



Acta Botanica Yunnanica 30(2): 129-138



The differences in rainfall and temperature between the east and west sides of the northern Gaoligong Mts. leads to distinct differences in the plant diversity and floristic characteristics between the two sides. Recorded taxa on the east side induce 1 475 native species and 192 varieties (or subspecies) belonging to 580 genera in 152 families and for the west side induce 1 804 native species and 186 varieties (or subspecies) belonging to 659 genera in 162 families. Based on the statistics and analysis of families, genera, and species, a comparative floristic study on the seed plants for the east side and the west si le of the northern Gaoligong Mts. was carried out. The results are as follows: I) The present flora oil the east and west sides of the northern Gaoligong Mts. have the same floristic origins, but the relative contribution from these different sources has changed through time. The result is that the floristic similarity of families, genera, and species between the east side and the west side has decreased through time; 2) The floristic characteristic of seed plants for the west side has become more greatly influenced by tropical floristic elements than has that of the east side, and the influence by the temperate floristic elements has become less influenced on the west side but greater on the east side; 3) The flora of the west side is more closely linked with that of the eastern Himalayans than is the flora of the east side, and the flora of the east side is more closely linked with the other floras farther to the east. Owing to the obstruct of the Gaoligong Mts. ridge itself, it is seemingly difficult for the species interchange between the two sides of the northern Gaoligong Mts.; 4) The ecological-geographical environment has made it more conducive to species conservation and the speciation on the west side than on the east side, so the west side is not only a refuge for some ancient floristic elements but also as a cradle of some new species.

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