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Successfully Propagating and Ex Situ Conserving the Critically Endangered Plants
source:     author:     2011-07-28

Yangbi maple Acer yangbiense, a new tree species described in 2003, is known from only four individuals scattered in the secondary woods on the western slopes of the Canshan Mountain range in Dali, in the west of Yunnan Province, China. Kunming Botanical Garden (KBG) under Kunming Institute of Botany, obtained some 3000 hand pollinated seeds from Dr. Chen Yousheng (Institute of Botany in Beijing) in October 2008. Researchers from KBG conducted 4 months of experimentation of seed germination adopting various treatments; seeds successfully germinated and were sown. By February 2009, 1500 seedlings had successfully germinated. These seedlings provide hope that Yangbi maple may be saved from extinction by means of Ex-Situ conservation at KBG and plant reintroduction or reinforcement to its natural habitats. Presently, Professor SUN Weibang’s team carried out comprehensive studies on cytogenetics, physiological ecology and genetic variation between and among the existing wild individuals and the propagated seedlings. The aim is to use the information from these studies to restore the species population in the wild.

Globally, Michelia coriacea and Magnolia phanerophlebia are the critically endangered trees from family Magnoliaceae. These two species are narrowly endemic to southeast Yunnan Province, China, and the limited extant individuals were scattered in the evergreen limestone forests. Professor SUN Weibang’s team has comprehensively studied the reproductive biology of M. coriacea, meanwhile, the preliminarily studies on the population ecology and pollination biology of M. phanerophlebia have also been conducted. Based on the understandings of seed biology of the two species, around 990 seedlings of M. coriacea and128 M. phanerophlebia seedlings have been obtained from the hand pollinated seeds. In mid-June 2009, a total of 50 three-year-old M. coriacea of known source have been reintroduced to its natural habitat by Yanjiaguo Village, Malipo County, southeast Yunnan Province of China. The scientific aftercare, monitoring and data collecting for those reintroduced saplings have been carried out to date.

The gernination of treated Yangbi maple seeds

Artifical breeding of Yangbi maple seedlings 

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