AN ANALYSIS OF THE FLORA OF QINLING MOUNTAIN RANGE: ITS NATURE,CHARACTERISTICS,AND ORIGINS
Ying Tsun-shen (Institute of Botany, Academia Sirica, Beijing 100044)
The Qinling Mountain Range, which covers an area of ca. 76500km2 and ranges from 32 5' to 34 45' N and from 104 30' to 115 52' E, is a major watershed of the Huanghe and Chang Jiang rivers with the highest peak about 3767 m above sea level. The flora comprises ca. 3124 species in 892 genera, of which 51. 9% of species and 4. 4% of the genera are endemic to China. Evoluated in this paper is the importance of the 20 larger families which together contain 65.2% of the total number of species. The phytogeographical affinities of genera of seed plants in the flora are analyzed and briefly discussed. Among the native genera of the flora of the Qinling Mountain Range, 220 (26.8%) are tropical, 563 (68.5%) temperate, and 39 (4.7%) endemic to China. It is clear from the figures that temperate genera play an important role in the flora and vegetation of the Qinling Mountain Range. The features of the flora include the unusually high proportion of endemic species, a wealth of Sino-Japanese elements and prominant. temperate nature in compsition. On the basis of analysis of paleobotanical materials in the Qinling Mountain Range and adjacent areas, historical distribution of dominant species, and the origin and relationships of Chinese endemic genera occurring there, the flora is of outstanding originality. No doubt, the rich and diverse flora have evolved gradually and autochthonously at least since the latest Cretaceous.