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The Moss Flora of China

Welcome | About the Project | About the Checklist
Checklist of Chinese Mosses | References | Guide for Contributors

About the Checklist of Chinese Mosses

China in this checklist includes Xinjiang to Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang in the north to Yunnan, Guangdong, Hong Kong and Hainan in the south, and Taiwan. This region has highly variable topography ranging from sea level to some of the highest mountains in the world in Sichuan, Xinjiang, and Xizang. Climate ranges from cool north- temperate in the north to dry deserts in north and west, to warm-temperate and tropical in the south. Such variability in topography and climate combined with lack of Pleistocene glaciation, accounts for the large number of families, genera and species of mosses found in China.

China has a rich bryological history involving both western and Chinese bryologists (Koponen 1982). However, with the beginning of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) cooperation and exchange between Chinese bryologists and their western colleagues were severely curtailed. Since the reestablishment of botanical cooperation in the late 1970's, there has been a flourish of bryological activity by Chinese bryologists as well as cooperative field expeditions and scientific exchanges between Chinese and their European, North American, and Japanese colleagues. This exchange was facilitated by many botanical institutions in China and throughout the world. As a result, the number of moss taxa recorded for China has increased significantly and today in many areas of China the moss flora is relatively well known. This checklist brings together all the taxa of mosses (presently accepted taxa, nomen nudum names and synonyms) that have been recorded for China in the literature dating from Wilson (1848) to the present (June 1995). In addition, we also record the Political Regions where these taxa have been reported. We have not listed names of taxa where we could not locate a valid location in China. Consequently, some species listed by Wu, Lou & Wang (1984) and Red- fearn & Wu (1986) are not included in this checklist.

Our survey of the literature includes both published and unpublished theses and papers. Each of these papers is assigned a Distribution Reference Number (DRN) and this number is used to record the distribution of each taxa for the political regions of China. Each taxon is followed by one or a series of provincial Index Codes (Appendix 1) DRN and Distribution Reference number(s). When a species is placed in synonymy, the distribution of this species is transferred to the accepted species.

All taxonomic entries are listed alphabetically, first by the generic name, and then by the species name and subspecific name. Synonyms for each accepted species are included in brackets. It should be emphasized that this is not a specimen based list. With the exception of a relative few cases where the authors have collected and/or published papers on Chinese species, distribution is based solely upon the literature references. The source of synonymy for heterotypic synonyms (=) is listed for each species. Where the reference for the synonym is not included in the Literature Cited, it is found in Index Muscorum (Wijk, Margadant & Florschultz 1959-69) and indicated by "IM." Where no reference is indicated, a new combination is proposed. For homotypic synonyms (), the synonym is based upon our own taxonomic judgment. For ease of use, accepted names are listed in BOLDFACE. The taxonomy and nomenclature of some species are rather complicated, requiring some comments. The annotations are found in Appendix 2. Abbreviations used in the list for the political regions of China are found in Appendix 1.

The list contains 4,812 specific and subspecific taxa. We have accepted 2,457 of these taxa and they are assigned to 65 families and 413 genera. The remaining 2,355 taxa are nomen nudum species or synonyms. The number of accepted specific and subspecific taxa recorded for each political region of China is shown in Appendix 3. Judging by what has happened when Asian genera and families are subject to critical study, such as the Calymperaceae (Reese & Lin 1991), Campylopus (Frahm 1992), Ctenidium (Nishimura 1985), Encalypta (Cao, Horton & Gao 1992), Entodon (Hu 1983), Fissidens (Z.-H. Li 1985), Forsstroemia (Stark 1987), Gollania (Higuchi 1985), Grimmia and Schistidium (Cao & Vitt 1986), Leucobryum (Yamaguchi 1993), Leucodon (Akiyama 1988), Orthotrichum (Lewinsky 1992), Ptychomitrium (Cao, Gao & Vitt 1995), and Trematodon (Cao & Gao 1988), the number of accepted species is likely to change significantly.

With the exception of Taiwanese flora (Wang 1970), the floristic affinities of the Chinese moss flora await critical analysis. However, in general the moss flora of south China seems closely related to the paleotropical flora of Indo-Malasia. The moss flora of the north is closely allied with Arcto-Tertiary elements of North America and Japan. The number of endemic taxa is 225.

The development of this checklist has spanned the last eleven years. During this time we have benefited from critical comments and suggestions from many colleagues. Among these special mention should go to Drs. Pan-Cheng Wu, Z. Iwatsuki, R. Ochyra, and Diana Horton who have reviewed this checklist in its early stages of preparation. Dr. W. D. Reese and Dr. Ronald Pursell have made valuable suggestions for the families Calymperaceae and Fissidentaceae respectively as well as examining all the Chinese collections of the senior author in these families. Dr. Ren-Liang Hu has examined many of the senior authors collections from China in the families Brachytheciaceae, Entodontaceae and Sematophyllaceae. Dr. Claudio Delgadillo has examined collections of Aloina. We thank Dr. W. R. Buck for allowing us to include collections he made in Liaoning & Zhejiang Provinces in 1993.

We would like to acknowledge the encouragement as well as financial help of Dr. Peter Raven (MO). We also thank Drs. Marshall Crosby, Robert Magill and Bruce Allen (all at MO) and W. D. Reese (University of Southwest Louisiana) for participating in field expeditions to China. The senior author is particularly indebted to Dr. Robert Magill (MO) for his help in recording all the taxa and distributional data in the Tropicos Data Base Program. We also thank Alice Redfearn and (your helper) for checking the accuracy of names and authorities against Index Muscorum.

Over the last eleven years this work has been directly or indirectly supported by funds from the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and Southwest Missouri State University. In China, both financial and logistical support has been provided by the Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Beijing (Dr. P.-C. Wu), the Kunming Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Kunming (Dr. X.-J. Li), South China Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Guangzhou (Dr. P.-J. Lin) and the Institute of Biology, Academia Sinica, Chengdu (Dr. Fa-ting Pu ). Finally, we would like to specifically thank Dr. P.-C. Wu for his tireless work in organizing collecting expeditions to Xishuangbanna, Guangdong, Sichuan and Hainan.

Prepared by: Paul L. Redfearn, Jr. (Department of Biology Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65804-0095) Benito Tan (Farlow Herbarium Harvard University 22 Divinity Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138), and Si He (Missouri Botanical Garden, P. O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166-0299).

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