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Diversity and Distribution of Climbing Plants in Eurasia and North Africa

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Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB,volume 5)

Abstract

A total of 12,382 climbers from 143 families and 1,415 genera are recorded in the Old World, including 57 families with climbers only in the Old World (e.g. Actinidiaceae). As for Eurasia and North Africa, 6,659 climbers were documented to be native, belonging to 101 families and 809 genera. About 30.8 % of them are herbaceous and 69.2 % are somewhat woody. Only one family, but 285 genera (35.2 %) and 5,283 species (79.3 %) are climber-endemic to Eurasia and North Africa. Leguminosae and Apocynaceae are the two largest families with climbers, followed by Convolvulaceae, Vitaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Rubiaceae. The most climber-abundant families in Eurasia and North Africa are similar to Sub-Saharan Africa, except Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae and Arecaceae. The Bignoniaceae, Araceae and Compositae are less prevalent in Eurasia and North Africa compared with the Americas, while Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Arecaceae and Annonaceae stand out. The study area was divided into 19 regions and 211 districts. Diversity and geographical distribution of climbing plants in these regions and districts are discussed. South-east Asia, South China, South Asia and the Himalayas are the top four climber-abundant regions and each have more than 1,000 climbers and significantly higher than the rest regions. The proportion of climbing plants in the spermatophyte flora declined from 20 % in Malay Peninsula to less than 2 % in Sahara, Asian plateaus and the northern Eurasia.

Keywords

  • Climbers
  • Lianas
  • Vines
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • West Malay Archipelago

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Acknowledgements

We thank Yuan Huang for assistance in database organization. We thank our students M.J. SHU, L. LIN, J.Y. LIU, H.R. WANG, H.Y. DENG, Y. ZHANG, C.Y. GUO, Q. DAI, Y.Y. GUAN for assistance with data collection. We thank J. Mugnier for data on Senegal flora, C.S. Chang for assistance on Korea climbers, D. Podlech for assistance on Afghanistan climbers. This research was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project 41101057).

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Appendix

Appendix

Climbing plant diversity of the Old World (Eurasia, Africa & West Malay Archipelago)

Num. Family Genus Species
1 Leguminosae 149 1,517
2 Apocynaceae 176 1,355
3 Vitaceae 11 621
4 Convolvulaceae 41 593
5 Rubiaceae 88 589
6 Cucurbitaceae 76 552
7 Annonaceae 43 426
8 Celastraceae 32 359
9 Arecaceae 12 340
10 Menispermaceae 50 297
11 Rosaceae 7 239
12 Ranunculaceae 6 230
13 Compositae 46 207
14 Dioscoreaceae 3 203
15 Piperaceae 3 188
16 Combretaceae 6 181
17 Melastomataceae 27 179
18 Euphorbiaceae 29 164
19 Lamiaceae 27 161
20 Malvaceae 26 154
21 Malpighiaceae 17 151
22 Oleaceae 4 138
23 Passifloraceae 10 138
24 Araceae 14 131
25 Moraceae 8 131
26 Capparaceae 10 127
27 Poaceae 43 118
28 Connaraceae 14 115
29 Rhamnaceae 12 114
30 Aristolochiaceae 4 113
31 Smilacaceae 2 110
32 Loganiaceae 3 109
33 Acanthaceae 29 108
34 Icacinaceae 17 106
35 Dichapetalaceae 1 101
36 Nepenthaceae 1 101
37 Asparagaceae 8 96
38 Primulaceae 4 93
39 Orchidaceae 24 87
40 Araliaceae 7 83
41 Campanulaceae 6 82
42 Rutaceae 12 76
43 Actinidiaceae 3 66
44 Gentianaceae 6 64
45 Urticaceae 20 60
46 Caprifoliaceae 3 57
47 Solanaceae 5 49
48 Amaranthaceae 13 43
49 Gesneriaceae 6 42
50 Polygonaceae 10 38
51 Cannabaceae 2 38
52 Lardizabalaceae 6 38
53 Pandanaceae 2 38
54 Phyllanthaceae 11 37
55 Schisandraceae 2 37
56 Linaceae 3 35
57 Boraginaceae 7 33
58 Ericaceae 6 32
59 Gnetaceae 1 32
60 Dilleniaceae 2 31
61 Sabiaceae 1 31
62 Sapindaceae 10 30
63 Geraniaceae 3 29
64 Hernandiaceae 1 27
65 Papaveraceae 6 24
66 Elaeagnaceae 1 24
67 Anacardiaceae 10 23
68 Commelinaceae 10 23
69 Crassulaceae 6 22
70 Ancistrocladaceae 1 20
71 Nyctaginaceae 3 20
72 Stemonaceae 1 17
73 Hydrangeaceae 6 16
74 Polygalaceae 3 16
75 Thymelaeaceae 5 16
76 Bignoniaceae 10 15
77 Marantaceae 4 15
78 Scrophulariaceae 6 14
79 Begoniaceae 1 12
80 Opiliaceae 5 12
81 Olacaceae 4 11
82 Santalaceae 5 11
83 Lythraceae 2 10
84 Paulowniaceae 2 10
85 Caryophyllaceae 4 9
86 Chrysobalanaceae 1 9
87 Orobanchaceae 6 9
88 Plantaginaceae 5 9
89 Apiaceae 3 8
90 Meliaceae 1 8
91 Burseraceae 1 7
92 Lauraceae 2 7
93 Ephedraceae 1 6
94 Salicaceae 4 6
95 Balsaminaceae 1 5
96 Basellaceae 1 5
97 Cornaceae 1 5
98 Loranthaceae 5 5
99 Plumbaginaceae 1 5
100 Colchicaceae 2 4
101 Cyperaceae 2 4
102 Talinaceae 2 4
103 Aquifoliaceae 1 3
104 Brassicaceae 2 3
105 Dioncophyllaceae 3 3
106 Gelsemiaceae 2 3
107 Myrtaceae 2 3
108 Ochnaceae 2 3
109 Oxalidaceae 1 3
110 Salvadoraceae 2 3
111 Adoxaceae 1 2
112 Cardiopteridaceae 1 2
113 Ebenaceae 1 2
114 Flagellariaceae 1 2
115 Grossulariaceae 1 2
116 Hypericaceae 1 2
117 Myristicaceae 2 2
118 Pittosporaceae 1 2
119 Zygophyllaceae 2 2
120 Achariaceae 1 1
121 Barbeuiaceae 1 1
122 Gerrardinaceae 1 1
123 Goodeniaceae 1 1
124 Hamamelidaceae 1 1
125 Iteaceae 1 1
126 Lecythidaceae 1 1
127 Lophopyxidaceae 1 1
128 Monimiaceae 1 1
129 Montiniaceae 1 1
130 Pandaceae 1 1
131 Pedaliaceae 1 1
132 Pentadiplandraceae 1 1
133 Pentaphylacaceae 1 1
134 Peraceae 1 1
135 Peridiscaceae 1 1
136 Phytolaccaceae 1 1
137 Portulacaceae 1 1
138 Resedaceae 1 1
139 Rhizophoraceae 1 1
140 Sapotaceae 1 1
141 Stilbaceae 1 1
142 Ulmaceae 1 1
143 Verbenaceae 1 1
  Total 1,415 12,382

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Hu, L., Li, M. (2015). Diversity and Distribution of Climbing Plants in Eurasia and North Africa. In: Parthasarathy, N. (eds) Biodiversity of Lianas. Sustainable Development and Biodiversity, vol 5. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-14592-1_5

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