Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A critically endangered beauty: The passion flower Passiflora kwangtungensis

Date:
June 12, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
The Chinese passion vine species Passiflora kwangtungensis strikes with the beauty of its clusters of white-greenish flowers and its small round fruit. Feared extinct for a long period of time, this engaging plant has been rediscovered in Hunan Province, but it remains highly endangered. A recent study discusses the conservation status of P. kwangtungensis, raising concerns about the future preservation of the species.

Close up of a fully opened Passiflora kwangtungensis bloom.
Credit: Xun-Lin Yu; CC-BY 3.0

Passiflora is a genus of beautiful plants commonly known as the passion flowers or passion vines. The most famous representative of this group is the passion fruit, favorite to many. Passiflora contains around 530 species with native ranges throughout the southern United States and Mexico as well as Central and South America. In addition, there are 24 species of Passiflora endemic to the Old World. In China, the native Passiflora exhibit high levels of endemism, seldomly display overlapping distributions, and are in general extremely rare.

A new study published in the open access journal Phytokeys provides a morphological revision of the beautiful Chinese species Passiflora kwangtungensis and raises concerns towards its current conservation status.

Passiflora kwangtungensis is a critically endangered Chinese species known from the Guangxi, Guangdong, and Jiangxi Provinces. This beautiful plant is characterized by stunning clusters of white -- greenish flowers and a small spherical fruit. Field observations of this flower decreased rapidly during the 1970s to 1980s, and it was suspected that this species might have been completely extirpated. No new specimens have been collected for the period of more than 14 years until recently, when small isolated populations of this species have been rediscovered in Hunan Province in a new locality.

While not often discussed, a significant factor affecting the distribution of the native Chinese Passiflora has been the deforestation that has occurred within China over the past 60 years. With the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, country-wide forest destruction accelerated rapidly with industrialization. Another reason for the rarity of Chinese Passiflora is the geographical isolation of the species, compounded by the fact that the majority of Passiflora are self-incompatible, which may effectively decrease population size even further.

The leading author of this study, Dr. Shawn Krosnick, Department of Biology, Southern Arkansas University, expresses her concerns regarding the conservation status of this beautiful and rare Passiflora representative: "Under IUCN Red List guidelines, Passiflora kwangtungensis should be classified as critically endangered. With just 14 plants observed in Hunan over three years of surveying, this species merits special attention given its small population size, limited genetic diversity, and self-incompatibility. I hope this study will provide the needed justification for protection of P. kwangtungensis, and possibly lead to restoration of this species throughout its ancestral range."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shawn Krosnick, Xun-Lin Yu, Yunfei Deng. The rediscovery of Passiflora kwangtungensis Merr. (subgenus Decaloba supersection Disemma): a critically endangered Chinese endemic. PhytoKeys, 2013; 23: 55 DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.23.3497

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "A critically endangered beauty: The passion flower Passiflora kwangtungensis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612101908.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, June 12). A critically endangered beauty: The passion flower Passiflora kwangtungensis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612101908.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "A critically endangered beauty: The passion flower Passiflora kwangtungensis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130612101908.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins