Exploring for Plants in China Lecture

New Date (changed due to weather)

"Hengduan Mountains, China: Not All Diversity is Tropical"
David E. Boufford, Ph.D., Harvard University Herbaria

  • Tuesday, March 4, 2014 – 7:30 pm9:00 pm

The Hengduan Mountains region of China rivals some parts of the tropics in the extent of its plant diversity, yet the average elevation of the area is over 14,000 feet, the growing season in much of the area is less than 120 days, and snow can fall on any day of the year. The geology of the area is particularly interesting and dynamic. Five of the largest rivers in Asia drain the area as they leave the Tibetan Plateau and provide water to about one third of the world's population; India is still moving northward as it slides under the Asian mainland, and the mountains in the area are still rising. The deep gorges, high mountains, a wide diversity of habitats and abundant moisture support a flora of perhaps 10,000 species in an area about the size of Kalimantan, Borneo, which sits on the equator. A number of well-known temperate genera have their center of distribution in the area: Rhododendron (226 species); Pedicularis (216 species) Gentiana (100+), Primula (100+), Saxifraga (100+), Saussurea (100+), Aconitum (104), Corydalis (85), and many others. Some interesting adaptations in the area include tropical plants in alpine situations, snowball or sweater plants, greenhouse plants, insect mimics and camouflage. Besides the rich floral diversity, the area is a also center of cultural diversity, with several of China's so-called national minority groups in the area. Among them are the Bai, Naxi, Yi, Miao. and especially Tibetan.

About David Boufford

Education: B.S., Biology, Keene State College, Keene, NH, 1973; M.S., Botany, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 1975; Ph. D., Biology, Washington University (and Missouri Botanical Garden), St. Louis, MO, 1978.

Positions and appointments: Section of Botany, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, PA, 1978-1981; Arnold Arboretum and Harvard University Herbaria, 1981-present.

Visiting Professor, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China, 1995-1997; Zhongshan University, Guangzhou, China, 2001-2004; University of Tokyo, Tokyo, 2002-2002, 2003-2004; Shenzhen Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, 2009-2013; Board member, DMZ Forum; Preserving Korea's Demilitarized Zone for conservation and peace, 2012- .

Research interests: Floristics, monographic and phytogeographic studies of eastern North American and Asian flowering plants; flora and vegetation of temperate to subtropical eastern Asia.

Field experience: United States (especially eastern and Appalachian region); Bhutan; Canada (Gaspé Peninsula, Ontario); Japan: (Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku); China (Anhui, Beijing, Gansu, Guangdong, Guizhou, Henan, Hong Kong, Hubei, Nei Mongol, Qinghai, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xizang (Tibet), Zhejiang); Madagascar; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; South Africa; South Korea; Tanzania.

Books: Flora of North America 1983-; Flora of China, 1988-2013; Flora of Taiwan, second edition, 1994-2003; Flora of Japan 1993-; Genera of Vascular Plants of Korea, 2001-2006.

Journals: Acta Phytotaxonomica et Geobotanica, 1991-; Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, 2000-2007; Acta Botanica Yunnanica, 1993- ; Bulletin of Botanical Research, 1994-1997; Taiwania, 1996- ; Harvard Papers in Botany, 1996- ; Journal of Plant Research, 2000- ; Journal of Systematics and Evolution, 2008-; Species Plantarum: Flora of the World, 1996- ; Systematic Botany Monographs, 2005-2008 ; Botanical Studies, 2009- .

Print publications: 175 papers and books. Internet publications (Web sites): 4.

Special Thanks

The Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at NC State University is cohosting David Boufford with the JCRA. The JCRA would like to thank the department and Jenny Xiang for their assistance.

$5.00 for members, $10.00 for nonmembers.
Advance registration is not available.
Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
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Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Please call (919) 513-7005 for more information about this lecture.