A NGS Funded Project on Biodiversity Completed
A field study on the Chinese wintergreens (Gaultheria L., Ericaceae) was taken place in Yunnan Province during the period from Sep. 8th to Oct. 8th, which was funded by the National Geographic Society (NGS, USA). Dr. Lu Lu, associate professor of the Kunming Institute of Botany, CAS and Prof. Peter W. Fritsch, visiting professor of the Institute, and Chair and Curator of Department of Botany, Californian Academy of Sciences, USA, and three other botanists carried out an one-month field survey on the species resource, habitat and distribution pattern of the Chinese wintergreens in the National Reserve of Gaoligong Mountains, Biluo Snow Mountains, and Wuliang Mountains in Yunnan Province, China. Fifty-four populations with 216 voucher specimens and ca.1250 molecular samples of the Chinese wintergreens have been collected. More than 5390 photographs of plants and sceneries have been taken as well. Two new species and one new distributional record within the ser. Trichophyllae were unexpectedly discovered in the field. This field study will facilitate further research on speciation and evolution, montane biogeography, and sustainable utilization of the Chinese wintergreens.