TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 1997, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (3): 275-282.

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Ao Huisiu, He Daoquan, Zhang Zhuping, Xia Hanping, Yang Weiji   

  1. South China Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica, Guangzhou 510650
  • Received:1996-06-01 Online:1997-01-30 Published:1997-01-30


Zenia insignis is an endemic species in limestone areas of South China and one of the third grade protected plants in China. Z.insignis,which is heliophilic and deciduous,grows rapidly with a strong resistance to adversity. Z.insignis communities form a special phytocoenosis. Z.insignis communities are mainly composed of tropical and subtropical species,largely from Euphorbiaceae,Leguminosae,Rutaceae,Rubiaceae,and so forth. Phanerophytes,the main life form in communities,accounts for 78.7% of total species. Both mesophyll and microphyll plants amount to 45. 8%,respectively,and leathern leaf plants to 50%. Deciduous species makes up 52% of tree layer. Z.insignis is a declining population in communities that are secondary in limestone areas of low sub-tropical zone. Zenia insignis communities in Guangdong are divided into 3 types:1)Z.insignis,Adenanthera pavonina,Celtis tetrandra subsp. sinensis forest;2)Z.insignis,Photinia dovedsoniae,Quercus glauca forest,and 3)Z.insignis,C. tetrandra subsp. sinensis,Sterculia lanceolata forest There are many gardening plants and medicinal plants in Z.insignis communities. Z.insignis can be used as a short-term industrial timber tree,fuel tree,forage tree,and as a disposition species interplanted among crops Currently,Z.insignis communities and its parent trees have been severely destroyed. Measures should be taken to protect the precious plant resource.

Key words: Zenia insignis communities, Limestone areas, Utinization