EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Global biodiversity patterns of woody and herbaceous flowering plants in space and time

Ao Luo1, Xiaoting Xu2, Yunpeng Liu1, Yaoqi Li1,3, Xiangyan Su1,4, Yichao Li1, Tong Lyu1, Dimitar Dimitrov5, Markku Larjavaara1, Shijia Peng1, Yongsheng Chen1, Qinggng Wang6, Niklaus Zimmermann7,8, Loïc Pellissier7,8, Bernhard Schmid9, and Zhiheng Wang1
Ao Luo et al.
  • 1Peking , College of urban and environmental sciences, Ecology department, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
  • 3Department of Health and Environmental Sciences, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou, China
  • 4Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Center, Ministry of Natural Resources, Beijing, China
  • 5Department of Natural History, University Museum of Bergen, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
  • 6Department of Ecology and Ecological Engineering, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, and Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Organic Farming of Beijing City, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
  • 7Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland
  • 8Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 9Department of Geography, Remote Sensing Laboratories, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, Zurich, Switzerland

Plant biodiversity can be structured into different growth forms (i.e. woody vs. herbaceous) with divergent distributions, evolutionary histories, and relationships with climate thus they should be separately analyzed to better understand plant diversity. Flowering plants (angiosperms) are the most successful group of plants and have a diversity of growth forms that differs from other groups such as gymnosperms, all of which are woody species. However, there is still a gap in current growth form databases to cover most angiosperms. To fill the gap, this study collect data on growth forms of angiosperm species from published floras, online databases, and peer-reviewed journal articles and compiled a massive database of growth forms (woody and herbaceous, 300,750 species). Combined with distributions of 332,293 species, we mapped the current global geographical patterns in woody and herbaceous species as well as their relative proportion and assess their relationship with climate. This study also reconstructed ancestral states of growth forms through the angiosperm phylogeny to demonstrate the Cenozoic evolutionary dynamics of growth forms and explore the evolutionary transitions between the two growth forms.

How to cite: Luo, A., Xu, X., Liu, Y., Li, Y., Su, X., Li, Y., Lyu, T., Dimitrov, D., Larjavaara, M., Peng, S., Chen, Y., Wang, Q., Zimmermann, N., Pellissier, L., Schmid, B., and Wang, Z.: Global biodiversity patterns of woody and herbaceous flowering plants in space and time, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-15379,, 2023.