Fieldwork report: Data collection in Hong Kong and on mainland China

Text and pics Linda-Liisa Veromann-Jürgenson

Two weeks ago, I had an incredible opportunity to collect anatomical samples from plant species native and endemic to the southern Chinese and Hong Kong subtropical region.

As my application to do an oral presentation in the 19th International Botanical Congress in Shenzhen China was accepted, we deemed it reasonable for me to collect some anatomical data toward my PhD from that region as well since I was already flying that far abroad. More importantly, the region is known for an extraordinarily diverse flora due to the warm humid climate and long geological stability. So, I contacted several botanical gardens and nurseries to collect small leaf samples from various species.

Although the weather and the abundant eerily quiet mosquitoes did their best to inhibit my collection, I still managed to collect my data. In fact, it was the first time in decades when seven typhoons hit the area at the same time. However, I got several interesting samples across the local gymnosperm and angiosperm species both from Hong Kong and Southern China. I also made some new friends who we can hopefully collaborate with again in the near future. My special thanks to Professor Qing Ye and his lab with Associate Professor Hui Liu from the Southern China Botanical Gardens and Chinese Academy of Sciences, who were so kind to show us around the gardens as well as introduce their research and facilities.

China Fig1

Fig. 1. Most of the students working in the lab joined us to see data collection and show us around. The picture was taken in the main greenhouse in a complex boasting 10000 specimens


South China Botanical Gardens located in Guangzhou is one of the largest botanical gardens in Asia covering 1155 hectares and containing thousands upon thousands of species from all across the world from alpine habitats to tropics. The garden is cleverly divided into collections as families, so it is especially convenient to do research in if you are interested in a specific group. The research facilities are equally impressive and the academic staff kind and helpful! Thank you for this opportunity!

China Fig2

Fig. 2. An endemic subtropical conifer, Nothotsuga longibracteata, the only species in its genus

China Fig3

Fig 3-6. Data collection

China Fig4China Fig5China Fig6

China Fig7

Fig. 7. Prof. Qing Ye’s students introduced us the group’s lab

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Fig. 8. A formidable, yet adorable Chinese lion

My fieldwork was funded by Archimedes Foundation Dora 1.1. Thank you!


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