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Academic Report on 2021-12-20: Biodiversity of Plant Species: the Importance of Central China
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Title: Biodiversity of Plant Species: the Importance of Central China 

Speaker: Prof. Dodson John Richard 

Venue: Room 1103, IEECAS 

Online: Tencent meeting ID: 727-614-454 

Date: 2021.12.20 

Time: AM 10:00-AM 12:00 


Biodiversity has increasingly come under threat from human activity, nearly everywhere on Earth. China, with over 33,000 species of vascular plants is a megadiverse region, in part because of its diversity in topography and climates. One of its most extensive biomes is broadleaved evergreen/warm mixed forest which dominates eastern Asia and Central China. There is some debate about how glacial/interglacial cycles across the Quaternary had an impact on this biome. There were certainly broad scale changes in distribution of many key species. Here I describe the palaeoecological records from four sites in Central China that contain both LGM and Mid-Holocene vegetation histories. It is clear that in the mountainous regions of Central China many taxa survived the LGM in situ, showing that there was enough stable habitat to support key species. Some mountainous areas have high degrees of endemism which suggests that fragmentation of populations across glacial/interglacial cycles may have been an important component in favouring speciation. More records are required to establish the timing and degree of climate change impacts but it is already clear that records from the Late Quaternary have implications for choosing sites for species’ conservation. 

About Speaker: 

Prof. Dodson received his PHD in Australian National University in 1976. His research work has been focusing on climate change and human impacts in Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Micronesia, China and UK. He had been playing Academic leading roles at University of Canterbury (NZ), University of New South Wales (Sydney), University of Western Australia (Perth), Brunel University (London) before going to Australia at Australian Nuclear Science and Technology organization (ANSTO) in 2006. He was Head of the Institute for Environmental Research at ANSTO from 2007 to 2015. He has published more than 200 journal articles, books and book chapters. He has served on a number of committees for IGBP, INQUA and International Year of Planet Earth for Society (Climate Change Group) for UNESCO, and on Editorial Boards of Quaternary Science Reviews, Quaternary Research, The Holocene, etc. 


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