In a study published in the journal Science, researchers from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences showed that the alpine flora of the Hengduan Mountains has continuously existed far longer than any other alpine flora on the Earth.
The research team analyzed time-calibrated phylogenies of nearly 4,000 species from 18 flowering plant groups.
Research shows that the alpine bioregion of the Hengduan Mountains in southwest China was formed about 30 million years ago.
Alpine species are vulnerable to global warming. To understand how alpine biotas respond to historical environmental change may improve our ability to predict and mitigate ecological threats.