National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO
Jiangkou County, Yinjiang Tujia and Miao Autonomous County, Songtao Miao Miao Autonomous County, Guizhou Province
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Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party
Fanjingshan is a mid-subtropical dome-like subalpine mountain, located in the center of Eurasia subtropical zone, with the width of 28.74 km from east to west and length of 36.74 km from south to north. The main peak, Fenghuangshan, owns an altitude of 2,570.50 m, and the buffer zone comprises low hills. The whole regional climate is moist while the mountain climate shows obvious difference, which makes it`s possesses unique natural geographic conditions compared with other subtropical mountains. Fanjingshan is the typical representative of mountain ecosystems in mid-subtropical humid zone. It shows the significant ecological process since Holocene and Quaternary ice age, with high vegetation coverage rate and primary features, obvious vegetation vertical spectrum and complete ecosystem structures and functions. The biodiversity in Fanjingshan is rich and unique, and the abundant Fagaceae plant communities have representative control on ecosystem structure and function. Hundreds of rare, endangered and endemic plants such as Rhinopithecus brelichi and Abies fanjingshanensis indicate that Fanjingshan is the foremost habitat for the subtropical biodiversity, with significant scientific research and conservation value. It is considered to be nominated under criteria (ix) and (x).
Justification of Outstanding Universal Value
Fanjingshan nominated site is an outstanding representative of ecosystems in mid-subtropical humid mountain areas. Fanjingshan is the typical dome-shaped tectonic mountain ecosystems. The center of mountains was uplifted. The radiated ridges and rivers have incised, and at the bottom of the buffer zone presents radiated hills. All the features above have formed spectacular subalpine mountain-hilly landscape pattern. Fanjingshan is located in the centre of the Middle Subtropical, and in the inclined transition region from Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau to the hilly areas of western Hunan, and the relative altitude in this mountain is 2,000 m. Because of the East Asian monsoon and huge relative altitude difference, Fanjingshan shows wet climate in the large-scale region and three-dimensional climate in the small-scale area. The ecosystems here are unique in the global subtropical mountain ecosystems.
The vegetation vertical spectrum in the nominated property has reflected the vegetation difference with mid-subtropical subalpine mountainous hydrothermal conditions, slope direction, slope position and grade of slope. It’s an outstanding representative of community successions in the subtropical moist montane ecosystems.
The records of sporopollen and vegetation changes in the nominated property show past ecological processes. The sporopollen has recorded the succession process of plants in the Holocene, and the similarity between these sporopollen and existent vegetation types reflects the ecological process of living things along with the surface uplift and climatic revolution, including plant migration, replacement and so on.
The richness of rare, endangered and endemic plants, the succession and updating of present phytobiocoenose, biological synergy, adaptation and evolution in the nominated property all have proved the ongoing ecological process of ecosystems in this region. The rare, endangered and endemic species are abundant and special in the nominated property, such as rare gray snub-nosed monkey and Abies fanjingshanensis in the whole world, distributed very narrowly, and other species are rich; the phytobioconose have completed succession and update through forest gap dynamics, biological synergy, wind-force, waterpower; biotic adaptation and evolution have provided possibility for the formation of new species. They all have provided important evidence for the succession of biocenosis.
Most primary climax communities such as Fagus community，Davidia involucrata community，Abies fanjingshanensis community and Castanopsis community are preserved in Fanjingshan due to its special geographic location and moist climate conditions. There are 6,363 species of wildlife, including 3,329 higher plants and 395 vertebrates.
Different habitats, such as plant communities, cliffs, caves and water, provide the site for the inhabiting and differentiation of the rare, endangered and endemic wildlife. 49 species are listed in IUCN Species Red List, 81 species included in CITES, 37 species listed in National Key-protected Plants, such as Abies fanjingshanensis, Bretschneidera sinensis, Panax zingiberensis and Davidia involucrata. For animal species, there are 35 species listed in IUCN Species Red List, 32 species included in CITES, 38 species in National Key-protected Animals, such as Rhinopithecus brelichi, Macaca thibetana, Vibrissaphora boringii, Moschus berezovskii, Viverra zibetha, Neofelis nebulosa and so on. There are 28 species of plants endemic to Fangjingshan, such as Abies fanjingshanensis, Hylotelephium fanjinshanense, Corybas fanjingshanensis and so on. There are 1 species (Rhinopithecus brelichi) and 2 subspecies (Muntiacus reevesi subsp. Jiangkouensis and Megophrys binlingensis subsp. Fanjingmontis) endemic to Fanjingshan, It is the only habitat of unique, extreme endangered Rhinopithecus brelichi endemic to China. The total number of the population is 750 distributed in 275 km2 of the region.
Fanjingshan is an outstanding representative of montane ecosystems in subtropical humid mountain areas, with typical vegetation vertical spectrum in humid monsoon climatic region. It’s also an outstanding example to study the community succession of montane ecosystems in moist mountain areas under the background of global climate change.
In the height range of 2,000 m, the vertical elevation difference of the climax community dominated by Fagaceae is up to 1,700 m, with the representative of montane ecosystems in the mid-subtropical zones.
It’s concluded that the plant community structure and the vertical spectrum in Fanjingshan show the unique ecological succession process of the montane ecosystems in the subtropical areas, and reflect the transition of the mid-subtropical forest vegetations. It’s a transitional representative of vegetations from subtropical to temperate zone, also a concentrated biological evolution library from the mid-subtropical to temperate zone.
Fanjingshan is an outstanding representative of biological and ecological evolutionary processes in the eastern deciduous forest biogeographic province.
Fagus longipetiolata forest, ever distributed widely in Chinese warm temperate zone of Tertiary and gradual extinction in late of Quaternary, now exists extensively in the form of evergreen deciduous broadleaved mixed forest or deciduous broadleaved forest. Fagus, ever distributed widely across the continents in the North Hemisphere of Tertiary, exists discontinuously at present (Li, 1996a, 1996b; Zhou, 1999). It’s one of the important groups for study on plant system evolution, geography, vegetation ecology, and paleobotany, etc. Now they are distributed widely in temperate zone of Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe and North America as the climatic climax vegetation here. However, they exist discontinuously in southern subtropical mountainous areas of China. Fossils of Fagus were ever found in Heilongjiang, Jilin Provinces and North China, so it can demonstrate the history of the existence in North China and the great change in the long process of the geographical evolution history. There are 13 species in the world（Denk，2003） and 7 species in China（Wu，1997）about Fagus, belonging to Fagaceae, distributed widely in eastern subtropical mountainous areas. There are two characteristics about Fagus: one is rich biodiversity and complicated relationship, and the other is extensive distribution range, significant geographic variation and varied climate. Fagus is a tree species distributed widely around the world. For the study on its historical change process, it is of high importance to reveal the influence of global climate change on vegetations, and the relationship, differentiation between geology and creatures in Eurasia.
Fagus, lying in temperate zone typically, however, is distributed widely in subtropical mountainous areas south of Qinling Mountains-Huaihe River Line, without existing in typical temperate zone. The large areas of Fagus in Fanjingshan are distributed extensively and extend across large elevation spans, forming the vertical spectrum together. The mentioned above fully illustrate the phenomenon that there is no Fagus distribution in typical temperate areas north of Qinling Mountains. Jian et al. (1975) ever studied the locations of 3 species of Fagus in 4 different slope directions and the relationship between each community and hydrothermal conditions in Fanjingshan. It’s concluded that the hydrothermal conditions reflected by 3 species of Fagus in different slope directions and vertical distributions are in accordance with those in horizontal distribution of China. Humidity is closely related to the growth of Fagus. Obviously, the hydrothermal conditions and horizontal distribution in Fanjingshan are not available in temperate areas north of Qinling Mountains-Huaihe River Line.
Fagus is distributed most widely in Fanjingshan, approximately 10,000 ha, with large vertical distribution range. They are often the deciduous trees forming large areas of forests as the constructive species. There are 3 species of Fagus in Fanjingshan, namely F. longipetiolata, F. lucida and F. engleriana. Among them, F. lucida is distributed most widely, with the range from 1,400 to 2,100 m, especially around 1,500-1,900 m. It is the principal tree species of Fagus forest. The distribution range of F. engleriana is narrow in scatter from 1,900 to 2,100 m; there is also a small distribution area around Baiyun Temple and Niufengbao of northwest Fanjingshan, forming the constructive species of communities with F. lucida. F. longipetiolata is also distributed extensively with lower distribution altitude. Its vertical distribution ranges from 900 to 1,500 m, even extending to evergreen broadleaved forest zone. So it’s often considered as the accompanying species in other forest types. Meanwhile, it forms the constructive species above 1,200 m or the dominant species with F. lucida in the communities.
In East Asia, especially in China, compared with the distribution area in Europe and North America, the distribution latitude of Fagus is lower. It’s mostly distributed in the subtropical mountainous areas south of Qinling Mountains, without existing in temperate regions like Qinling and North China mountain areas. There are 5 species in China and 3 in Japan, so the species differentiation degree is advanced. On the basis of the morphological evolution and species diversity, East Asia is also regarded as the origin centre of Fagus (Takhtajian，1969；Li，1996). Despite the small number of Fagus species, they occupy 7 hotspots of northern temperate region in the global biodiversity hotspots, namely Mountainous Areas of Southwest China, Japan, Mexico, the Mediterranean Basin, Iran, Spain, Caucasus areas. In conclusion, on one hand, it can prove the origin in Tertiary temperate mountain areas (Steam，2002), and still keeps the rich biodiversity through a long historical evolution; on the other hand, most of the hotspots where Fagus are distributed, are the shelters of the Quaternary glacial age (Milne，2006).The comparison of Holocene vegetation sporopollen record in Jiulong Pool and Lancha Peak with the vegetations of above two sites and Hunxiangping, reflects the vegetation evolution process in late Holocene with landform and climate change.
Criterion (ix): Compared with the mountainous areas in the same climate zone and biogeographic region, Fanjingshan is an outstanding example of the ongoing biological and ecological evolutionary processes from montane, hilly areas to subalpine mountain areas in global mid-subtropical monsoon moist climatic region. The ancient and relic plants and sporopollen indicate that the area has been montane landform at least since the Miocene epoch. Its climate turned to warm and humid hot from warm and cool with elevation and the vegetation is coniferous broadleaved mixed forest and evergreen deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest. The vegetations migrated, produced new species and communities gradually in response to tectonic uplift, glacial age and interglacial age. Under historically limited human disturbance, its communities and ecosystems were maintained in a pristine state, keeping rich biodiversity and integrity of the ecosystems in different slope directions, slope positions and gradients. The ecological process is the most representative in the global subtropical montane ecosystems. The vegetations dominated by Fagaceae play a leading role in ecosystem structure and function, which not only reflects the feature of evergreen broad-leaved forest and temperate deciduous forest, but the transition nature of mid-subtropical montane vegetations. All the above make Fanjingshan an outstanding example for studying ecological process and community succession in subtropical humid monsoon mountain areas under the background of climate change.
Criterion (x): Fanjingshan preserves large areas of native forests and several rivers, providing a shelter for Tertiary ancient relic plants, such as Ginkgo biloba, Taxus chinensis, Tsuga longibracteata and Keteleeria pubescens. It also provides a critical habitat for many rare, endemic and endangered plants and animals, for example Rhinopithecus brelichi, Abies fanjingshanensis and Davidia involucrate. It’s also an important site for in situ biodiversity conservation. Fanjingshan is a biodiversity hotspot, with a rich and abundant flora and fauna, revealing the evolutionary relationships of temperate and subtropical vegetations. Most primary climax communities such as Fagus community，Davidia involucrata community，Abies fanjingshanensis community and Castanopsis community were preserved in Fanjingshan for its special geographic location. And there are 6,363 species of wildlife, including 3,329 higher plants and 395 vertebrates. There are 28 wild plant species and 1 species, 2 subspecies of wild animals endemic to Fangjingshan. Fanjingshan is the only habitat for Rhinopithecus brelichi. This makes it an important place for studying biological differentiation and ecological speciation. In addition, it is valuable in terms of biodiversity resources, such as medicinal, ornamental and aquatic plants, which contribute globally and regionally to the maintenance of ecosystem function.
Statements of authenticity and/or integrity
Fanjingshan nominated property meets the requirements of “Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention ” for integrity and protection management. The adequate areas with continuous distribution, regional representative and clear boundary are selected, including the natural and traditional protected areas and buffer zones with integrated ecosystem, ecological processes, and biodiversity conservation.
A clear boundary of the nominated property and buffer zone covers the completely ongoing important ecological and biological evolution processes of animals and plants community. Affected by the Southeast Asian Pacific Monsoon, Fanjingshan belongs to the subtropical humid monsoon climate zone the southeast marine monsoon in summer is very significant and generally the region is little influenced by cold-air outbreak in winter, forming obvious vertical spectrum in Fanjingshan. From the foot to the top of the hill, there are mid-subtropical zone, north subtropical zone, south temperate zone and mid-temperate zone, ensuring the integrity of ecosystems and ecological processes.
The boundaries of the nominated site also cover natural ecological habitat of biological diversity in the area, including ancient rare animals and plants in Tertiary and Quaternary 7,000 million years to 200 million years ago. Abundant rare and endangered animals and plants distribute in Fanjingshan. Different habitats such as cliffs, caves, slopes and water provide the site for biological evolution of the wild species. There are 137 species of rare and endangered wild vascular plants in Fanjingshan, 49 species listed in IUCN Species Red List, 81 species included in CITES, 37 species listed in National Key-protected Plants. For animal species, there are 66 endangered animal species, 35 in IUCN Species Red List, 32 species listed in CITES, and 38 species listed in National Key-protected Animals. The nominated property of Fanjingshan has a large enough area and enough species to ensure the integrity of the species and its ecological habitat.
Faced with limited environmental capacity, Fanjinshan is influenced by various natural factors and human activities, and the ecosystems and biodiversity are also faced with some pressures. However, the nominated site has specific protective qualities, such as national nature reserves. Therefore, it is well protected and adverse impacts are limited. Moreover, The state and local government agencies have been and are continuing to take more feasible measures to solve these problems, such as establishing supervision mechanisms in tourism; implementing capacity controls; carrying out community monitoring for impacts of tourism progress and supervision mechanisms in tourism; implementing capacity controls; carrying out community monitoring for impacts of tourism progress; supervising tourism developing items and strengthening the management of local residents; offering priority participant chance for them in the development, construction, management and administration of ecological tourism and protection of ecological resources, and benefit from development ecological tourism, etc. All of which can make the natural environment within the nominated property holding better.
Comparison with other similar properties
Fanjingshan is a typical mid-subtropical dome-shaped mountainous ecosystem. Soil, climate and vegetation form clear vertical differentiation and difference on northern and southern slopes. The relationship between sporopollen and present vegetations, even the vegetation evolutionary history affected by natural forces, has recorded the past and ongoing ecological processes here. In spite of the limited areal extend of Fanjingshan, there is a richness of Fagaceae and gymnosperms in climax communities, which is rare anywhere. The Mountain contains a concentrated, diverse species pool ranging from subtropical to temperate zones and therefore of high scientific research value for the study of vegetation succession and evolution in mid-subtropical and temperate regions.
1.1 Fanjingshan comparison with World Heritage Sites on ecological processes
There are 16 World Heritage Sites comparable with Fanjingshan in terms of ecological and biological processes. These sites represent approximately the vegetation types of subtropical rainforest, laurisilvae and cold coniferous forest from subtropical lowlands to temperate subalpine, even to alpine uplands. Evolutionary and ecological highlights of the site include: Carboniferous pteridophytes, Jurassic gymnosperms and plants of the early middle-Cretaceous Period, Tertiary and Quaternary glaciations; adaptive radiation and co-evolutionary histories; environmental gradients from island to continent, from humid to dry, from lowland to mountains; different monsoonal patterns driving evolutionary processes; endemic, rare and endangered species; significant roles of vegetation in the food chain and ecological balance. It is concluded that the sites illustrates ecological processes occurring with tectonic shift and climate fluctuation in subtropical eastern, western coasts and inlands. The times and biological records of ecological process of elevation and local climate differ from that in Fanjingshan.
The Three Parallel Rivers Protected Areas of Yunnan for instance show plentiful temperate vegetation types within the typical alpine vertical spectrum. On Fanjingshan, both subtropical and temperate vegetation types are abundant. A specific difference to Three Parallel Rivers is the dominance of Fagaceae along the elevation gradient.
In terms of vegetation change along a mountain side, Fanjingshan compares with the Shirakami - Sanchi World Heritage Site in Japan. This site is covered with the largest remaining virgin cool-temperate Fagus forest in East Asia or even the world. Like Fanjingshan, Shirakami-Sanchi reflects the perpetual evolutionary processes during historic global climate change, but in a colder, snowy environment. In addition, the site has a relatively small elevation difference (from 100 to 1,243 m) and relatively low plant species diversity (~500 species), which limits further comparisons with Fanjingshan. Another World Heritage site in Japan, Yakushima, is a mountain that rises to an elevation of 1,935 m and the vegetation changes from coastal subtropical forest to mountainous temperate rainforest, to cold temperate (subfrigid) bamboo bush. With a peak at 2,570 m Fanjingshan is still higher, and its vegetation ranges from mixed evergreen/deciduous broadleaf forest to subalpine bush and meadow thickets. This also limits similarity between Fanjingshan and Yakushima.
According to Udvardy’s biogeographic zoning system, Fanjingshan lies in Oriental Deciduous Forest of the Palaearctic Realm. The ecological processes and biodiversity here is irreplaceable because of its diverse endemic wildlife, integrated subtropical vertical vegetation spectrum, unique climax communities, and ecosystems which have played and are still playing an important role in the species formation, ecological adaptation and maintenance of ecosystem function.
1.2 Fanjingshan comparison with other sites in the same biogeographic province on ecological process
According to Udvardy’s (1975) biogeographic zoning system, Fanjingshan is located in Oriental Deciduous Forest Province of the Palaearctic Realm. In order to further prove the significance of the nominated site within Oriental Deciduous Forest Province, we compare it to 11 other sites (Word Heritage Convention, 2014; Jin, et al., 2004; Qi, 1991; Xu, 2003; Management Bureau of National Nature Reserve, Hubei,http://www.snjbhq.com/), in terms of ecosystem type, evolution, representative biological records and vegetation vertical differentiation:
Lying in mid-subtropics, Fanjingshan is the highest peak of the Wuling Range, transition from plateau to hilly areas. Within the same biogeographic province, the site contains diverse climate zones and transitions from tropic, subtropic, temperate to frigid.
All sites in this comparison contain rich ancient and relic species, such as Abies, Tsuga, Taxus, Ginkgo biloba, Fokienia hodginsii, Ailuropoda melanoleuca and Rhinopithecus in Fanjingshan. The survival of these ancient and relic species reflect the influence degree by environmental historical change. More importantly, the representative species compositions and number differ greatly in order to adapt to different habitats in the same biogeographic region. Different species of Abies were found in the Giant Panda Sanctuaries of Hengduanshan and Mt. Dabashan, and three species of Tsuga and Abies fanjingshanensis were found in Fanjingshan, where they form climax communities. The number of Abies beshanzuensis is the smallest in Baishanzu. Rhinopithecus roxellanae lives in Dabashan, but Rhinopithecus brelichi exists only in one small population on Fanjingshan.
The climax communities dominated by different species of Fagaceae are the common feature of vegetations in Oriental Deciduous Forest Province, but the existence differs so much. For example, Fagus lucida is the representative in Mt. Badagongshan, Cyclobalanopsis glauca, Lithocarpus glaber, Fagus spp. (F. engleriana, F. pashanica, F. lucida) forests in Shennongjia, Castanopsis, Castanopsis eyrei, Lithocarpus cleistocarpus in Mt. Dabashan, Lithocarpus cleistocarpus, Cyclobalanopsls oxyodon, Cyclobalanopsis myrsinaefolia in Giant Panda Sanctuaries, Castanopsis tibetana, Castanopsis eyrei, Castanopsis carlesii, Castanopsis rargesn, Cyclobalanopsis myrsinaefolia, F. longipetiolata, F. lucida, F. engleriana, Quercus stewardiana in Fanjingshan.
The typical endemic species in all comparing sites differ greatly in population and community compositions. For example, Pinus taiwanensis forest in Mt. Huangshan, Picea brachytyla forest and Ailuropoda melanoleuca population in Giant Panda Sanctuaries, Alsophila spinulosa forest in “China Danxia”, Cathaya argyrophylla, Kmeria septentrionalis and Presbytis francoisi population in “South China Karst”, Fagus lucida in Mt. Badagongshan, Abies fargesii and Rhinopithecus roxellanae population in Mt. Dabashan and Shennongjia, Abies fanjingshanensis, Quercus stewardiana and R. brelichi population in Fanjingshan.
Fanjingshan has formed the evident vertical gradient because of its special geographic location and advantageous hydrothermal conditions. The difference between Fanjingshan and other heritage sites, non-heritage sites in vegetation vertical is as follows: the height difference range of different spectrums, spectrum number and community compositions. Furthermore, within 2000 m of mountain height difference, the vertical height difference range of climax communities dominated by Fagaceae is up to 1,700 m, which is rare in other areas. With an example of Fagus distributed most extensively, it can be seen that their distribution elevations of 3 subtypes change progressively. F. longipetiolata is mostly distributed in transition zones between evergreen broadleaved forest and evergreen deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest. Its altitude distribution ranges from 1,000 to 1,400 m, and changes along the different mountains, slope directions and positions in vertical spectrum. F. lucida, distributed most widely ranging from 1,400 to 2,000 m, lies in the typical evergreen deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest. It grows mixed with F. longipetiolata in lower altitude and F. engleriana in higher altitude. It develops most vigorously from 1,500 to 1,900 m. F. engleriana is only been observed in an altitude of 2,000-2,100 m. Then different forest types of F. lucida show obvious regularity in forest region, and the distribution patterns are consistent with the change of slope positions. The phenomenon that habitat gradient change is consistent with community gradient change, could offer an exceptional sample to explain plant ecological pattern and geographical distribution pattern.
2. Comparison under the criterion x on natural habitats and biological diversity
There are rich species in Fanjingshan, and it’s the habitat of many rare and endangered species. There are 3819 species of plants (including 3,329 species of higher plants, 119 lichens, 371 fungus), 74 species of endemic plants (including 28 species endemic to Fanjingshan). There are 2,544 species of animals (including 395 vertebrates, 1,947 insects and 206 other species), 46 endemic vertebrates (including 3 species endemic to Fanjingshan), and 239 species of endemic insects. The number of plants and animals above NT by IUCN is 49 and 35, respectively. The number of National Key-protected Plants and Animals is 37 and 38. The main key-protected plants are Glyptostrobus pensilis, Taxus chinensis, Taxus mairei , Davidia involucrate, Davidia involucrate, Mussaenda anomala, Ginkgo biloba, Abies fanjingshanensis, Bretschneidera sinensis and Dendrobium officinale. The main key-protected animals are Rhinopithecus brelichi, Macaca assamensis, Macaca mulatta, Macaca thibetana, Panthera pardus, Neofelis nebulosa, Cuon alpines, Rusa unicolor, Moschus berezovskii, Capricornissumatraensis, Ursus thibetanus, Syrmaticus reevesii, Tragopan temminckii, Chrysolophus pictus, Pucrasia macrolopha, Platysternon megacephalum, Sacalia bealei, Andrias davidianus and Vibrissaphora liui.
2.1 Fanjingshan comparison with World Heritage Sites on biodiversity
There are 22 World Heritage Sites comparable with Fanjingshan in terms of natural habitats and biological diversity.
In heritages sites of China, mainly Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries-Wolong, Mt. Huangshan, Mt. Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area, and Mount Wuyi，the number of plant species ranges from 3,000 to 6,000. The main vegetation types include tropical southern subtropical rainforest, subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest and temperate coniferous forest. The main rare and endangered wildlife include Alsophila spinulosa, Ginkgo biloba, Abies fabri, Picea asperata, Taxus chinensis, Taiwania cryptomerioides, Taxus chinensis, Davidia involucrate, Rhinopithecus bieti, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Ursus thibetanus, Bengal Tiger Panthera tigris, Panthera uncial, Neofelis nebulosa, Panthera pardus, Muntiacus crinifrons, Cervus Nippon, Ciconia ciconia, Cuon alpines, Viverra zibetha, Viverricula indica, Hydropotes, Capricornis sumatraensis, Grus nigricollis, Syrmaticus ellioti. Compared with above heritage sites, the vegetations and system function in Fanjingshan are represented by dominant plants of Fagaceae, especially Castanopsis eyrei, Castanopsis carlesii, Castanopsis tibetana, Cyclobalanopsis gracilis-Cyclobalanopsis glauca, Cyclobalanopsis gracilis, Cyclobalanopsis stewardiana, Fagus longipetiolata (Fagus longipetiolata, Fagus lucida, Fagus engleriana)- Cyclobalanopsis stewardiana. The particularity of main protected and rare, endangered wildlife also differs greatly.
In heritage sites abroad, the number of species is usually very large (such as both of the number of plant species in Laurisilva of Madeira and Cape Floral Region Protected Areas in South Africa is over 9,000), rainforest as the main type. The rare, endangered and endemic wildlife is rich, mainly including eucalypt forest, Lauraceae laurisilvae, alpine meadows and so on. The animal species include Alouatta, Trachypithecus geei, Elephas maximus indicus, Lutra lutra, Panthera onca, Bengal Tiger, Panthera tigris, Panthera uncial, Tapirus, Rhinoceros unicornis, Eupodotis bengalensis, Crocodylus siamensis, Salamander. So they differ greatly from Fanjingshan in main plant species and rare, endangered wildlife.
About the habitat, Fanjingshan, in mid-subtropics, is mid-mountain mountainous dome-shaped landform, and the main mountain controls many peaks and rivers. The habitats, such as vegetations, cliffs, creeks and climate in different position directions and positions, differ greatly. The existence of much endemic wildlife, such as Rhinopithecus brelich, Abies fanjingshanensis, Hylotelephium fanjinshanense and so on, indicates the particularity of the habitat.
2.2 Fanjingshan comparison with other sites in the same biogeographic province on biodiversity
On the basis of above comparisons about biodiversity, Fanjingshan can be compared with selected 3 heritage sites (Word Heritage Convention, 2014) and 4 non-heritage sites in the same biogeographic province (Zhang, 2003; Lu, 2011; SFA, http://www.forestry.gov.cn/; Management Bereau of Shenlongjia National Nature Reserve, Hubei, http://www.snjbhq.com/). It can be concluded that Fanjingshan is an important site for biodiversity in situ conservation, also a precious habitat for rare and endangered wildlife.
Based on the preliminary statistics from extant date, the number of vascular plants in Fanjingshan is smaller than that in Mt. Dabashan and Shennongjia, also smaller than that of South China Karst (Serial Heritage) and China Danxia (Serial Heritage). However, as for every single site, the number of vascular plants in Fanjingshan is quite larger.
There are rich rare and endangered wildlife in all sites of the same biogeographic province, indicating the province is an important habitat for rare and endangered wildlife, also including Fanjingshan.
There are 4 species of primates in Fanjingshan, namely Rhinopithecus brelichi, Macaca mulatta, Macaca thibetana and Macaca assamensis, which are rare in other areas. So it has been the habitat of primates. In addition, the number of Rhinopithecus brelichi is smallest (750 or so) in 3 recorded Golden Monkeys of China, but larger than that of Rhinopithecus avunculus (100-200) compared with 4 recorded Golden Monkeys globally. Moreover, Fanjingshan is the only habitat for Rhinopithecus brelichi, indicating the importance of the narrow habitat on the species living.
From the perspective of endemic wildlife, Abies fanjingshanensis, Cyclobalanopsis stewardiana and Fagus lucida form the stable communities, also playing an important role in biological, ecological evolution and functioning ecologically. It shows the importance of the habitat on Abies fanjingshanensis, Cyclobalanopsis stewardiana and Fagus lucida and other wildlife endemic to Fanjingshan.
As for the compositions of large animals, except for Panthera tigris amoyensis having been disappeared since 1990s, the compositions of other large animals haven’t changed greatly here, indicating the structure and function of ecosystems are integrated. So the habitat is of high significance for the living and proliferating of animals.