Current status and conservation strategies of wetland plants in Guangdong Province, China.
Guangdong Province is an abundant region in wetland plant species. The current status of wetland plants in Guangdong Province was analyzed systematically by field surveys and voucher specimens checking. Results showed there were 352 species belonging to 240 genera and 96 families in Guangdong, most of which were angiosperms. Families with the most genera and species were Compositae and Poaceae, and genera with the most species were Cyperus, Polygonum, Lindernia, and Bambusa. The highest frequency species included Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb., Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, Pennisetum purpureum Schumach., Pistia stratiotes L., and Panicum repens L. For life forms, the proportion of perennial herbaceous plants was dominant and reached 71.59%; for ecological groups, the proportion of hygrophytes was dominant and reached 43.47%; for plant sources, the proportion of local species was dominant and reached 90.63%. Moreover, among the total species, there were 41 invasive plants accounting for 11.66% of the total species, and 204 exploitable plants accounting for 57.63%. The acceleration of urbanization and artificial activities such as reclamation, sand mining, and sewage disposal, combined with the invasion of alien species, have resulted in the serious destruction of the wetland environment and the subsequent decrease in wetland plant species. A few species have been applied in landscaping and sewage purification; however, most of them have been alien species. This situation is ill-matched with the rich wetland plant resources. It is suggested that wetland resources should be exploited rationally, exotic species should be monitored, and local native plants should be applied in landscaping and sewage purification.