Zong-Xin Ren

Zong-Xin Ren
Kunming Institute of Botany CAS · Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia

PhD

About

80
Publications
36,601
Reads
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494
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in evolutionary ecology of plant reproduction and its implications for conservation and sustainable use. I focus on questions addressing the role of evolutionary history, anthropogenic disturbance and global change in shaping plant-pollinator interactions and evolution of plant breeding systems.
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - present
Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2013 - February 2014
Saint Louis University
Position
  • Researcher
January 2011 - December 2014
Kunming Institute of Botanty, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, Kunming
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
September 2005 - December 2010
Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Field of study
  • Botany, PhD
September 2001 - July 2005
Yunnan University
Field of study
  • Life Science, Bachelor Degree

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Full-text available
Nectar is the most common floral reward for flower-visiting flies, bees, bats and birds. Many flowers hide nectar in the floral tube and preclude sensing of nectar by flower-visitors from a distance. Even in those flowers that offer easily accessible nectar, the nectaries are mostly inconspicuous to the human eye and the amount of nectar is sparse....
Article
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The evolution of floral traits in animal-pollinated plants involves the interaction between flowers as signal senders and pollinators as signal receivers. Flower colors are very diverse, effect pollinator attraction and flower foraging behavior, and are hypothesized to be shaped through pollinator-mediated selection. However, most of our current un...
Article
1. Species interactions, such as those between plants and pollinators, are known to be shaped by both evolutionary history and ecological factors. However, little is known about how multiple factors (e.g., phylogeny, phenology, abundance, and functional traits) interactively affect interaction patterns. 2. Using a plant-bumblebee network comprising...
Article
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Successful pollination in animal-pollinated plants depends on the temporal overlap between flower presentation and pollinator foraging activity. Variation in the temporal dimension of plant-pollinator networks has been investigated intensely across flowering seasons. However, over the course of a day, the dynamics of plant-pollinator interactions m...
Article
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Comparison and quantification of multiple pre-and post-pollination barriers to interspecific hybridization are important to understand the factors promoting reproductive isolation. Such isolating factors have been studied recently in many flowering plant species which seek after the general roles and relative strengths of different pre-and post-pol...
Article
The sexual reproduction of seed plants involves the transfer of male gametes—in pollen—to their female gametes. In flowering plants (angiosperms), this is performed with the stigma of flowers, whereas the gymnosperms (such as conifers and cycads) produce a diversity of structures on their reproductive axes to accomplish the same task. This transfer...
Article
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A recent study by Finkelstein et al (2022) has demonstrated that a variety of flower-visiting animals have a taste for salt, such that plants with sodium enriched nectar received more visits and were visited by more animal species compared with control plants. They further suggest that plants could thus attract pollinators through relatively high l...
Article
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Taxonomy plays an important role in understanding the origin, evolution, and ecological functionality of biodiversity. There are large number of unknown species yet to be described by taxonomists, which together with their ecosystem services cannot be effectively protected prior to description. Despite this, taxonomy has been increasingly underrat...
Article
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In this popular article, two authors, Peter Bernhardt and Zong-Xin Ren will take you to a mushroom tour in Yunnan, southwestern China. Peter Bernhardt is a research associate of the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Royal Botanic Garden of Melbourne. He is an adjunct professor at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia and coeditor/coauthor of...
Article
The managed bumblebee Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has become established on multiple continents and various islands globally, potentially impacting fauna and flora alike. Its introduction could prove especially problematic in Asia, where bumblebee biodiversity is the highest worldwide. Here, we report the active, unregulated commerci...
Article
Morphological trait-matching and species abundance are thought to be the main factors affecting the frequency and strength of mutualistic interactions. However, the relative importance of trait-matching and species abundance in shaping species interactions across environmental gradients remains poorly understood, especially for plant–insect mutuali...
Article
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The field of bioaesthetics seeks to understand how modern humans may have first developed art appreciation and is informed by considering a broad range of fields including painting, sculpture, music and the built environment. In recent times there has been a diverse range of art and communication media representing bees, and such work is often link...
Article
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Background: Flowers are one of the important microhabitats promoting beetle diversity, but little is known about variation in the diversity of these insects at higher elevations. We do not know how divergent habitats influence the distribution of beetles among montane flora. Methods: We sampled beetles systematically in angiosperm flowers at 12 sit...
Article
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For plant species relying on animal pollination for reproduction, their spatial distribution is influenced by the geographical distribution of their pollinators. Predicting the impact of future climate change on the geographical distribution of plant and its pollinator has important significance for biodiversity conservation. In this study, we cond...
Article
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Pollinating species are in decline globally, with land use an important driver. However, most of the evidence on which these claims are made is patchy, based on studies with low taxonomic and geographic representativeness. Here, we model the effect of land-use type and intensity on global pollinator biodiversity, using a local-scale database coveri...
Article
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The impact of global climate change on ecosystems is a pressing and severe challenge to society. Climate change, with its increase in extreme climate events, has a direct impact on ecosystem productivity and service functions. Recently, research has focused on the effects increasing temperatures have on plant-pollinator. These expanding studies cen...
Article
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Habenaria is one of the largest terrestrial genera in the family Orchidaceae. Most field studies on Habenaria species with greenish–white and nocturnal scented flowers are pollinated by nocturnal hawkmoths and settling moths. However, H. rhodocheila presents reddish flowers lacking a detectable scent and fails to fit the moth pollination syndrome....
Article
1. Anthropogenic activity can modify the distribution of species abundance in a community leading to the appearance of new dominant species. While many studies report that an alien plant species which becomes increasingly dominant can change species composition, plant‐pollinator network structure and the reproductive output of native plant species,...
Article
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Species are often presumed to be apparent in nature, but in practice they may be difficult to recognise, especially when viewed across continents rather than within a single site. Coalescent-based Poisson-tree-process (PTP) models applied to fast-evolving genes promise one quantitative criterion for recognising species, complete with the estimates...
Article
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Plants invest floral resources, including nectar and pigment, with likely consequent reproductive costs. We hypothesized that plants, whose flowers abscise with age, reabsorb nectar and pigment before abscission. This was tested with flowers of Rhododendron decorum, which has large, conspicuous white flowers that increasingly abscise corollas as fl...
Article
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We compared suites of inflorescence and floral traits of six taxa in the genus Corunastylis. Liquid rewards were not detected at the bases of labellum calluses in three species. Instead, glabrous auricle lobes containing variable numbers of raphides secreted droplets. Scent analyses identified seven compounds in three species, with five for C. rupp...
Article
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Under noiseless experimental conditions, sugar concentration of secreted floral nectar may increase after flower exposure to nearby sounds of pollinator flight (Veits et al. 2019). However, we reject the argument that this represents adaptive plant behaviour, and consider that the appealing analogy between a flower and human ear is unjustified.
Article
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About one‐third of orchid species are thought to offer no floral reward and therefore to attract pollinators through deception. Statements of this idea are common in the botanical literature, but the empirical basis of the estimate is rarely mentioned. We traced citation pathways for the one‐third estimate in a sample of the literature and found th...
Article
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Hand-pollination experiments followed by epifluorescence microscopy of pistils of Uvularia grandiflora Smith (Colchicaceae) indicated a trend toward late-acting self-incompatibility. Pollen tube growth in pistil tissue of bagged but unmanipulated flowers (mechanical self-pollination) was insignificant. As each pistil produces three stigmatic lobes,...
Conference Paper
The Three Rivers Region of China is an UNESCO recognized World Heritage Site and a hotspot for biodiversity. The Himalayan region is an extremely heterogeneous landscape with layers of mountains creating a diversity of niches that are highly suitable for speciation events. Despite this biodiversity, the region is relatively understudied and has not...
Article
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Flowers have developed different strategies to attract pollinators through visual or olfactory signals. Most flowers offer pollinators a reward (e.g. nectar and pollen) for the pollination service. However, one-third of Orchidaceae have been shown not to provide a reward. Calanthe are terrestrial orchids distributed throughout China, Nepal, Japan a...
Article
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Host sympatry provides opportunities for cross‐species disease transmission and compounded disease effects on host population and community structure. Using the Silene‐Microbotryum interaction (the castrating “anther‐smut” disease), eleven Himalayan Silene species were assessed in regions of high host diversity to ascertain levels of pathogen speci...
Article
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Background and Aims Large clades of angiosperms are often characterized by diverse interactions with pol-linators, but how these pollination systems are structured phylogenetically and biogeographically is still uncertain for most families. Apocynaceae is a clade of >5300 species with a worldwide distribution. A database representing >10 % of speci...
Article
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We compared the floral ecology and pollen-pistil interactions in Hypoxis hirsuta (L.) Coville from North America and H. aurea Loureiro from China. Both species are vernal-flowering herbs, with yellow perianths, providing pollen as their only reward. In H. hirsuta, hand self-pollinated, emasculated and bagged control flowers failed to set fruit. Whe...
Poster
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◆ We compiled a complete reference database (> 600 publications) of pollination studies in China. ◆ We identified and analyzed gaps and limitations in research on the pollination systems of native and naturalized species. ◆ We segregated and identified prospective lines of future research that are unique to China and can only be done in China.
Article
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China is one of most biodiverse countries in the world, containing at least 10% of all angiosperm species. Therefore, we should anticipate a diverse, pollinator fauna. China also has a long history of applied ethnobiology, including a sustainable agriculture based on apiculture and plant-pollinator interactions. However, the science of pollination...
Article
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The colour vision system of bees and humans differs mainly in that, contrary to humans, bees are sensitive to ultraviolet light and insensitive to red light. The synopsis of a colour picture and a UV picture is inappropriate to illustrate the bee view of flowers, since the colour picture does not exclude red light. In this study false-colour pictur...
Article
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Habenaria (Orchidaceae) is a species-rich genus, usually pollinated by members of Lepidoptera, but the pollination ecology of its sub-alpine species in the Himalayas remains under-explored. We focused on three populations of the endangered, nectar-secreting H. limprichtii on Yulong Snow Mountain (eastern Himalayas). Results showed that spurs of H....
Article
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Isolation between species, or taxa sharing a common lineage, depends primarily on the relative strengths of various reproductive barriers. Previous studies on reproductive isolation between orchids emphasized mechanical and ethological barriers in flowers of species showing food and/or sexual mimicry. In this study, we investigated and quantified a...
Article
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Pedicularis is the largest genus in the Orobanchaceae (> 300) with many species co‐occurring and co‐blooming in sub‐alpine to alpine meadows in the Himalayas. Although it is well‐known that different Pedicularis species place pollen on different parts of the same bumblebee's body, thus reducing interspecific pollen transfer, it is not known whether...
Article
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Distyly is a mechanism promoting cross‐pollination within a balanced polymorphism. Numerous studies show that the degree of inter‐morph sexual organ reciprocity (SOR) within species relates to its pollen‐mediated gene flow. Similarly, a lower inter‐specific SOR should promote inter‐specific isolation when congeners are sympatric, co‐blooming, and s...
Article
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Charles Darwin (1862, 1877) conducted field and lab research on orchid pollination mechanisms before any protocols or laws protected orchid species or individual populations. Information on the reproductive ecology of rare and threatened orchids remains intrinsic to their conservation as populations continue to diminish during the Anthropocene. We...
Article
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Many melittophilous flowers display yellow and UV-absorbing floral guides that resemble the most common colour of pollen and anthers. The yellow coloured anthers and pollen and the similarly coloured flower guides are described as key features of a pollen and stamen mimicry system. In this study, we investigated the entire angiosperm flora of the A...
Article
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We compared pollinators, pollination rates and seed set of bicolour and concolour morphs in self-incompatible, Viola pedata over two seasons. The two populations grew on a wooded slope (CR) vs. an exposed glade (SNR) and were of unequal sizes. Both were burned in 2014. The number of flowers produced by concolour plants at SNR was higher in 2014 whi...
Article
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Several wild pollinator bees were found visiting local plants and collected in early spring in dry and eroding lands in Yunnan, China. With both morphology and DNA information, we discovered the hitherto unknown male of Colletes yanruae Niu, Zhu & Kuhlmann, 2013. Herein, the male was described and illustrated for the first time.