Associate  Professors > yangyong


 I hold a Bachelor degree on Microbiology from Biology Department of Inner Mongolia University, China, and a Ph.D. degree of botany from the Graduate School of Chinese Academy Sciences. I visited the Missouri Botanical Garden during 2002 and 2003, and worked there on Asian Lauraceae for one year with Prof. Henk van der Werff who is one of the few specialists of Lauraceae.

 As a research associate, I have been working extensively on systematics of seed plants for Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. My research fields include morphology, anatomy, ontogeny, palaeobotany, molecular, biogeography, and conservation. I have been trying to integrate multiple disciplines to answer systematic questions. I mainly focus on gymnosperms and Lauraceae of angiosperms on taxonomic and evolutionary studies, but other groups of plants are also considered to tackle certain botanical/biogeographic questions. I am authored or co-authored for over 90 publications during the last 14 years.

 I described two macrofossil genera from the Early Cretaceous (Alloephedra Tao et Y. Yang and Chengia Y. Yang et al.), six new macrofossil species from the Early Cretaceous (Alloephedra xingxuei Tao et Y. Yang, Ephedra carnosa Y. Yang et Q. Wang, Ephedra archaeorhytidosperma Y. Yang et al., and Chengia laxispicata Y. Yang et al.), and four modern species (E. rituensis Y. Yang et al., E. dawuensis Y. Yang, Beilschmiedia turbinata Bing Liu et Y. Yang, and Caryodaphnopsis malipoensis Bing Liu et Y. Yang). Based on morphology, anatomy, ontogeny, and palaeobotanical evidence, I proposed a reduction sterilization theoretical model to explain the origin and evolution of female reproductive organs of the Ephedraceae (and the gnetophytes as well). I found that origin of the genus Ephedra L. can be dated at least back to Early Cretaceous (Aptian to Albian).

 During my visit to MO, I worked with Henk van der Werff and made an online interactive key of Asian Lauraceae. That’s a good experience for me. I came back to Beijing in 2003, and have been working on Asian Lauraceae. Recently my research focus is on systematics and conservation of Lauraceae in tropical Asia. The Lauraceae are dominant elements in the tropical Asia, human activities are threatening species of the family in this region, e.g. logging and farming. Many species disappeared before people recognized them. But systematics of the family is poorly resolved, a few genus complexes need a taxonomic revision based on phylogeny. The Beilschmiedia group and the Alseodaphne group are two groups which need a taxonomic revision, generic delimitation within each of these groups is difficult.   

Research projects

My scientific studies were mainly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Thus far, I have got five projects from NSFC since I started my research career in 2002, and an initiative project from CAS.  

1. NSFC project: Origin and evolution of the outer envelope of Ephedraceae (project no. 30370105; 2004.1–2006.12)

2. NSFC project: Origin and evolution of the three envelopes of Gnetum (project no. 30600035; 2007.1–2009.12)

3. NSFC project: A taxonomic study of three complexes in Beilschmiedia Nees of Lauraceae (project no. 30970177; 2010.1–2012.12)

4. NSFC project: Systematics of Syndiclis of Lauraceae based on multidisciplinary evidence (project no. 312702382013.1–2016.12)

5. NSFC project: Systematics of the Alseodaphne complex of the Lauraceae (project no. 314703012015.1–2018.12)

6. CAS Initiative project: A taxonomic revision of Beilschmiedia of Lauraceae from China (2007.12009.12) 

Selected publications

(*Author for correspondence)

1.      Liu B, Hao YQ, Yang Y*, Sun TT, Lai YJ, Zhang T, He F, 2016. A new species of the Ranunculaceae from southwestern China based on morphological and molecular data. Phytotaxa, 283 (1): 043-053.

2.      Yang Y*, 2016. Is Ephedra lepidosperma (Ephedraceae) a validly published name? Phytotaxa, 275(2): 189-190.

3.      Sun TT, Wiersema J, Yang Y*. Correcting the type designations of Caryodaphnopsis baviensis and C. laotica (Lauraceae). Phytotaxa, 270: 227-230.

4.      Nishida S, de Kok R, Yang Y, 2016. Cuticular features of Cryptocarya (Lauraceae) from Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and Indo-China and its taxonomic implications. Phytotaxa, 244: 026-044.

5.      Wang SJ, Cui JZ, Yang Y, Sun KQ, 2016. Fossil Flora of China. Vol. 3. Fossil Gymnosperms in China (II). Beijing: Higher Education Press. In Chinese

6.      Yang Y*, Ferguson DK, 2015. Macrofossil evidence unveiling evolution and ecology of early Ephedraceae. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 17: 331-346.

7.      Yang Y*, Lin LB, Ferguson DK, 2015. Parallel evolution of leaf morphology in Gnetophytes. Organisms Diversity and Evolution, 15: 651-662.

8.      Yang Y, 2015. (2408) Proposal to conserve the name Ephedrites cheniae (Liaoxia cheniae) against Potamogeton jeholensis (fossil Gnetales: Ephedraceae). Taxon, 64: 1331-1332.

9.      Liu B, Ye JF, Liu S, Wang Y, Yang Y*, Lai YJ, Zeng G, Lin QW, 2015. Families and genera of Chinese angiosperms: a synoptic classification based on APG III. Biodiversity Science, 23: 225-231. (in Chinese)

10.  Jin XH, Yang Y, 2015. Species Catalogue of China, Vol. 1. Plants. (1) Spermatophytes: Gymnosperms and Angiosperms (Cabombaceae-Orchidaceae). Beijing: Science Press. In Chinese

11.  Yang Y, 2014. A systematic classification of Ephedraceae: living and fossil. Phytotaxa, 158(3): 283-290.

12.  Zeng G, Liu B, van der Werff H, Ferguson DK, Yang Y*, 2014. Origin and evolution of the unusual leaf epidermis of Caryodaphnopsis (Lauraceae). Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 16: 296-309.

13.  Yang Y, 2014. A systemtic classification of Ephedraceae: living and fossil. Phytotaxa, 158(3): 283-290.

14.  Liu B, Yang Y*, Ma KP, 2013. A new species of Caryodaphnopsis Airy Shaw (Lauraceae) from southeastern Yunnan, China. Phytotaxa, 118(1): 1-8.

15.  Liu Bing, Yang Y*, Xie L, Zeng G, Ma KP, 2013. Beilschmiedia turbinata: a newly recognized but dying species of Lauraceae from tropical Asia based on morphological and molecular data. PLOS ONE, 8(6): e67636. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067636

16.  Yang Y, Wang Q. 2013. The earliest fleshy cone of Ephedra from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Northeast China. PLOS ONE, 8(1): e53652. (DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0053652).

17.  Yang Y, Lin LB, Wang Q, 2013. Chengia laxispicata gen. et sp. nov., a new ephedroid plant from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, Northeast China: evolutionary, taxonomic, and biogeographic implications. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 13: 72. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-13-72.

18.  Yang Y, 2013. A numerical analysis of Ephedra L. based on reproductive features. Bangladesh Journal of Plant Taxonomy, 20(1): 51-60.

19.  Wang LS, Yang Y, Zhang XC, 2013. Online Flora: method and practice of E-taxonomy. Chinese Bulletin of Botany, 48(2): 174-183. In Chinese

20.  Huang JH, Zhang JL, Yang Y, Ma KP, 2013. Advances in methods for measuring patterns of endemic plant diversity. Biodiversity Science, 21: 99-110. In Chinese

21.  Ayodele AE, Yang Y, 2012. Diversity and distribution of vascular plants in Nigeria. Qingdao: Qingdao Publishing House. p350.

22.  Xie L, Yang Y*. Miocene origin of the characteristic broadleaved evergreen shrub Ammopiptanthus (Leguminosae) in the desert flora of eastern central asia. International Journal of Plant Science, 173(8): 944-955.

23.  Yang Y, Zhang LY, Liu B, van der Werff H., 2012. Leaf Cuticular Anatomy and Taxonomy of Syndiclis (Lauraceae) and Its Allies. Systematic Botany, 37 (4): 861-878.

24.  Fu DZ, Sun YB, Yang Y, Qin HN, 2011. Hand-drawing Threatened Plants. Vol. 2. Lanzhou: GPGC., L. In Chinese

25.  Ye JF, Chen ZD, Liu B, Qin HN, Yang Y*, 2012. Disjunct distribution of vascular plants between southwestern area and Taiwan area in China. Biodiversity Science, 20(4): 482-494. In Chinese

26.  Yang Y, Zhang XW, Wiersema JW, 2011. Notes on the typification of Beilschmiedia xizangensis (Lauraceae). Taxon, 60: 577-578.

27.  Yang Y, 2011. The minimum age of Ephedra L. (Ephedraceae): conflicting results between molecular clock and megafossils. Geological Review, 57: 9-15. In Chinese

28.  Yang Y, 2011. Cuticular diversity of the seed outer envelope in Ephedra (Ephedraceae) with a discussion on its systematic significance. Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Botany, 19(1): 1-15.

29.  Yang Y, Mo X, Liu B, 2011. Color Flora of the Sichuan Panzhihua Cycas National Nature Reserve in the Valley of the Jinsha River in Southwest China. Beijing: Higher Education Press. In Chinese

30.  Fu DZ, Sun YB, Yang Y, Qin HN, 2011. Hand-drawing Threatened Plants. Vol. 1. Lanzhou: GPGC., L. In Chinese

31.  Yang Y, Zhang LY, 2010. Venation pattern of Syndiclis Hook. f. and its related genera. Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Botany, 18(6): 643-649.

32.  Yang Y, Zhou ZK, 2010. New insights into the species problem. Science China Life Sciences [Science in China Series C-Life Sciences], 53: 964-972.

33.  Yang Y, 2010. A Review on Gnetalean Megafossils: Problems and Perspectives. Taiwania, 55(4): 346-354.

34.  Yang Y, 2008. Proposal to conserve the name Machilus (Lauraceae) with a conserved type. Taxon, 57(2): 652-654.

35.  Yang Y, 2008. What is the Basionym of Litsea rotundifolia var. oblongifolia (Nees) Allen (Lauraceae). Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Botany, 16(3): 271-273.

36.  Xu XT, Yang Y*, Wang LS, 2008. Geographic Distribution and Potential Distribution Estimation of Pseudotaxus chienii. Journal of Plant Ecology, 32(5): 1134-1145. In Chinese

37.  Yang Y, 2007. The nomenclature of fossil Ephedraceae. Taxon, 56(4): 1271-1273.

38.  Yang Y, 2007. Asymmetrical development of biovulate cones resulting in uniovulate cones in Ephedra rhytidosperma (Ephedraceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 264: 175-182.

39.  Yang Y, Fu DZ, 2007. Lauraceae. IN: Hu QM, Wu DL, eds. Flora of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 1: 37-54.

40.  Yang Y, Yang ZR, Fu DZ, 2007. Ranunculaceae. IN: Hu QM, Wu DL, eds. Flora of Hong Kong. Hong Kong: Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 1: 70-73.

41.  Wang K, Fu DZ, Zhang ZS, Yang Y*, 2007. Valid publication of the names Viburnum chingii var. impressinervium and V. formosanum var. pubigerum (Adoxaceae). Annales Botanici Fennici, 44: 153-154. (*Author for correpondence).

42.  Wang K, Yang Y*, 2007. Taxonomic Study on Pseudotaxus (Taxaceae).Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, 45(6): 862-869. (*Author for correspondence). In Chinese

43.  Wang X, Duan SY, Geng BY, Cui JZ, Yang Y, 2007. Schmeissneria: A missing link to angiosperms? BMC Evolutionary Biology, 7:14.

44.  Yang Y, 2006. Proposal to conserve the name Ephedrites (fossil Ephedraceae) with a conserved type. Taxon, 55(4): 1051-1052.

45.  Yang Y, Wiersema JH, 2006. Correcting the type designation of Phoebe calcarea S. K. Lee & F. N. Wei (Lauraceae). Taxon, 55(2): 511-512.

46.  Wang QB, Yang Y, Zhao XM, Zhu B, Nan P, Zhao JY, Wang L, Chen F, Liu ZJ, Zhong Y, 2006. Chemical variation in the essential oil of Ephedra sinica from Northeastern China. Food Chemistry, 98(1): 52-58.

47.  Yang Y, Geng BY, Dilcher DL, Chen ZD, Lott TA, 2005. Morphology and affinities of an Early Cretaceous fossil - Ephedra archaeorhytidosperma sp. nov. (Ephedraceae- Gnetopsida). American Journal of Botany, 92 (2): 231 – 241.

48.  Yang Y, 2005. A new species of Ephedra L. (Ephedraceae) from Sichuan, China with a note on its systematic significance. Botanical Bulletin of Academia Sinica, 46: 363-366.

49.  Yang Y, van der Werff H, 2005. Lectotypification of Machilus platycarpa and Machilus gracillima (Lauraceae). Novon, 15: 383-384.

50.  Yang Y, Zhang LY, 2005. Notes on the publication date of four names of Lauraceae from China. Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, 43: 565-566. In Chinese

51.  Wang QB, Wang L, Zhou RC, Zhao XM, Shi SH, Yang Y*, Zhong Y*, 2005. Phylogenetic position of Ephedra rhytidosperma, a species endemic to China: evidence from chloroplast and ribosomal DNA sequences. Chinese Science Bulletin, 50(24): 2901-2904.

52.  Yang Y, 2004. Ontogeny of triovulate cones of Ephedra intermedia and origin of the outer envelope of ovules of Ephedraceae. American Journal of Botany, 91 (3): 361-368.

53.  Fu DZ, Yang Y, Zhu GH, 2004. A new scheme of classification of living gymnosperms. Kew Bulletin, 59: 111-116.

54.  Yang Y, Fu DZ, Wang Q, 2004. Origin of flowers: hypotheses and evidence. Acta Botanica Boreali- Occidentalia Sinica, 24 (12): 2366-2380.

55.  Yang Y, Fu DZ, Zhu GH, 2003. A new species of Ephedra (Ephedraceae) from China. Novon, 13 (1): 153-155.

56.  Tao JR, Yang Y, 2003. Alloephedra xingxueii gen. et sp. nov., an early Cretaceous member of Epehdraceae from Dalazi Formation in Yanji Basin, Jilin Province of China. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica, 42 (2): 208-215. In Chinese

57.  Van der Werff H, Yang Y, 2003. Interactive key of Asian Lauraceae.

58.  Yang Y, Fu DZ, 2001. Review on the megastrobilus theories of conifers. Acta Phytotaxonomica Sinica, 39: 169 - 191. In Chinese

59.  Yang Y, 2001. Ontogenetic and metamorphic patterns of female reproductive organs of Ephedra sinica Stapf (Ephedraceae). Acta Botanica Sinica, 43 (10): 1011 - 1017.

60.  Yang Y, 2000. A new variety of Ephedra-E.equisetina var. monoica Y. Yang. Acta Phytotaxonimica Sinica, 38(4): 385. In Chinese