Conservation of the Chinese caterpillar fungus under global warming

The fruiting body of a caterpillar fungus in Tibet, China


Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Chinese caterpillar fungus) is a highly valued fungus that has been used as a traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The fungus is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding regions. The climate warming and decrease of precipitation on the Plateau were reported to result in reduction of nature habitats, density and the quality of O. sinensis. In this project, I

  • Co-lead the project with researchers from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yangzhou University.
  • Modeled the distribution change of the Chinese caterpillar fungus under climate change using niche modeling method.
  • Assessed the conservation status of the fungus and established a framework for fungal conservation.
  • Joined a field trip to Himalaya region in Tibet and Hengduan Mountain region in Yunnan to investigate local parasitic fungus diversity in 2021.
Yujing Yan, PhD
Yujing Yan, PhD
Harvard University Herbaria Research Fellow

My research interests include biogeography, macroevolution, species diversity patterns and climate change conservation.