Understanding the drivers of population divergence, speciation and species persistence is of great interest to molecular ecology, especially in the world's biodiversity hotspots. East Asia is one of regions harboring the most diverse temperate and subtropical flora in the world. Although this region has never been directly impacted by extensive and unified ice-sheets, it nonetheless experienced severe environmental change throughout the Late Tertiary and Quaternary with dramatic effects on the evolution and distribution of plants. By using phylogeographic, landscape genetic, and ecological modelling approaches, a steadily increasing number of phylogeographic studies in East Asia have documented the evolutionary web of population demographic, biogeographic, and speciation processes. This symposium will present recent remarkable studies concerning phylogeographic patterns, population demographic/biogeographic histories, speciation processes, as well as drivers of species diversification and persistence that have given rise to one of the world's most diverse floras in East Asia.