Ancient in origin and once widespread on Earth, today cycads comprise few living survivors in limited distributions in the tropics and subtropics. A study of these extant members and the cycad fossil record dating back to over 250 million years ago has revealed that cycads have remained relatively unchanged throughout their long history. Indeed, cycads are the sister group to all other extant seed groups, and an understanding of their evolution can shed light on the evolution of all modern plants. This volume, consisting of 34 papers, reports the work of 100 delegates from 15 different countries • including 50 cycad experts from China • who convened in Shenzhen, China for The 9th International Conference on Cycad Biology (Cycad 2011). The Conference covered eight main study areas: Genetics and Genomics, Conservation, Taxonomy and Phylogeny, Ecology, Horticulture, Toxicology, Economic Botany, and Information Management. Central to the Conference was the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)/Special Survival Commission (SSC)•Cycad Specialist Group, which met to update information on cycads on the Red List for 2011.