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Table of Content
    Volume 27 Issue 1
    20 January 2019
      
    Editorial
    Biodiversity monitoring and research are basis of national park conservation
    Mi Xiangcheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  1-4.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019047
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    Original Papers
    Evaluating the effectiveness of functional zones for black muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons) protection in Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot site
    Yu Jianping, Shen Yunyi, Song Xiaoyou, Chen Xiaonan, Li Sheng, Shen Xiaoli
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  5-12.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018246
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    Functional zoning is a method of classifying areas to define human use and is of great significance for the effective management of protected areas. Qianjiangyuan National Park is one of the ten national park pilot sites in China and is divided into four functional zones, the core protection zone, ecological conservation zone, recreation zone and traditional utilization zone. Each zone is assigned a different level of protection and corresponding management measures. This study examined the spatial overlap of existing functional zones in Qianjiangyuan and suitable habitats for its target conservation species, the endangered black muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons). We constructed distribution models based on 94 occurrence locations obtained from camera-trapping surveys from 2014-2018 using MaxEnt. Fifteen covariates related to altitude, topography, vegetative characteristics and human disturbance were used in the MaxEnt models to predict suitable habitats for the black muntjac. The results showed that the black muntjac tended to inhabit areas with intact forest and low road density. We identified 42.5 km 2 of suitable habitat, which accounted for 16.9% of the land in Qianjiangyuan National Park. Of this suitable habitat, 69.3% and 30.4% were located in the core protection zone and ecological conservation zone, respectively, which indicated that the existing zone designations can protect black muntjac habitat appropriately. These results also indicated that the black muntjac may serve as an indicator species of the subtropical primary forests where it lives. Promoting habitat integrity for the black muntjac by restoring habitat, constructing corridors and managing across provinces will be key to strengthening the protection of the black muntjac in the region.

    Seasonal variation in the distribution of Elliot’s pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti) in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve
    Ren Peng, Yu Jianping, Chen Xiaonan, Shen Xiaoli, Song Xiao, Zhang Tiantian, Yu Yongquan, Ding Ping
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  13-23.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018193
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    Here we studied the seasonal variation in the distribution pattern of Elliot’s pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti) in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, in Zhejiang Province, China. From May 2014 to April 2016, Elliot’s pheasants were monitored with camera traps as part of the grid monitoring system. Elliot’s pheasants were detected in 44 1 km × 1 km survey blocks, 211 independent times. The observed sex ratio was F : M = 1 : 1.64. These results showed that Elliot’s pheasant is mainly distributed in the buffer and experimental zones. Within the reserve, the detection rate of Elliot’s pheasant decreased over the gradient from mixed evergreen and deciduous broad leaf forest, Cunninghamia lanceolata forest, mixed coniferous and broad leaf forest to artificial Camellia oleifera forest and evergreen broad leaf forest. Elliot’s pheasant mainly lived at altitudes of 600-800 m. In winter and spring, their activity intensity was lower and the active area of Elliot’s pheasant was relatively smaller compared with the summer and autumn. In short, the distribution between altitudinal intervals (F4,12 = 3.76, P < 0.05) and seasons (F3,12 = 3.34, P < 0.05) differed significantly. Performing a regression analysis on altitudinal intervals and climatic factors showed that the daily average temperature and altitudinal intervals both significantly influenced the presence of Elliot’s pheasant (P < 0.01). Both the monthly detection rate of Elliot’s pheasant and the altitude at which Elliot’s pheasant was detected had a significant positive correlation with the monthly mean temperature (P < 0.001), but had no significant linear relationship with the monthly mean rainfall (P > 0.05). These results showed that the presence of Elliot’s pheasant was largely influenced by altitude and temperature. Elliot’s pheasants tended to move to higher altitude as the average monthly temperature increased. According to the results of model selection and multimodel inference, the optimal model only included by the variable “source of water within 100 meters”, and the suboptimal model was “source of water within 100 meters × altitude”, with weights of 0.18 and 0.14. This means that “source of water within 100 meters” and “altitude” were important factors affecting the distribution of Elliot’s pheasant, whose importance values were 0.82 and 0.51, respectively. Overall, the distribution of Elliot’s pheasant was determined by various environmental variables, rather than one and/or several environmental variables. In addition, the changes in temperature and the range of altitudinal intervals led to the differing seasonal distribution pattern of Elliot’s pheasant.

    Sprouting characteristics of communities during succession in an evergreen broad-leaved forest on Gutian Mountain, East China
    Chi Xiulian, Wang Qinggang, Guo Qiang, Yang Xian, Tang Zhiyao
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  24-32.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018222
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    Sprouting is an important vegetative reproduction strategy. Sprouting in woody plants is especially of great significance for maintaining forest structure and influencing vegetation dynamics and succession. In this study, we collected sprout data from 25 plots (30 m × 30 m) in an evergreen broad-leaved forest on Gutian Mountain, Zhejiang Province, East China for all trees with diameter at breast height (DBH) equal to or greater than 5 cm. Based on this data, we used general linear regression models to explore the characteristics and the effects of topographic factors and forest age on sprouting ability in forest communities during succession. We found that (1) 53.8% (56/104) of species in this forest showed evidence of sprouting. (2) The plot-level sprouting ability decreased significantly with elevation and marginally decreased significantly with aspect. (3) The plot-level sprouting ability decreased significantly with forest age. Forest age explained 20%-30% of the variation in sprouting ability after being fitted with the models using topographical factors. Both the number of sprouting genets and the proportion of sprouted species richness decreased significantly, while the mean DBH of sprouting genets increased significantly with forest age. This study shows that a decrease in community sprouting ability coupled with an increase in forest age may result from changes in both species composition (i.e. a decreasing number of individuals, but a higher sprouting ability) and structure (i.e. an increasing in proportion of larger individuals) during forest succession. In addition, the sprouting ability of forest communities is also affected by topographical factors, such as elevation and aspect.

    Drivers and patterns of α- and β-diversity in ten main forest community types in Gutianshan, eastern China
    Weng Changlu, Zhang Tiantian, Wu Donghao, Chen Shengwen, Jin Yi, Ren Haibao, Yu Mingjian, Luo Yuanyuan
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  33-41.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018171
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    Located in the subtropical zone of China, Gutianshan National Nature Reserve (GNNR) contains a variety of forest community types and is rugged in terrain. Here, we established 79 forest plots, each 20 m × 20 m in area, within the ten main community types of GNNR. Based on this, we analyzed the α- (Shannon- Wiener index) and β- (Horn-Morisita dissimilarity index) diversity patterns of and between these community types and their underlying driving factors. We found that: (1) Community type, elevation and aspect were the most important determinants of α-diversity. α-diversity showed significant differences between community types, and increased with elevation and northness. (2) Community type and elevation, but not spatial distance significantly affected β-diversity. β-diversity between community types was higher than within community type, and β-diversity also increased with increasing elevation. These results show that community type and elevation are the main influencing factors of the α- and β-diversity patterns in GNNR forests, and further suggest the importance of drivers, such as habitat filtering, on the assembly of GNNR forests.

    Using low-altitude UAV remote sensing to identify national park functional zoning boundary: A case study in Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot
    Li Jie, Li Weiyue, Fu Jing, Gao Jun, Yang Lei, He Weihang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  42-50.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018249
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    Delineating areas within a national park for different uses and management plans is important for protecting the land. Functional zones may be designated based on administrative boundaries, natural geographical boundaries, or a manual survey. However, the current delineation practice barely considers the integrity of the local ecosystem or human factors, which results in unreasonable and unclear boundaries. Considering two typical areas with large human interference in Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot as an example, we employed both low-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing technology and on-the-ground field vegetation surveys to evaluate the legitimacy of the already established functional zoning boundaries. The results show that 53,550 m 2 and 19,667 m 2 of the functional area surrounding Henglingjiao and Gutianshan Visitor Center had been modified, respectively, accounting for 29.75% and 16.39% of the aerial study area. Misclassification of functional zoning may occur due to (1) difficulties in distinguishing between areas with large human disturbances and natural features; and (2) partitioning the natural forests into small sections that do not consider the integrity of the vegetative system, which results in lower levels of protection. This study uses a combination of aerial imagery and ground surveys to provide a reasonable and feasible method for the future identification and refinement of functional boundaries in national parks so as to best protect local ecosystem integrity and to reduce human disturbance factors.

    Evaluation of ecosystem service value based on land use scenarios: A case study of Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot
    Sun Xiaoping, Li Shuang, Yu Jianping, Fang Yanjun, Zhang Yinlong, Cao Mingchang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  51-63.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018182
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    Land use change is one of the main drivers to change of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is important for decision-making of government to assess impacts of land use change on biodiversity and ecosystem service. The Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot (QNPP), located at the headwaters of the Qiangtang River, covers 252 km 2, and it is also a National Key Ecological Function Zone. In this study, We designed four land use change scenarios in 2025 for QNPP, i.e., business as usual, strategic planning, ecological protection, and development. Furthermore, the change in ecosystem services and its value in QNPP were evaluated under four scenarios by InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) model and CLUE-S (Conversions of Land Use and its Effects at Small Regional Extent) model. The ecosystem services in this assessment include water yield, water conservation, carbon sequestration and oxygen release, soil conservation, environmental purification, and habitat quality. Our results show that: (1) the value of ecosystem services in core protected areas and ecological conservation areas accounts for 88.30% of total value of QNPP; (2) the value of ecosystem services of QNPP in the ecological protection scenario is the highest (12.917 billion RMB yuan), and ranks the second in the strategic planning scenario (12.692 billion RMB yuan); and (3) the water yield in the strategic planning scenario is superior to that in the ecological protection scenario, while other ecosystem services are inferior to that in the ecological protection scenario. Strategic planning scenario is an optimal land use strategy in 2025 since QNPP play a key role in providing water resources for the downstream.

    Evaluation of the spatial characteristics of farmer livelihood assets in the Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot
    Li Shuang, Sun Xiaoping, Fang Yanjun, Zhang Yinlong, Cao Mingchang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  64-75.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018176
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    This paper uses the example of the Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot (QNPP) to construct an indicator system of farmer livelihood assets based on the sustainable livelihoods framework. The spatial distribution and agglomeration characteristics of farmer livelihood assets in QNPP were next analyzed, and the entropy method, cluster analysis, and spatial autocorrelation analysis were performed. The results were as follows: first, the livelihood assets of different types of farmers followed a gradient of non-agricultural households > concurrent households > pure farmers. The human assets, social assets, and physical assets of non-agricultural households were more valuable than those of concurrent households and pure farmers. Second, asset classification differed significantly among the three types of farmer households. Pure farmers had a greater quantity of primarily medium and low assets, while non-agricultural households had a few higher assets. The levels of livelihood assets were closely related to livelihood activities. Third, the spatial distribution of household livelihood assets belonging to farmers highlighted an increase in asset concentration from southwest to northeast. The livelihood assets of the Hetian Township were relatively balanced among the three groups, whereas Qixi, Changhong and Suzhuang townships had imbalanced asset distributions. Fourth, the distribution of household livelihood assets was consistent with functional position and management intensity in different functional zones. In addition, natural assets were significantly spatially autocorrelated while all other assets had no significant spatial autocorrelation. Finally, based on these findings, suggestions were made to improve the livelihoods of the farmer households in the QNPP.

    Bioinventories
    Diversity and composition of birds in the Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot
    Qian Haiyuan, Yu Jianping, Shen Xiaoli, Ding Ping, Li Sheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  76-80.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018273
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    Assessments of biodiversity are the foundation to support the management and policy-making of protected areas. In order to determine the diversity and composition of avian fauna in Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot, we collected bird observations through bird field surveys, camera-trapping surveys, acoustic recordings, and citizen science observations. Based on this compilation, we produced a list of 252 species composed of 17 orders and 64 families. Observed species include 36 nationally protected species: two class-I species—Elliot’s Pheasant Syrmaticus ellioti and Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus—and 34 class-II species. In addition, 10 species are threatened globally and 34 are threatened at the state level (i.e. listed as CR, EN, VU or NT by the IUCN or China’s red list of vertebrates). In total, 46 species (18.25%) are of conservation concern. Four species (Mountain Scops-owl Otus spilocephalus, Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher Culicicapa ceylonensis, White-browed Reed-warbler Acrocephalus tangorum and Javan Shortwing Brachypteryx montana) are newly recorded in Zhejiang Province. The Qianjiangyuan National Park bird community is evenly composed of species from the Oriental (45.24% of species) and Palaearctic (42.46%) realms, with the remaining are widespread species (12.30%). The percentage of resident and migratory species is also roughly equivalent (46.03% and 53.57%). Of the species that breed in Qianjiangyuan National Park, 68.79% are Oriental realm species, whereas most of winter non-breeding visitors are Palaearctic realm species (94.83%). Qianjiangyuan National Park harbors a rich bird community, accounting for over half (52%) of the total number of bird species in Zhejiang Province. These results confirm the park’s significant value for avian conservation, despite its small size (252 km 2), and provide important baseline information for future avian research and conservation in this region.

    Species diversity and distribution of wood-decaying fungi in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve
    Li Tong, Li Junning, Wei Yulian
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  81-87.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018156
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    Wood-decaying fungi decompose the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin of wood by producing various hydrolytic enzymes, and therefore play a key ecological role in the nutrient cycle of forest ecosystems. In August 2016, a survey of wood-decaying fungi was carried out in Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, Zhejiang Province. Fungal species were identified using morphological characters and DNA sequence analysis. Both the species composition and biogeography were also analyzed. A total of 92 fungal species, 78 white rot species and 14 brown rot species, representing 45 genera were identified from the 158 samples collected. Among these fungi, tropically-contained families are better represented than cosmopolitan families. Of the 158 specimens, 97 (76 species) were collected from woody substrates with a diameter larger than 10 cm, 48 (38 species) from a dead branch with a diameter ranging from 2 cm to 10 cm, and 13 (12 species) from a dead twig with a diameter smaller than 2 cm. The abundance of fungal species differed conspicuously in different decaying classes of dead wood as well. Of 92 fungal species, seven species (nine specimens) were collected from woody substrate of decay class 1, 45 species (86 specimens) from wood of decay class 2, 29 species (49 specimens) from wood of decay class 3, and 14 species (14 specimens) from wood of decay class 4. This study indicates that the diameter and decay class of dead wood are important factors influencing the growth and species distribution of wood-decaying fungi.

    Forum
    Conservation easement-inspired adaptive management methods for natural protected areas: A case study on Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot
    Wang Yufei,Su Hongqiao,Zhao Xinrui,Su Yang,Luo Min
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  88-96.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018203
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    It is difficult to carry out highly effective management in the natural protected areas of China due to complicated land ownership and lack of scientific research, especially in the National Park pilots. This paper proposes a conservation easement policy based on focused conservation needs by integrating an innovative adaptive management method and an ecological compensation plan, using the Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot as an example. First, the major conservation needs of the ecosystem elements are refined by determining the spatial scope of the easement implementation according to the land type. Secondly, the relationship between conservation need and the livelihood of local residents is clarified to form the classified conservation list. The evaluation method for easement is designed in three dimensions: improvement of monitoring indicators of the ecosystem, compliance with positive and negative actions and community capacity cultivation. Finally, the easement contract is formed by outlining the clear rights and responsibilities of the easement donor and donee. A scientific and flexible plan for ecological compensation is also carried out. This method can effectively solve the problem of land resource fragmentation at both on the ecosystem and landscape scale, which is normally caused by inconsistent ownership, as well as the conflict between community development and ecological conservation. Finally, this plan can be applied to the natural protected areas in southern China where the collective forest coverage is relatively high.

    Cross-border governance system construction of Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot by referring to the experience of French regional parks
    Zhang Chen,Guo Xin,Weng Sutong,Gao Jun,Fu Jing
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  97-103.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018252
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    The function of establishing national parks is to protect the authenticity and integrity of the ecosystem. However, ecosystem integrity and the authenticity face not only overlapping protection, but also the management division and fragmentation problems due to administrative division. Qianjiangyuan National Park pilot is a region spanning Zhejiang, Anhui, and Jiangxi provinces. There are three common problems in the process of cross-border management of Qianjiangyuan National Park: delineation of the collaborative governance spatial boundary, discrepancy of the policy of ecological conservation and its implementation, and contradiction between the living reliance on natural resources and the goal of ecological protection. Learning from the experience of French regional parks governance, this paper puts forward that the Qianjiangyuan National Park must form a government-led (represented by the park management agency), a multi-subject cooperative governance framework involving enterprises, community residents and non-governmental organizations. At last, in view of the above three problems, it is proposed to realize the unified protection across administrative barriers through the third-party participation, the unification of protection standards through the community agreement protection, and the sustainability of protection and development through the national park product brand value-added system.

    Review
    Summary comments on assessment methods of ecosystem integrity for national parks
    Dai Yunchuan, Xue Yadong, Zhang Yunyi, Li Diqiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  104-113.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018142
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    National parks are one of the foundations of global biodiversity conservation and help protect the ecological environment and biodiversity. Assessing ecosystem integrity in national parks can help understand ecosystem balance, health, and biodiversity status. We introduce three methods to assess ecosystem integrity of national parks: IBI (Index of Biotic Integrity), TLA (Three Level Approach) and EIAF (Ecosystem Integrity Assessment Framework), respectively. IBI relies on high intensity field survey and laboratory analysis. Albeit expensive, time consuming and requiring high level of biological expertise in identifying species, the results are accurate and reliable. TLA, including Remote Assessment, Rapid Assessment and Intensive Assessment, offers great flexibility to assess the integrity of complex ecosystems. EIAF combines the advantages of IBI and TLA, expands the use of indicator species and optimizes scoring statistics. Hence, EIAF is one the most sophisticated assessment methods of ecosystem integrity for national parks. We also discuss some issues such as incomplete assessment indices, single assessment form and subjectivity of assessment methods in current studies. We propose that research on ecosystem integrity of national parks should combine the processes that join nature, economy and society. Such an interdisciplinary approach requires integrated research on sustainable socio-economic development and human health, and explore the relationship between invasive species and ecological environment. We also suggest the need to look for new indicator species that can reflect the state and change trend of ecosystem integrity and thus help develop a standardized assessment system for national parks.

    The Xishuangbanna Declaration on Plant Conservation
    Organizing Committee of the Fourth Xishuangbanna International Symposium
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (1):  114-115.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019017
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