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Table of Content
    Volume 27 Issue 3
    20 March 2019
    The Guangdong Chebaling National Nature Reserve belongs to Nanling Mountains, China, and is covered by typical mid-subtropical evergreen broadleaved forests. Since 2016, whole-area wildlife monitoring network using camera trapping has been established. The pictures show parts of the landscape and important animals in the nature reserve. (Photo credit: Chebaling National Nature Reserve Administration Bureau)
    Special Feature: Analysis of Wildlife Camera-Trapping Data
    Species inventory and assessment of large- and medium-size mammals and pheasants using camera trapping in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province
    Xiao Zhishu,Chen Lijun,Song Xiangjin,Shu Zufei,Xiao Ronggao,Huang Xiaoqun
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  237-242.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019008
    Abstract ( 60 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (5642KB) ( 20 )   Save
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    Infrared-camera technology (i.e. camera trapping) has been widely used recently for species inventories and related assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in protected areas across the world. In this study, we provide a case study for how to assess species inventory data of terrestrial birds and mammals based on camera trapping in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province. Using camera trapping data from 2017 across the whole area with 80 grids (grid size, 1 km 2) in the reserve, we recorded 15 medium and large mammal species and three pheasant species. Based on species accumulation curves as a function of grids and camera days when 90% of expected species richness was recorded in the reserve, the minimum grids with fixed camera days and the minimum camera days with fixed grids were less during the wet season (June-August) than during the dry season (October-December). Moreover, the minimum grids with fixed camera days and the minimum camera days with fixed grids during the dry season were less than during the wet season. Based the camera trapping data, the species inventory assessment in the reserve can cover species lists and species richness of terrestrial birds and mammals, as well as relative abundance, distribution and voucher images of each species. Therefore, the Chebaling case based on the whole-area species inventory and assessment can provide technical references for China’s natural protected areas.

    Limitations of relative abundance indices calculated from camera-trapping data
    Chen Lijun,Xiao Wenhong,Xiao Zhishu
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  243-248.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018327
    Abstract ( 59 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (787KB) ( 22 )   Save
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    Abundance is an important parameter used to estimate the population size of various wildlife species. With the growing application of camera-traps (movement or heat activated) to monitoring wildlife, the relative abundance index (RAI) has become one of the most popular indicators of population abundance for inventories and assessment. Despite a simple and convenient indicator of population size, RAI obtained from camera-trapping data can be greatly affected by many factors such as species traits, detection rates and environmental factors. Therefore, we need verify the correlation between RAI and population density prior to its general application. So far, several types of RAIs have been developed based on camera-trapping data, and it is critical to compare these RAI indices and their applications. In this paper, we summarized the methods calculating RAI with camera-trapping data and reviewed their applications in wildlife monitoring and inventories in China. Four main types of RAIs were identified including (1) the number of days when one animal is photographed, (2) the number of photographs of focal species per 100 trap days, (3) the number of photographs of focal species per trap day, and (4) the proportion of photos from the focal species compared to all photos of all animals. Among them, the second RAI type is the most widely used (72.5%) in wildlife monitoring and inventories in China, and the fourth RAI type is used to compare species components in communities. Consequently, we recommend the second RAI type for estimating population abundance in particular when camera-trapping data are used for broad-scale comparisons over different spatial and temporal scales.

    Using occupancy models in wildlife camera-trapping monitoring and the study case
    Xiao Wenhong,Shu Zufei,Chen Lijun,Yao Wutao,Ma Yong,Zhang Yingming,Xiao Zhishu
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  249-256.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018195
    Abstract ( 53 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (817KB) ( 21 )   Save
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    Occupancy models have the advantage of accounting for imperfect detection, they have simple and flexible data requirements as we all high economic efficiency. For these reasons, occupancy models have been increasingly applied in wildlife research. In this paper, we introduced the basic principles and use of the occupancy models. Using camera trap data we outlined the operational procedures and considerations from field investigation to data analysis. Using the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) in the Guangdong Chebaling National Nature Reserve as an example we demonstrate the basic steps of how estimate occupancy and detect probability. Finally, according to occupancy model research from recent years, we summarize use trends and main limitations in the research.

    Using capture-recapture models in wildlife camera-trapping monitoring and the study case
    Xiao Wenhong,Hu Li,Huang Xiaoqun,Xiao Zhishu
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  257-265.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018194
    Abstract ( 42 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (915KB) ( 18 )   Save
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    The widespread use of camera trap promoted the development and innovation in wildlife population ecology research. Capture-recapture as a non-invasive sampling method can reliably estimate population parameters such as abundance and density, providing crucial information on endangered species protection and the effectiveness of conservation management. For animals with unique natural markings, such as felids, spots or stripes on the body recorded by camera traps can be used to identify individuals, and in turn to estimate population parameters based on capture-recapture models. In this review paper, we discuss the basic principle and application of capture-recapture research worldwide, with a focus on spatial capture-recapture models. We then summarize the operational procedures and considerations from camera deploy to data analyses. Using stray cat in Qingchengshan as an example we demonstrate the basic steps for using camera trap data to estimate population density and abundance through spatial capture-recapture models. Finally, we discuss the future development of capture-recapture models in studying population dynamics, landscape corridor design and resource selection.

    Application of camera-trapping data to study daily activity patterns of Galliformes in Guangdong Chebaling National Nature Reserve
    Chen Lijun,Shu Zufei,Xiao Zhishu
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  266-272.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018178
    Abstract ( 43 )   HTML ( 6 )   PDF (1051KB) ( 15 )   Save
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    Animal activity patterns and temporal niches can indicate the distribution of animal behavior and the utilization resources over time. Environmental variables and interspecific interactions have important effects on animal activity and temporal niche partitioning. These two factors in turn can help understand mechanisms of niche partitioning among sympatric species as well as species coexistence and community composition. Due to the extensive use and deployment of infrared cameras for nearly a decade, a large amount of time-recorded behavioral data has been accumulated. These data are conducive to studying activity rhythms and temporal niches in depth. In the present paper, we reviewed research on animal activity using infrared cameras in combination with in situ monitoring data from the Guangdong Chebaling National Nature Reserve to better understand three Galliformes species. A kernel density was used to estimate the activity and interspecific effects of a single species as well as for multispecies activity. Our study reveals a moderate overlap among Galliformes species, Lophura nycthemera, Arborophila gingica and Bambusicola thoracica, which may be caused by interspecific competition. We discuss the limitations of daily activity analyses to give a reference for similar research.

    Original Papers
    Correlation between spatial distribution of forest canopy gaps and plant diversity indices in Xishuangbanna tropical forests
    Li Qiang,Wang Bin,Deng Yun,Lin Luxiang,Dawa Zhaxi,Zhang Zhiming
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  273-285.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018258
    Abstract ( 284 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (7289KB) ( 84 )   Save
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    Forest gaps are an important disturbance in forest communities and impact the composition of understory species. The research on the relationship between the spatial patterns of forest canopy gap and diversity indices of understory plants is of great significance to understand the impcat between forest canopy gap and the biodiversity of understory plants. This will help to further understand community dynamics and also protect species diversity. In this study, three tropical rainforests with a size of one hectare were randomly selected in the Xishuangbanna tropical rain forest. A light and small six-rotor UAs was mounted with a Sony ILCE-A7r visible light sensor to obtain high-definition digital images of each plot. Digital surface elevation models and the topographic data of each plot were used to determine the distribution type of canopy gaps in each plot and to extract landscape pattern indices. Based on ground-based survey data, a statistical survey of plant diversity under each forest canopy gap was carried out to analyze the relationship between the spatial distribution of forest gaps and plant diversity. Results show that the tropical rain forest gaps in Xishuangbanna are large and have a scattered spatial distribution. The spatial characteristics indices, such as the shape and complexity index, and the area were significantly positively correlated with the diversity of understory plants. The size of the forest canopy gap had a more significant impact on the plant diversity than the shape. After the area reaches a certain level, the shape and complexity index of the gap is relative to the area factor. The impact on diversity of understory plants is more severe, and all forest gaps tend to recover from the top communities in their respective plots.

    Leaf functional traits of Acer mono in Wudalianchi Volcano, China
    Xie Lihong,Huang Qingyang,Cao Hongjie,Yang Fan,Wang Jifeng,Ni Hongwei
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  286-296.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018300
    Abstract ( 43 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (1601KB) ( 3 )   Save
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    Functional traits reflecting responses and adaptations of plants to their environment can be used as a bridge between plants and the changes occurring in their environment. The analysis of the relationship between plant functional traits and environmental gradients present on hill slopes can improve our understanding of adaptation mechanisms of plant communities under different microtopographic habitats. In this paper, nine leaf functional traits of Acer mono individuals were studied on eight volcanoes in different historical years in Wudalianchi, China. The main leaf functional traits of volcanic plants on shady and sunny slopes were determined. A change in survival strategy and adaptation mechanisms of shady and sunny slope plants was found. The results were as follows: (1) The change of slope direction is an important reason for the difference of leaf functional characteristics of Acer mono. (2) The difference of leaf functional characteristics in volcanoes reflects their different resource environments. At the same time, the growth of Acer mono is mainly limited by nitrogen. (3) Leaf thickness had a significant positive correlation with leaf area between the north-south slopes and between volcanoes. There was a significant positive correlation between leaf thickness and specific leaf area between volcanoes, which is related to the self-protection of Acer mono under volcanic soil conditions. These results suggest that Acer mono can respond to its environment and adapt to express the best combination of functional traits. Acer mono individuals from volcanoes of different ages have increased carbon sequestration capacity, leaf dry matter content, leaf area, leaf thickness, nitrogen and phosphorus content, while also having reduced specific leaf area and nitrogen to phosphorus ratio as an adaptation to abundant light, low water content and poor soil nutrients.

    Numerical characteristics of plant sexual system of the woody plants in the 60 ha plot in the tropical rain forest in Jianfengling, Hainan Island
    Wang Yingcan,Lin Jiayi,Xu Han,Lin Mingxian,Li Yide
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  297-305.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018217
    Abstract ( 112 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (1044KB) ( 5 )   Save
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    How plants with different sexual systems grow and distribute in the community? Are they influenced by environmental factors? The answer to these questions is helpful to understand how species diversity is shaped in the plant community. This study summarized the numerical characteristics of sexual systems and the relationship between the distribution of dioecious plants and the topographical factors. Results showed that of the 289 woody seed plants recorded in the 60 ha plot, 176 species are bisexual plants and 113 species are unisexual plants. Of the 113 unisexual species, 51 are monoecious and 62 are dioecious plants. The abundance of unisexual plants accounts for 36.2% of all individuals recorded in the whole plot. The dioecious plants account for 21.5% of all individuals recorded and 59.5% of all individuals of unisexual plants in the plot. At the 20 m × 20 m quadrat spatial scale, 31 dioecious species showed aggregated distribution. Proportion of number of dioecious species of all species showed weak and positive correlation with altitude, convex and slope, but relative abundance of dioecious plants only showed weak and positive correlation with altitude. Furthermore, three diversity indices of plant sexual system did not show significant correlation with altitude, convex and slope. In sum, dioecious plants occupy a large proportion but most species only have relatively small population in the tropical mountain rain forest in Hainan, which are closely correlated with the topographical factors by the changes of numerical characteristics. The existence of dioecious plants has important contribution to the formation of species diversity in the plant community.

    Status of invasive plants on local pollination networks: A case study of Tagetes minuta in Tibet based on pollen grains from pollinators
    Tu Yanli,Wang Liping,Wang Xilong,Wang Linlin,Duan Yuanwen
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  306-313.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018269
    Abstract ( 50 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (1842KB) ( 8 )   Save
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    Invasive plants that use local pollinators would better ensure their expansion in the new environment, but the role and status of the invasive plants on local pollination network is still unclear. In this paper, we analyzed the pollen grains of Tagetes minuta carried by pollinators and constructed a plant-pollinator network, to explore the roles and impacts of T. minuta in local pollination network. The results showed that pollination system of T. minuta was generalized, and there were 13 insect species visiting its flowers, 12 of which carried pollen grains of T. minuta, and the pollen grains of T. minuta accounted for 89.89%. Among the 12 pollinator species of T. minuta, one species of bees, two species of scorpion flies and one species of flies are the main pollinators. This study reveals that T. minuta has successfully used a variety of local pollinators for pollination in a relatively short period of time, indicating that T. minuta has strong adaptability and diffusion ability, and it is necessary to pay more attentions to the prevention and control of T. minuta in the future.

    Structural features of root-associated fungus-plant interaction networks in the tropical montane rain forest of Jianfengling, China
    Yang Siqi,Zhang Qi,Song Xiqiang,Wang Jian,Li Yide,Xu Han,Guo Shouyu,Ding Qiong
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  314-326.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018339
    Abstract ( 151 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (1661KB) ( 43 )   Save
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    Functionally diverse root-associated fungi may differentially interact with host plants, potentially affecting the assembly processes of belowground plant and fungi communities. Here, we applied the Illumina Miseq sequencing technique to identify root-associated fungi of plants which were co-dominant in a tropical montane rain forest on Hainan Island, China. Structural features of bipartite networks were compared among the whole root-associated, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungus-plant interactions. A total of 297,831 fungal ITS1 sequences were obtained from eight families including Aceraceae, Annonaceae, Apocynaceae, Aquifoliaceae, Arecaceae, Fagaceae, Lauraceae, and Oleaceae. Fungal sequences were assigned to 1,279 OTUs comprised of Ascomycota (748 OTUs), Basidiomycota (354), Glomeromycota (80), and unidentified fungi (97). At least three functional groups of fungi i.e. putatively ECM (40 OTUs, represented 23.4% of the total fungal reads), AM (40, 13.9%) and saprophyte (83, 19.8%) were prevalent in the core root-associated fungal community (420 OTUs) of the tropical montane rain forest. Network analysis indicated that AM, ECM and root-associated fungus-plant interaction network showed structural features which cannot be predicate by null models assuming species interact randomly. Community level indices behaved differently among different ecotypes of fungus-plant interactions. Specifically, the degree of nestedness (NODF) and connectance were higher, while specialization was lower in the AM interaction network than the expected values from null models. In contrast, the ECM interaction network had a significantly higher degree of specialization and lower nestedness and connectance than the null models. At guild levels, plant niche overlap of AM and ECM interactions are higher and lower than the null model, respectively. Niche breadth of ECM fungi was narrower than that of AM fungi. Co-occurrence patterns of plant and fungus further confirmed competition for resources was intense in ECM interaction network (high C-score of both plants and fungi) and weak in the AM interaction network (low C-score). These findings suggest that at least two modes of interspecific interactions are critical for the assembly and coexistence of root-associated fungal communities, i.e. redundancy (nestedness) of AM interactions, and niche differentiation (specialization) of ECM interactions. Here we provide a comprehensive exploration of the interactions among functionally diverse root-associated fungal guild within a forest, which is key to understand the mechanisms maintaining species coexistence in tropical forests.

    Progress on the fertility of Rhododendron
    Zhuang Ping
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  327-338.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018345
    Abstract ( 102 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (945KB) ( 25 )   Save
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    To provide a reference for researchers, achievements and progress in recent years on the fertility of Rhododendron in China and abroad were summarized. (1) There are polyploidy in subgen. Rhododendron and subgen. Pentanthera, and even various ploidy in the same species. (2) Under natural pollination, in addition to the common intra-specific cross- and self-fertilization, inter-specific cross-fertilization was also widespread in subgen. Hymenanthes, subgen. Rhododendron and subgen. Tsutsusi. There were also some cases of inter-subsection cross. (3) Self compatibility (SC) and self incompatibility (SI) simultaneous exist in Rhododendron. Subsect. Fortunea shows all types from self sterile to high fertility. Self incompatibility often occurs in subgen. Tsutsusi and subgen. Azaleastrum and although self-fertilization is usually considered to be a passive adaptation, it could be an active response to the adverse environmental conditions for a few local species. (4) Through artificial crosses between different taxa (subgenera, sections and subsections), the inter-specific crossability was obviously relevant to the relationship of phylogenetic development and chromosomal ploidy of parents. This was reflected in the changes of indices of compatibility in different phases of development and was discovered that hybridization was easier between distant subgen. Hymenanthes and subgen. Rhododendron. There were also some cases of compatibility such as the reciprocal crosses between subgen. Hymenanthes and subgen. Tsutsusi, subgen. Tsutsusi and subgen. Rhododendron as well as the unidirectional compatibility between subgen. Tsutsusi and subgen. Pentanthera, subgen. Hymenanthes and subgen. Pentanthera, subgen. Azaleastrum and subgen. Rhododendron. (5) It leads to increases in the fertility and development from bidirectional fertility to unidirectional sterility and then bidirectional sterility in inter-specific cross as SI parents get involved.

    Development of Convention on Biological Diversity’s Global Platform for Business & Biodiversity: Policy suggestion for China
    Zhao Yang,Wen Yuanyuan
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  339-346.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018240
    Abstract ( 118 )   HTML ( 6 )   PDF (719KB) ( 36 )   Save
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    The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the most important international convention committed to the protection of biodiversity. It is also the most significant platform for China to participate and lead in the construction of a global ecological civilization. As an important entity for enterprises engaging in biodiversity conservation, the CBD has been strengthening efforts to build a consistent international system over the last two decades. The international system consists of two main pillars: (1) Global Partnership on Business and Biodiversity (GPBB mechanism), and (2) Global Platform for Business & Biodiversity (GPBB platform). The GPBB mechanism provides the organization and financial arrangement, while the GPBB platform mainly provides technical and intellectual support. These two pillars complement and provide synergies to one other. By looking into the formation background, development process, current situation and future trends of the GPBB platform, this paper systematically summarizes various resources that have been intentionally made available by the GPBB platform gradually over a long period of time. It also puts forward relevant policy recommendations for China in how to better participate in, contribute to and benefit from the CBD. Since COP-3 in 1996, related concepts, methodologies, and mechanisms have been continuously built up and made publicly available through an online database of the current GPBB platform through the official website of the Convention. These resources can be used by governments and enterprises of all countries, and China should increase its application of the resources available. Based on our research, we came to the following conclusions: (1) Willingness of enterprises to participate in biodiversity conservation and the demand for the GPBB platforms is growing; (2) CBD’s requirements for enterprise participation are explicit; (3) Roadmap on how to promote business engagement in biodiversity protection is straightforward; (4) GPBB mechanism allowing national governments to become members has already been established; and (5) GPBB platform as resource bank has been greatly substantiated. Looking forward to the future, the development of GPBB platforms is expected to continue maintaining the following three momentums: (1) GPBB platform will be continuously improved; (2) The impact will be further strengthened; and (3) More significant sectors will be highlighted. The GPBB platform has provided opportunities for enterprises to implement a range of CBD projects and promoted up-to-date information dissemination on latest research findings, methodology, technical tools, voluntary standards, guidelines, briefings and business best practices. It has also supported inputs and contributions from GPBB members of national governments, corporations, NGOs, academic researchers and other institutional stakeholders. China formally joined the GPBB in 2015 and carried out an in-depth study on GPBB and membership countries. A national initiative of China Business & Biodiversity Partnership (CBBP) is in progress, however in general, there is still much work to do. The paper makes the following suggestions: (1) China should introduce new draft resolutions to further strengthen the international system in COP-15 based on improved policy research; (2) China should be active in and gradually lead the GPBB development; (3) Capacity building in human resources is needed to make the CBBP stand out in the GPBB; and (4) Draw on the GPBB platform to better benefit from and contribute to it.

    Re-legalizing China’s ecological conservation redline: The position, dilemma and path
    Mo Zhangqin
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (3):  347-352.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018239
    Abstract ( 216 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (696KB) ( 76 )   Save
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    The ecological conservation redline centers on protecting the integrity and continuity of the ecosystem and the consistency of ecosystem service functions. Overall, the policy is committed to protecting the country’s ecological security. Re-instating the ecological conservation redline should assist in targeting the restoration of damaged ecosystem, in the context of both natural and social restoration. The ecological conservation redline has characteristics of the vulnerability, sensitivity, complexity and extreme destructibility of ecosystems. It has problems such as the irreplaceable space, high governance costs, and chaotic governance responsibility on the path of establishing legalization of repairing mechanism. According to the base rule of legalization, a core system should be established through clarifying the principle of prevention as the main guide, establishing special funds for repair, and determining the responsibility of repairing the subject as the responsibility guarantee, to achieve the environmental goal of protecting and restoring key ecosystem and developing ecological corridors and biodiversity protection networks.

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