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Relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
Zhonghua Zhang,Huakun Zhou,Xinquan Zhao,Buqing Yao,Zhen Ma,Quanmin Dong,Zhenhua Zhang,Wenying Wang,Yuanwu Yang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 111-129.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017021
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The study of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is a hot topic in the field of terrestrial ecosystem ecology, and is of great significance for the efficient use and management of ecosystems. Furthermore, it plays an important role in the restoration of degraded ecosystems and biodiversity conservation. Alpine grassland is the main ecosystem type found in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In recent years, progress has been made on species diversity and ecosystem functioning and their mutual relationship in alpine grasslands. This paper analyzes existing problems in the research of grassland biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in terms of the study of underlying ecological processes and the impacts on ecosystem multi-functionality under global change. The effects of different grassland types, grassland degradation, grazing disturbance, simulated climate change, mowing, fertilization, enclosure, and replanting on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in alpine grasslands are also thoroughly reviewed in this paper. Moreover, deficiencies and future research directions of alpine grassland BEF are identified: carrying on the BEF research of alpine grasslands based on the functional diversity of species, comprehensively considering the effects of abiotic factors such as resource supply levels, disturbance intensity and scale, and environmental fluctuation on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem function, and paying attention to the effect of scale and element coupling on BEF research of alpine grasslands under global climate change. Finally, based on research progress and conclusions of BEF in alpine grasslands, we put forward suggestions to improve the utilization rate of alpine grassland resources and biodiversity conservation, including strengthening grazing management, protecting biodiversity, improving governance of degraded grasslands, maintaining biodiversity function, strengthening innovation and protection concepts and enhancing ecosystem functioning that has been seriously weakened by climate change and human disturbance.

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Cited: CSCD(3)
Predicting the potential distribution of white-lipped deer using the MaxEnt model
Shaopeng Cui,Xiao Luo,Chunwang Li,Huijian Hu,Zhigang Jiang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 171-176.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017080
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Species distribution is critical for developing effective conservation measures. The potential geographic distribution of the white-lipped deer (Przewalskium albirostris), which is endemic to the Qinghai- Tibetan Plateau, was delineated using the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) model with 97 occurrence records and 7 environmental variables. The species occurrences were collected from literature and field investigations. Our results showed that the potential range of the white-lipped deer included the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and the potential habitat spread from one core region to neighboring regions among Tibet, Qinghai, and Sichuan provinces. The Jackknife test indicated that the topographic variable, temperature seasonality, and annual precipitation were the most important predictive factors for the model, while the human activity variable made a relatively small contribution. The current distribution and status of the white-lipped deer on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is unclear and we suggest further research is needed on the species.

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Cited: CSCD(2)
Faunal communities of deep soil layers in suburban Beijing
Wei Mo,Zhiliang Wang,You Li,Jianjun Guo,Runzhi Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (3): 248-257.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018027
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In order to reveal composition of faunal communities in deep soil, we investigated soil at 30 and 55 cm at the Olympic Campus of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a suburb of Beijing using trap collectors. A total of 10,163 individuals representing 20 orders belonging to ten classes and three phyla were captured in eight surveys carried out over five years. The dominant groups were Hymenoptera (61.0%), Acarina (12.1%) and Collembola (11.2%). The individuals and groups in the 30 cm soil layer were greater than at 55 cm. The dominant group of the 30 cm soil layer was Hymenoptera (69.4%) while at 55 cm, Hymenoptera (45.7%), Acarina (21.8%) and Collembola (16.4%) were all dominant. The number of individuals and groups recorded from April to October was greater than October to April of the next year. Annelida appeared only between October to April of the next year, while Thysanoptera, Psocoptera, Dermaptera appeared only between April to October. The lowest Jaccard value of soil faunal communities in different vegetation forms was 0.75. None of Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson dominance index and Pielou evenness index showed significant differences between different vegetation types (P > 0.05). The results showed that there were abundant soil faunal communities in deep soil. The number of individuals and groups decreased with increasing soil depth. Soil faunal community structure was different in different seasons and the composition was highly similar between different vegetation types.

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Floristic characteristics and diversity patterns of seed plants endemic to the Tibetan Plateau
Haibin Yu,Yili Zhang,Linshan Liu,Zhao Chen,Wei Qi
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 130-137.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017078
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The Tibetan Plateau (TP) harbors numerous seed plants, however, the floristic characteristics and diversity patterns of plants endemic to this region have been rarely studied. Based on several monographs and online databases, we compiled a list of seed plants that exclusively occur on the TP as well as their distribution at the county level. We further explored their characteristics, floristic composition and spatial distribution patterns. We identified 3,764 endemic seed plants belonging to 519 genera and 113 families, 76.3% of which are herbaceous plants. Among them, 15 families (e.g. Asteraceae, Ranunculaceae, Orobanchaceae) and 7 genera (e.g. Pedicularis, Rhododendron, Corydalis) contain over 100 endemic species. Floristic composition analysis indicates that 67.5% of these endemic plants are temperate species. Species diversity declined gradually from the southeast to the northwest with hotspots located within the East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains. Vertically, most species occurred at intermediate elevations. Understanding floristic characteristics and diversity patterns of Tibetan endemic flora shed light on future studies on the evolutional history and conservation practices in this area.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Exploring the distribution patterns and conservation approaches of biodiversity on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
Zhigang Jiang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 107-110.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018064
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The elevational patterns of mammalian richness in the Himalayas
Yiming Hu,Jianchao Liang,Kun Jin,Zhifeng Ding,Zhixin Zhou,Huijian Hu,Zhigang Jiang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 191-201.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017324
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Studies of the distribution of biodiversity are hotspots in ecology and biogeography. Mountain ecosystems, which contain high habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity, play an important role in biodiversity conservation. The Himalayas are located in the southern rim of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. The complicated geological topography, vast elevational gradients (100-8,844 m), significant vertical climatic zonation, and diverse biodiversity make it an ideal study area for biodiversity distribution research. By combining field data and data from museum records and literature, 313 mammal species were found for each 100 m elevational band along the gradient from 100 to 6,000 m above sea level (a.s.l.) in the Himalayas. Most of the elevational species richness patterns were hump-shaped. Species richness of the overall mammals peaked at an elevation of 900-1,400 m. Species composition along the elevational gradient in the Himalayas can be classified into five groups (100-1,500 m, 1,500-2,000 m, 2,000-3,000 m, 3,000-4,200 m and 4,200-6,000 m a.s.l.) using UPGMA clustering of elevation-based species assemblages, which was similar to the divisions of the vertical vegetation zone. The distribution of mammals is uneven, with low diversity found in the northern slope of the Himalayas and high diversity in the southern slope; the valleys on south slope of the Himalayas that contain higher biodiversity are biological corridors connecting the northern and southern fauna. To maintain the exchange of biodiversity, we should sustainably strengthen protection to the valley ecosystems.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (6): 651-653.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018160
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Overview and classification outlook of natural protected areas in mainland China
Yangjing Peng,Jian Fan,Shaohua Xing,Guofa Cui
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (3): 315-325.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017235
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By the end of 2016, China had established approximately 10 types and a large number of natural protected areas since the first nature reserve was established in 1956. With ecological civilization construction, to establish a natural protected areas system based on national parks is not only an important project put forward by the state, but also the inevitable trend for future development. However, problems including ambiguous concepts, confused classification systems, vague dominant functions, and geospatial overlap also accompanied these natural protected areas. There is still no unified classification system that can be applied in all types of natural protected areas in China, this lack of classification system has seriously impeded ongoing optimization and integration of the existing natural protected areas and the construction of a national park system and is not convenient for international academic exchanges. Therefore, defining natural protected areas is urgently needed and is essential for the establishment of a classification system that is applicable to our country and conducive to international communication. Here we mainly discuss the concepts and connotation of natural protected areas in China, tease out their development processes, and summarize the construction and classification of 10 types of natural protected areas, while comparing the similarities and differences of these concepts and classifications. Finally, based on the IUCN protected area management classification system, the natural attribution of protected objects, and social attribution of management objects, we propose three classification systems to provide a reference for establishing a natural protected area classification system and national park system. We hope these systems will play a role in the study of the classification system of natural protected areas in the future.

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Cited: CSCD(2)
From nature reserve to national park system pilot: Changes of environmental coverage in the Three-River-Source National Park and implications for amphibian and reptile conservation
Huijie Qiao,Xiaoyi Wang,Wei Wang,Zhenhua Luo,Ke Tang,Yan Huang,Shengnan Yang,Weiwei Cao,Xinquan Zhao,Jianping Jiang,Junhua Hu
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 202-209.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017305
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The Three-River-Source (TRS) region, which harbors an evolutionarily unique and impressively large portion of plateau biodiversity, is an important national ecological security shelter zone. Acting as the first system pilot in China, the TRS National Park will be turned into both the exhibition of nature conservation and a heritage area of ecological culture on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. To better contribute to the construction of the TRS National Park, we compared the TRS National Park with the TRS and Kekexili Nature Reserves with respect to elevation, annual mean temperature and annual precipitation. By combining the environmental conditions of the occurrences of four species of amphibians and reptiles (i.e., Rana kukunoris, Nanorana pleskei, Scutiger boulengeri, and Phrynocephalus vlangalii) both inside and outside the national park, we explored potential opportunities and challenges for the conservation of poor-dispersal-ability species (including amphibians and reptiles) during construction of the TRS National Park. While the national park and the nature reserves had large overlap in geographical space, the environmental conditions were different between them. The preferred environmental conditions of the four species were mostly not included in the TRS National Park, but were included in the nature reserves. Given the unique geographical location of the TRS region and its sensitivity to climate change, the effective protection of amphibians and reptiles in this region will not only contribute to maintaining genetic diversity of species and the integrality of regional ecosystems, but also will help to achieve the goal of the TRS National Park and assist with the construction of ecological civilization. Thus, within the TRS National Park, to strengthen basic biological research, it is important to conduct long-term monitoring studies of population dynamics and community structure. Based on this, the potential effects of environmental changes on the distribution, genetic diversity, behavior, morphological traits, population dynamics and community of amphibians and reptiles could be understood, with the aim of achieving their sustainable survival within the TRS National Park in the face of global change.

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Cited: CSCD(2)
A checklist for the classification and distribution of China’s freshwater crabs
Chu Kelin, Ma Xiaoping, Zhang Zewei, Wang Pengfei, Lü Linna, Zhao Qiang, Sun Hongying
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (3): 274-282.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018062
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China has the highest species-richness of freshwater crabs in the world. However, due to the recent and rapid discoveries of freshwater crab species in China there is currently no systematic checklist for classification. Here we present for the first time a checklist of all freshwater crab species found in China that follows the latest classification of Brachyura by Ng et al (2008). The checklist is based on the most recent taxonomic literature and provides updated distributions for each species. There are 311 species of Chinese freshwater crabs in 45 genera and two families. The Potamidae Ortmann, 1896, includes 44 genera and 283 species and subspecies, while the Gecarcinucidae Rathbun, 1904, includes one genus and 28 species. The degree of endemism was found to be high, with 302 species and subspecies (97%), and 38 genera (84%) that are found only in China. The highest species diversity occurs in Yunnan Province (16 genera and 50 species), followed by Taiwan (4 genera and 41 species). The checklist provides a baseline for further studies of the freshwater crabs of China and will be a particularly important reference point for future conservation projects.

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On reproductive strategies of invasive plants and their impacts on native plants
Shiguo Sun,Bin Lu,Xinmin Lu,Shuangquan Huang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 457-467.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017294
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Non-native plant invasion imposes great threats to global diversity and ecological safety, and now is a hot-spot of ecological studies. Understanding the reproductive strategies of invasive plants could provide insights into the invasion mechanisms and be helpful for proposing prevention and control strategies. Non-native invasive plants generally possess following reproductive traits: hermaphrodite-dominated sexual system, autonomous selfing-dominated breeding system, even asexual reproduction and apomixis, and high proportion of resources allocated to sexual reproduction, which may facilitate the success of some invasive plants. In turn, non-native plants could alter native plant-pollinator interactions, and in most cases decrease pollinator visitation and fitness of native plants. In addition, non-native plants may act as environmental stresses triggering rapid adaptation and evolution in reproductive strategies and phenotypes of resident native species in receipt communities. Studies in this field mostly have focused on rapid adaptation of invasive species to their new environments, while how native and non-native plants co-adapt and diverge remains largely unexplored, in particular from the perspective of plant reproduction. A better understanding of competition and cooperation between native and non-native plants will shed lights on rapid responses of native plants to non-native plant invasions. Such community studies of interspecific interactions with or without a competitor could provide evidence for displacement of reproductive traits and species coexistence, and improve our ability to predict and manage non-native invasive plants.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Biological characteristics, threat factors and conservation strategies for the giant honey bee Apis dorsata
Pei Yang,Yanqiong Peng,Ronghua Zhao,Darong Yang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 476-485.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018036
Abstract509)   HTML7)    PDF(pc) (3214KB)(958)       Save

Insect pollinators play a vital role in plant sexual reproduction. Pollinators facilitate cross-pollination that in turn promotes genetic diversity, mediates plant speciation, and contributes to ecosystem stability. However, the abundance, diversity and health of wild pollinators are threatened by human activities such as anthropogenic climate impacts, habitat destruction and environmental pollutants, and the impact of these human activities on ecosystems is likely to increase. Despite recognizing the importance of wild pollinators and the implementation of targeted conservation programs, the contemporary threats of wild insect pollinators remain poorly understood. For the giant honey bee (Apis dorsata), an important wild pollinator and honey producer in tropical rainforests and agricultural areas across Asia, here we describe nest characteristics, colony migration and pollination role and review threats to their conservation. We found that A. dorsata nests featured a single honeycomb hanging from the branches of large trees. The bees undertook long distance migrations to locate seasonally ephemeral forage sources but regularly returned to previous nesting sites. We identified several anthropogenic activities that posed significant threats to A. dorsata conservation: harvesting entire colonies, deforestation, pesticide and herbicide utilization, parastioids, mites, pathogens and climate change. Based on our study, we recommend several conservation initiatives to promote wild A. dorsata populations, which include artificial domestication, developing ecological agriculture, establishing of ecological corridors, inspection and quarantine controls on domesticated colonies, and sustainable utilization of the floral resources used by A. dorsata. We hope that this review will stimulate future research on giant honey bees whilst playing a significant role in their conservation and sustainable utilization.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Species diversity, pollination application and strategy for conservation of the bumblebees of China
Jiaxing Huang,Jiandong An
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 486-497.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018068
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Bumblebees are important pollinators of many wild flowers and crops and play a significant role in maintaining natural and agricultural ecosystems. The varied geomorphology and vegetation of China makes it the greatest hotspot of bumblebee diversity in the world. However, the bumblebee fauna of China has been insufficiently studied. Here, we report the results of systematic field surveys and the application of bumblebees to pollination over the last two decades in China. The results showed the following: (1) More than 50,000 bumblebee specimens were collected during 2002-2017. The taxonomic status of some difficult taxa was revealed by integrating morphology with DNA barcoding. A total of 125 bumblebee species have been identified, which represents 50% of the total number of bumblebee species worldwide. (2) We report the first compiled list of the bumblebee species of China, which includes 22 species that are endemic to China. The transitional zone from the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau to the Loess Plateau, the Qinling Mountains, and the Sichuan Basin is the centre of bumblebee diversity worldwide. (3) Six native bumblebee species, including Bombus lucorum, B. patagiatus, B. ignitus, B. pyrosoma, B. picipes and B. lantschouensis from Northern China, were selected for rearing between 1998-2017. Furthermore, B. patagiatus and B. lantschouensis, which had traits that favoured domestication, are now used as pollinators of crops in greenhouses within China. We propose a multi-pronged strategy to conserve the native bumblebees of China, which includes protecting their habitats and food resources and controlling invasive alien species and pesticide use. We hope that this study will help inform the conservation and the sustainable use of wild pollinators across the globe, but especially bumblebees of China.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Examining methodologies of pollinator detection in the field
Zeyu Tong,Huanli Xu,Shuangquan Huang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 433-444.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017334
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Sexual reproduction of seed plants depends largely on pollen transfer. The pollination service provided by pollinators for wild plants and managed crops is one of the most crucial ecological processes on our planet, as it plays an essential role in sustaining biodiversity and crop production. Factors such as agricultural intensification, habitat fragmentation, and global climate change have increased the risk of pollinator decline and extinction, which would have detrimental effects on ecological function and agricultural production. To maintain the stability of ecological interactions between plants and pollinators, a series of pollinator monitoring schemes have been established, ranging from the regional to international scale. Participants including volunteer citizens and professional scientists have obtained the status and trends of pollination systems, thereby helping to provide early alerts and feedbacks for the risk of natural and agricultural ecological systems. In this view examining the methodologies of pollinator monitoring, we emphasize that it is necessary to distinguish pollinators from floral visitors. A diversity of direct and indirect methods for monitoring pollinators is summarized for seven types of animals (including Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, Aves, Mammalia, and Lacertilia, respectively). A simple monitoring program that includes volunteer participation is also recommended. Commonly used field monitoring strategies for seven groups of pollinators would be useful as references for monitoring additional pollinator faunas. The pros and cons of these diverse methods for protecting and monitoring pollinators are discussed, which is useful for the long-term detection of pollinator dynamics.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Domestication origin and spread of cultivated tea plants
Wenju Zhang,Jun Rong,Chaoling Wei,Lianming Gao,Jiakuan Chen
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (4): 357-372.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018006
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Tea is the most popular non-alcoholic beverage in the world. The domestication origin of cultivated tea plants has always been a focus of ecological research. This article summarizes the recent research progress, discusses remaining questions and makes suggestions for future research directions. Many wild relatives of cultivated tea plants are distributed in the Yangtze River Basin and its southern reaches, particularly in Yunnan, Guizhou, and Guangxi provinces. The pronunciation of “cha” is similar in the languages of southern ethnic groups, implying a single domestication origin of cultivated tea plants, most likely from ancient Bashu or Yunnan. However, studies on genetic structure reveal that multiple centers occur in the domestication origin of cultivated tea plants. For example, cultivated Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze, including some varieties, may have multiple domestication events. According to research from historical text, the cultivation center of tea plants migrated from west to east and then to south, which is supported by changes in genetic diversity. However, the first cultivated tea plant might have arisen in the most eastern region of the Yangtze River Basin based on a recent archaeological finding. We speculate that during the spread of tea knowledge, cultivated varieties introgression occurred from wild relatives to cultivars, or new cultivated tea plants were directly domesticated from local wild tea plants, leading to the genetic complexity and the language consistency of cultivated tea plants. More evidence is needed to confirm the ancestral types, origin sites and time, and domestication processes of cultivated tea plants, and the integration anaylysis of multiple disciplines such as tea culture, population genetics, phylogeography, anthropology, climate change, and archaeology should be more encouraged.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Conservation status of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations in China
Zejin Zhang,Yanpei Guo,Jin-Sheng He,Zhiyao Tang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (6): 572-577.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017271
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China is characterized as one of the countries with the greatest diversity worldwide, mostly because of its vast area and heterogeneous topography. Meanwhile, the long history of human activity has led to the decrease of populations for considerable species in China. To protect these species, the Chinese government proposed a list of the first batch of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations (PSESP). In this study, we developed a fine-resolution distribution database for 120 PSESPs, explored the distribution patterns, and evaluated the in situ conservation status of the PSESPs by overlapping species distribution with terrestrial national and provincial nature reserves (NNRs and PNRs) in China. We found the greatest richness of PSESPs in the southeast regions of Yunnan, the southwest regions of Guangxi, and the southwest regions of Hainan Island. On average, NNRs covered 21.5%, while PNRs covered an additional 10.9% of the distribution areas of PSESPs. However, 35 PSESPs (29% of the total) were not covered by NNRs and 17 PSESPs (14%) were not covered by either NNRs or PNRs. We proposed that nature reserves specifically designed for the PSESPs need to be constructed in the Yunnan and Hainan provinces.

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Identifying priority areas for grassland endangered plant species in the Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve based on the MaxEnt model
Xiaoyu Wu,Shikui Dong,Shiliang Liu,Quanru Liu,Yuhui Han,Xiaolei Zhang,Xukun Su,Haidi Zhao,Jing Feng
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 138-148.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017188
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Located in southern Qinghai Province in China, Sanjiangyuan is the source area for the Yangtze River, Yellow River, and Lancang River, and a worldwide biodiversity hotspot. Sanjiangyuan was degraded through human disturbance and climate change, which has led to a dramatic loss of the biodiversity of rangeland resources. We conducted field surveys based on species coordinates during 2014 and 2015. We used the MaxEnt model to predict distribution of 40 endangered plant species in Sanjiangyuan using the species coordinate data and bioclimatic data collected from the WorldClim database. From this, we obtained hotspots of endangered plant species in Sanjiangyuan under current and future climatic conditions. Results showed that hotspot areas of endangered plant species in Sanjiangyuan estimated using the MaxEnt model were approximately 89,438 km2, and mainly located in the east and south of the reserve. Among these hotspots, those that included more than 30 endangered plant species totalled 485 km2, and were mainly found in Nangqian County, Yushu City, Banma County, Jiuzhi County, and Henan County. The climate will become warmer and wetter in Sanjiangyuan in the future, which would benefit biodiversity and expand hotspot areas to the northwest. However, problems associated with planning the reserve remain. Nearly 4,423 km2 of hotspot areas have not been protected in the key reserve, including in Nangqian County, Yushu City, Banma County, Jiuzhi County, and Henan County. In these areas grazing is permitted, which might lead to human disturbances. We suggest policy makers focus more attention on these areas and increase conservation efforts.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Cultivation history of Camellia oleifera and genetic resources in the Yangtze River Basin
Shengyuan Qin,Jun Rong,Wenju Zhang,Jiakuan Chen
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (4): 384-395.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017254
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Camellia oleifera is the dominant woody oil crop in China. According to current records, the cultivation history of C. oleifera as an oil crop may be less than 1,000 years, and the Yangtze River Basin may be one of the earliest cultivation areas. Wild relatives of C. oleifera are valuable genetic resources for breeding. Camellia oleifera belongs to Sect. Oleifera of the genus Camellia in the family Theaceae. Wild relatives of C. oleifera may include species in Sect. Oleifera and Sect. Paracamellia. However, the division of Sect. Oleifera and Sect. Paracamellia is still under debate, and the phylogenetic relationships among species remain unresolved. Sect. Oleifera and Sect. Paracamellia have the highest frequency of polyploids in the genus Camellia, and the same species may have various ploidies, which may be promoted by artificial selection and interspecies hybridization. The Yangtze River Basin is the main production area of C. oleifera, and the main distribution area of wild C. oleifera, thus containing rich genetic resources of wild C. oleifera. This study analyzed the distribution of species in Sect. Oleifera and Sect. Paracamellia of the genus Camellia and compared the results with the potential distribution areas of wild C. oleifera. Results show that drainage divides between the Yangtze River Basin and Pearl River Basin (Nanling Mountain, Miaoling Mountain, and adjacent regions) have the highest diversity of species in Sect. Oleifera and Sect. Paracamellia. Meanwhile, these regions are also potential highly suitable growing regions for wild C. oleifera, where there may be potential interspecies hybrid zones between C. oleifera and its wild relative species. Species diversity decreases from the south to the north, likely representing the dispersal direction from south to north. The potential interspecies hybrid zones between C. oleifera and its wild relative species may contain rich genetic diversity and provide natural breeding stations for selective breeding. These regions should be priority areas for research and conservation in order to explore and utilize genetic resources with important economic values.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
The origin of crops in the Yangtze River Basin and its relevance for biodiversity
Yao Zhao,Jiakuan Chen
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (4): 333-345.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017251
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The agricultural civilization that originated in the Yangtze River Basin is an important part of Chinese civilization. Being one of the world-famous crop origin centers, the Yangtze River Basin is rich in biodiversity, and has bred many cultivated plants. This review has collected data of crops that originated in the Yangtze River Basin and information of plant remains found in Neolithic archaeological sites. By summarizing the environmental features and tracking the changes of vegetation since the Holocene in the Yangtze River Basin, we attempt to dissect the dynamics of plant use in this area and investigate the relationship between local cultivated plants and biodiversity. Our results indicate the agricultural civilization in the Yangtze River Basin greatly relied on rice production, and domesticated a large amount of fruit and aquatic vegetable crops, which reflects the adaptation and dependence to local subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests and wetlands. When compared to other basins, the Yangtze River Basin is advantageous in allocation of ecological factors, and the characteristic of domesticated crops shows a typical feature of subtropical humid forest vegetation areas. Studying the natural and human factors related to crop domestication can help us to better understand the origin of agriculture civilization in the Yangtze River Basin. This work not only provides a reference for the conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources, but also plays a guiding role in promoting the construction of ecological civilization and sustainable development in the Yangtze River Basin.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Insect-pollinated cereal buckwheats: Its biological characteristics and research progress
Lingyun Wu,Shuangquan Huang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (4): 396-405.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017245
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Buckwheat is a pseudo-cereal with high nutritional and officinal value, a food crop outside of Poaceae. Cultivated buckwheat includes two species: sweet or common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum), a self-incompatible, distylous annual and bitter or tartary buckwheat (F. tartaricum), a self-compatible, homostylous annual herb; the former depends on insect pollination for seed production. Thirty species have been named in the genus Fagopyrum (Polygonaceae) in the world. Investigations of morphology and genetic diversity suggest that Southwest China is the diversity center of Fagopyrum, especially in the area of Three Parallel Rivers, the upper Yangtze River Valley, where ancestral species of the two buckwheat crops were originated. Previous studies of basic biology on the buckwheat crops are briefly summarized here. Future studies of the taxonomical revision on the genus Fagopyrum, collections of wild germplasm resources, exploration of the interspecific relationships and the breeding of cultivars with superior agronomic traits are strongly needed. Palynological and archaeological evidences imply that the buckwheat crop has been cultivated at least 4,500 years in the Yangtze River Valley, and might have ever been a main food for local populations in the mountain areas, providing food resource for emerging of Yangtze River civilization. Deep understanding of the basic biology of buckwheat with modern techniques of genomics could clarify the origin of cultivated buckwheat and factors limiting seed production. The buckwheat could be a superior crop in the mountain areas if the traits with high agronomic and medicinal value can be excavated and exploited.

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Diversity and endemism of ungulates on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Evolution and conservation
Zhigang Jiang,Lili Li,Yiming Hu,Huijian Hu,Chunwang Li,Xiaoge Ping,Zhenhua Luo
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 158-170.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017321
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The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is a unique physical geographical unit, rich in habitat types and species, and a hot spot in biodiversity and global environmental change research. Unique fauna evolves on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Among these wild animals are the endemic hoofed animals which possess unique characteristics, such as Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii), wild yak (Bos mutus), Tibetan gazelle (Procapra picticaudata), Przewalski’s gazelle (P. przewalskii), and white-lipped deer (Przewalskium albirostris). In this study, we explored the following questions: How many ungulate species are there on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau? How many endemic ungulate species are there? What is the distribution pattern of these species? What is the status of their survival? What is their conservation status? We firstly identified the geographic boundaries of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. On the plateau, there are 28 ungulate species, 10 of which are endemic to the plateau. The ungulates of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau account for 42% of China’s extant ungulate species whereas the density of the hoofed species per unit area on the plateau is 62% higher than that of the whole country. However, the distribution of ungulate species on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is uneven, and shows a pattern with low species density in the western region but high species density in the eastern part of the plateau, in contrast to the high species density of the endemic ungulates in the hinterland of the plateau. However, the ratio of threatened ungulates on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau is high, among them, 71% of the ungulates are threatened species, 54% are included in CITES Appendix I or II. The Red List Index of ungulate species on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has continued to decline from 1998 to 2015, and this trend is compounded and worsened by the trend of global change, indicating that the living status of ungulates on the plateau is continuously deteriorating. Through four decades of conservation in the country, some important populations and habitats of the ungulates on the plateau are not protected by nature reserves and the newly established the Three-River-Source National Park. Therefore, to achieve the win-win goal of human social, and economic development and nature conservation on the plateau, we should manage the grassland ecosystems sustainably, save wildlife populations and habitats, and protect biodiversity on the plateau.

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Advances in remote sensing application for biodiversity research
Qinghua Guo, Tianyu Hu, Yuanxi Jiang, Shichao Jin, Rui Wang, Hongcan Guan, Qiuli Yang, Yumei Li, Fangfang Wu, Qiuping Zhai, Jin Liu, Yanjun Su
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (8): 789-806.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018054
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Since rapid human population growth, overconsumption of natural resources by human activities and climate change, loss and extinction of species is increasing, and biodiversity become an important global issue. Traditional ground-based biodiversity researches focus on the species or community, which can not provide necessary information for biodiversity conservation and assessment at a large scale. Since the advantages in spatial coverage and time series, remote sensing is very useful in large-scale biodiversity monitoring, mapping and assessment. According to the height of the platform, remote sensing platforms can be classified into satellite remote sensing, airborne remote sensing and near-surface remote sensing, which can obtain biodiversity information at different spatial scales. The purpose of this study is to review the recent advances of application of different remote sensing platforms for biodiversity research. We focus on the following aspects, such as observation methods, research scale, and analyze advantages and limitations of different remote sensing platforms. Finally, we summary the future application of remote sensing in biodiversity research. From the literature statistics result, we found that satellite platform were used more frequently in biodiversity research than other remote sensing platform. Due to the high flight cost, the biodiversity researches used airborne remote sensing was fewer than the researches used satellite. Near-surface remote sensing includes the UAV platform and the ground-based platform, which is an emerging remote sensing platform and hotspot in remote sensing of biodiversity. Compared to satellite and airborne remote sensing platforms, the near-surface remote sensing platform can directly observe the individuals and can directly obtain information from species or population. Although there are some limitations in these three platforms, we believe that remote sensing technology can better serve biodiversity conservation and assessment from different temporal and spatial scales with the development of remote sensing platforms and the improvement of sensors.

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Heteromorphism of florets and reproductive characteristics in Heteracia szovitsii (Asteraceae), a desert ephemeral annual herb
Jannathan Mamut,Xiaojun Cheng,Dunyan Tan
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 498-509.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018046
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Heteracia szovitsii (Asteraceae) is a common ephemeral annual species occurring only in desert regions of northern Xinjiang in China, with short-lived florets and achenes within a single infructescence (capitulum) having three different morphs. To explore the relationship between morphological differences in florets and the polymorphic fruits and reproductive characteristics, we compared floral traits, flowering pattern, and flower visitors to the three floral morphs in H. szovitsii, and reproductive efforts by hand pollination treatments. The results showed that: Peripheral and intermediate florets did not have pappus, while central florets did. Number of florets and length and width of ligules were significantly different among the three floral morphs in a single capitulum. Further, the length of stigma lobes of peripheral florets was significantly greater than that of central florets, the length of ovary beaks of central florets was significantly greater than that of peripheral and intermediate florets. Differences in morphology with or without pappus, width of ovaries, length of ovary beaks among three morphs of florets were consistent with those of three morphs of achenes. These results indicated that the numbers of three morphs of achenes and their morphology had differentiated during the development period of three kinds of florets. The concentrated flowering pattern of blooming in the morning of three kinds of florets within capitulum, made the capitulum act as functional units, i.e. like a flower, thereby increasing flower display and attracting pollinators. Pollinator visits may facilitate outcrossing during the short flower longevity. Pollen grains of the three floral morphs could germinate and produce pollen tubes on their stigma lobes, indicating that this species is self-compatible. The three kinds of florets bagged without emasculation all can produce achenes, but fruit-set was all significantly lower than that of natural pollination, suggesting that this species could be autogamous and cross-pollination could increase fruit set. Due to the protandrous and the pump/bush mechanism of secondary pollen presentation, pollen of three floral morphs was present at the apex of the stigma and on the brush of hairs of both the upper part of style and outside lateral of the closed stigma lobes. This character prolonged the duration of pollen presentation (male stage), and reduced the interference between male and female functions within flower, promoted cross pollination, thereby improving male/female fitness. Meanwhile, it could allow the pollen deposition on the lobes when the stigma lobes expanded to complete self-pollination autonomously. Halictus sexnotatulus was the most frequent floral visitor, and the duration time among insects visiting, inflorescence opening, highest pollen viability and the highest stigma receptivity had a high degree of synchronicity. This strategy facilitated the output of pollen at the male stage and receipt of pollen on the stigma at the female stage, thus ensuring that pollination was completed quickly and effectively in a short time after flowering and that outcrossing was successful. In the desert spring environment of the northern Xinjiang, H. szovitsii with short-lived florets can not only provide reproductive assurance via autonomous self-pollination quickly under the condition of the lack of pollinators and/or limited activity due to low temperatures and windy conditions, but also can provide the opportunities for outcrossing, through concentrated flowering, protandry and secondary pollen presentation when environmental conditions became favorable for pollinator activities.

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A better understanding of ecological networks needs studying plant–pollinator interactions
Shuang-quan Huang*
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 429-432.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018154
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Applications of satellite and air-borne remote sensing in biodiversity research and conservation
Zhiyao Tang, Minwei Jiang, Jian Zhang, Xinyue Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (8): 807-818.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018079
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Human activities has increasingly threatened the biodiversity of the world. Biodiversity science is a discipline that depends on scale, and research questions are often affected by the ecological process of multi-temporal scales. The traditional survey methods of biodiversity are often limited by human and material resources. It is therefore urgent to integrate different data sources in the biodiversity sciences. The remote sensing technique has developed from optical remote sensing to the multi-source remote sensing including different platforms combined with various sensors, and further to integrate the hyperspectral and hyper spatial resolution and light detection and ranging (LiDAR). The large coverage, the accessibility to remote areas, and the long-term repeatability of the remote sensing technique provide new and better solutions for studying ecological and scientific issues at different temporal and spatial scales. In this paper, we review the opportunity and challenges in the application of remote sensing in biodiversity sciences and conservation practices. Specifically, we focus on the applications of remote sensing in the issues related to the population dynamics, species interaction and community diversity, functional traits and functional diversity and biodiversity management. We suggest that the satellite and airborne remotes that employed multi-band or hyperspectral, high spatial resolution and LiDAR provide biodiversity information from different scopes, and will play essential roles in the investigation of biodiversity in large-scale and remote areas. In the near future, species discrimination technique based on spectral characteristics and structure detection based on LiDAR will improve our understanding of the biodiversity sciences and management. We suggest to strengthen the communication between remote-sensing scientists and biodiversity researchers to promote the application of remote sensing technologies in biodiversity research and at different temporal and spatial scales.

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Comparing the effectiveness of camera trapping to traditional methods for biodiversity surveys of forest birds
Zhang Qianwen, Gong Yuening, Song Xiangjin, Wang Xincai, Yang Changteng, Shu Zufei, Zou Fasheng
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (3): 229-237.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017275
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To compare the effectiveness of camera trapping to more common mist netting, fixed-distance line transect, and fixed-radius point count methods of forest birds, we surveyed bird species diversity at Nanling National Nature Reserve and Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong, China from 2011 to 2016. At Nanling, 222 bird species were recorded by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods, 43 bird species were captured by mist netting and 47 bird species were trapped by cameras. One species was captured only by mist netting, six species only by camera-trapping, and 164 species only by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods. At Chebaling, 109 bird species were recorded by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods, 42 by mist nets and 27 by cameras. Nine species were recorded only by mist netting, three only by camera-trapping, and 97 only by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods. At both sites, the number of birds captured by mist netting was negatively correlated with increasing body size, whether measured as body weight, body length, wing length, or tarsus length. By contrast, the number of birds photographed by camera traps was positively correlated with the same measures of body size. These results show that bird surveys using different methods may yield different results and that method should be selected to suit the body size of the target bird species. In surveying bird diversity of a wide range of body sizes, mist netting and camera trapping together would be complimentary methods. Our results suggest that a combination of research methods may be necessary to obtain reliable avian diversity estimates.

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Conservation and utilization of wild relatives of cultivated plants
Yao Zhao,Gengyun Li,Ji Yang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (4): 414-426.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018029
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Cultivated plants are the most important material basis for human survival and development. Growing global human population and personal demands result in increasing consumption of plant resources. The low genetic diversity of cultivated plants is a key factor that restricts production and quality improvements. Wild relatives of cultivated plants have accumulated rich genetic variations and adaptive traits during the process of long-term adaptive evolution, thus can be used as genetic donors in germplasm innovation and improvement of cultivated plants. However, the persistence and evolution of wild relative populations are threatened by habitat destruction and anthropogenic climate change. This review summarizes the progress of in situ and ex situ conservation of wild relatives of cultivated plants and offers conservation suggestions for wild relatives of cultivated plants based on the current situation in China. Moreover, technologies for the utilization of wild relatives of cultivated plants are reviewed and new insights on the sustainable use of genetic resources of wild crop relatives are also discussed. Finally, the status of conservation and utilization of the main cultivated plants that originated from the Yangtze River Basin are investigated, with four plants of different uses used as representatives.

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An observation to the new initiative of community conservation guard posts in the pilot Three-River-Source National Park
Xiang Zhao,Ziyun Zhu,Zhi Lu,Lingyun Xiao,Sonamtso Mei,Hao Wang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 210-216.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017311
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Community-based conservation has been proven as an effective approach for biodiversity conservation, and is an important part for National Parks in China. As the first pilot of the new national park system in China, the Three-River-Source National Park initiated a new arrangement to employ 16,621 villagers from each household living in the national park to serve as conservation guards. Local Tibetan herders take the main responsibility of Sanjiangyuan conservation and in return receive payments from the national park. Such an arrangement coincides with local people’s willingness of participating in conservation, influenced by traditional Tibetan Buddhist culture. However, in addition to conservation, poverty alleviation is set as a priority target especially when guards were selected, which to certain extent compromised the effectiveness of conservation. While understanding the needs of poverty alleviation, we analyzed institutional rationales of such a selection, and made policy suggestions that conservation targets should become the first priority and more resources and space should be allocated to local governments and communities for self-governance on conservation decisions and actions. NGOs may also contribute to assist these practices.

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Responses of floral longevity to pollination environments in 11 species from two alpine meadows
Yuxian Wang,Zuojun Liu,Zhigang Zhao,Meng Hou,Xiaorui Zhang,Wanling Lü
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 510-518.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018065
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Floral longevity, the length of time that a flower remains open and functional, varies greatly among species. The high plasticity of floral longevity can reflect an adaptation to variable pollination environments. In the alpine meadows of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (2,900 m vs. 3,600 m), we assessed how potential floral longevity, the shortest floral longevity and the actual floral longevity of 11 species varied under treatments of different pollination contexts. We modeled the response of floral longevity to pollinator exclusion (potential floral longevity minus actual floral longevity) and supplemental pollination (actual longevity minus shortest longevity), and the plasticity of floral longevity (potential longevity minus shortest longevity) at high and low altitude habitats. We found that the plants at the high-altitude community had longer potential floral longevity compared to the low-altitude community, while the shortest floral longevity was not significantly different. Furthermore, pollinator exclusion significantly increased flower longevity, while supplemental pollination significantly decreased floral longevity (i.e. the potential floral longevity > the actual floral longevity > the shortest floral longevity) in both high and low-altitude habitats. In comparison with the low-altitude community, high-altitude plants exhibited higher plasticity of floral longevity. Overall, our results suggest that greater plasticity of floral longevity may increase the opportunity for pollination and thus aid fitness at higher altitudes where pollinators are scarce and unpredictable.

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The effects of IPBES deliverables on global biodiversity conservation strategy—an analysis based on the U. S. pollinator protection policy
Xiangyu Jia,Bin Bai,Jieqing Zhang,Yi Huang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 527-534.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017323
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As a comprehensive and interdisciplinary platform on biodiversity assessments, it is foreseeable that the assessment reports and policy recommendations of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will exert key effects on global biodiversity conservation. Based on the analysis of the pollinators protection policy formulation and implementation process in USA, this research gained the process and mode on establishment of the biological diversity related protection policy, scientific evaluation-government attention-the introduction of restrictive policies and measures. Considering the first thematic assessment report delivered in 2016 by IPBES, The Assessment Report on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, we speculated that the deliverable may facilitate a restrictive policy on the new neonicotinoid pesticide industry and bee products trade, especially wild bee products. We further analyze possible impact of IPBES deliverables on biodiversity and related protection policy in the world and China, in terms of promoting scientific research and evaluation on biodiversity and ecosystem service, mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and bring it to be an important political issue and so on. In addition, our research will provide support for establishing adaptation policies for biodiversity conservation in China.

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Qualitative and quantitative molecular construction of plant-pollinator network: Application and prospective
Dandan Lang,Min Tang,Xin Zhou
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 445-456.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018058
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Pollinators serve key ecological functions, ensuring stable ecosystems and high agricultural yields. Hence, assessing ecosystem health and effects of agricultural management would benefit from understanding and monitoring pollination networks, which involves identifications of pollinators and pollinated plants. Classic approaches of morphology-based identification of plants and pollinators can be time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly, and require highly specialized taxonomic expertise. In comparison, DNA barcoding and high-throughput sequencing technologies can provide efficient and accurate identifications of plants and their pollinators, which may facilitate construction of pollination networks. Here we propose using sequencing technologies with a PCR-free genome-skimming work frame, using "super DNA barcode" as a new method to assess plant-pollinator networks. We expect this technique to improve resolution and accuracy of taxonomic identification to help gain quantitative information for bulk samples of pollinators or pollens. Although there are technical challenges to be resolved, the robustness of the new methodology has been validated in relevant biodiversity studies, suggesting promise in constructing pollination networks.

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Status, issues and prospects of belowground biodiversity on the Tibetan alpine grassland
Anrong Liu,Teng Yang,Wei Xu,Zijian Shangguan,Jinzhou Wang,Huiying Liu,Yu Shi,Haiyan Chu,Jin-Sheng He
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (9): 972-987.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018119
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The diversity and abundance of below-ground microorganisms and animals play an important role in shaping above-ground biodiversity and helps maintain ecosystem function. Yet, we have a limited understanding of belowground biodiversity, e.g. its spatial/temporal patterns, driving factors and responses to global change and human activities. This knowledge gap is particularly acute for the Tibetan alpine grassland that is sensitive to climate change and occupies 60% of the area of the Tibetan Plateau. Here, we first review recent studies that reported the drivers of patterns in five major soil organism groups, including fungi, bacteria, archaea, nematodes and arthropods on Tibetan alpine grassland. We then focus on the responses of soil biodiversity to climate change and human activities. Finally, we highlight some open questions for future research of soil diversity on the Tibetan alpine grassland. Specifically, we recommend that future studies examine (1) The mechanisms underlying distribution patterns of belowground biodiversity; (2) Links between aboveground and belowground biodiversity; (3) Effects of belowground biodiversity on the health and functioning of ecosystems; (4) Manipulative experiments of belowground biodiversity.

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The significance of forest resources and the conservation of germplasm resources in the Yangtze River Basin
Junwei Ye,Yunfei Zhang,Xiaojuan Wang,Li Cai,Jiakuan Chen
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (4): 406-413.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017269
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The Yangtze River Basin in China has abundant forest resources, including high species diversity, endemism, and genetic diversity. According to archaeological evidence, forest resources played a substantial role during the formation and development of Yangtze River Civilization in the Paleolithic and Neolithic Age. Food, energy, tools, architecture, and boats were all derived from forest resources. At present, the Yangtze River Basin and Pearl River Basin have become the domestic center of wood supply in China. Faced with insufficient timber supply and shortages of large diameter timber, responsible management of the Yangtze River Basin forest resources is crucial to guarantee domestic timber security in the future. Understanding the status of remaining resources and creating an improved preservation system are needed to effectively conserve forest germplasm resources in the Yangtze River Basin. A comprehensive investigation of forest germplasm resources and diversity analyses of important tree species and a preservation system that is composed of in situ, ex situ and vitro preservation is urgently needed.

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Application and data mining of infra-red camera in the monitoring of species
Xuehua Liu, Pengfeng Wu, Xiangbo He, Xiangyu Zhao
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (8): 850-861.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018053
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Wildlife population is low and most of them are very sensitive to human disturbing, which makes traditional survey difficult. As known, infra-red camera technology has many advantages in wildlife study. However, with its wide application and increased data amount, researchers are facing some problems concerning infra-red camera monitoring and later data processing and analyzing. This paper describes in details three key problems on infra-red camera data management and use, such as lacking standardization, integration and normalization. The present paper also lists and analyzes eight aspects about photo data mining, based on researches carried out in the Qinling Mountains, Wolong Nature Reserve, etc. It involves individual recognition, temporal/spatial activity pattern, information-extracting of occasional species, behavior and reproduction, disease situation and interference by humans. If all this information can be used effectively, we hope to provide scientific support at some extent on wildlife and biodiversity conservation and management in future.

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Difference in survival response of tree species to neighborhood crowding in a lower subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Dinghushan
Qinhong Ma,Yanpeng Li,Juyu Lian,Wanhui Ye
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (6): 535-544.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018056
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Identifying the mechanisms that drive community structure and dynamics is one of the most fundamental goals in ecology. The local neighborhood in which trees grow significantly influences species survival. In order to understand the mechanisms underlying the various survival responses to neighborhood crowding among species, we compared the survival responses of focal tree species through modeling tree survival in terms of neighborhood effects. These effects were quantified in different ways, based on the survival monitoring and functional trait data of 90 species commonly observed in a lower tropical evergreen broad-leaved forest 20-ha plot in the Dinghu Mountains. We found that among all species tested, 58% showed sensitivity to neighborhood effects and that the survival response of 50% were mediated by functional trait differences among co-occurring species. Shade tolerance of species is associated with species sensitivity to its neighborhood as species with lower shade tolerance are intended to be sensitive to their neighbors. Lower specific leaf area, higher leaf dry matter content, wood density and maximum diameter at breast height indicate higher shade tolerance. Niche difference associated with light acquisition strategies may underlie species coexistence at the neighborhood scale. Our study provides new insights into quantifying neighborhood interaction and species coexistence at the local neighborhood scale.

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Consequences of clonal growth on pollinator visitation in flowering plants
Hao Tian,Wanjin Liao
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (5): 468-475.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018037
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Clonal plants reproduce asexually via clonal growth and simultaneously reproduce sexually, and the consequences of clonal growth on pollination and mating have been one of the essential questions in ecology and evolution of plant reproduction. An increasing number of studies report the effects of clonal size, architecture, genetic diversity, and floral deployments on pollinator visit and behavior. The most common view is that clonal growth produces large floral displays and therefore increases attraction to pollinators. Consequently, clonal growth may help to maximize male reproductive success by dispersing more pollen. On the other hand, geitonogamy, pollination among flowers within one individual plant, is an inevitable byproduct with an increase in clone size. More frequent geitonogamous pollination has been expected in clonal plants with large floral displays and leads to a reduction in female fitness because of inbreeding depression or pollen clogging. However, some recent theoretical and empirical studies suggest new ideas on this issue. First, the number of flowers visited by individual pollinator within a clone did not increase proportionally with clone size in clumped clonal plants, and pollinator movements within a single bout mainly occurred within ramet. The selfing component analyses based on molecular markers further evidenced that within-ramet geitonogamy was the largest contributing factor to the total geitonogamy in two clonal species. Second, the experimental study of bumblebees foraging on artificial flowers showed that when the same amount of flowers was distributed among multiple ramets, geitonogamy was not higher but in fact, lower compared with one single inflorescence. The model-based simulation suggested clonal growth could promote pollination quality without increasing geitonogamy when flowers simultaneously received and donated pollen. These studies support a novel explanation of the evolution of clonality in plants. Future studies on the pollination ecology of clonal plants may focus on the effects of clonal growth on pollinator behavior and plant mating from multiple angles. Comparative studies between clonal and non-clonal taxa or between clonal and non-clonal populations of the same species are required to evaluate the ecological and evolutionary consequences of clonal growth.

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Remote sensing has become an indispensable technology for biodiversity research protection and change monitoring
Qinghua Guo, Jin Liu
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (8): 785-788.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018234
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A review and novel classification of Bunyavirales
Shuang Tang,Shu Shen,Junming Shi,Yaohui Fang,Hualin Wang,Zhihong Hu,Fei Deng
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (9): 1004-1015.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018042
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Most members of the Bunyavirales could infect humans and animals and thus pose great potential threat to public health. According to the 10th Report on Virus Taxonomy released by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV, 2017), the taxonomy of Bunyaviruses has been updated. Based on the information of this report, we highlight the taxonomy of the new Bunyavirales and summarize the historical changes of ICTV classification of this virus, including classification, designation, typical species, genomic structures, encoding protein, major vectors and hosts, geographic distribution, and specific viral properties. In addition, based on the viral genome-encoded RdRp gene sequence, a phylogenetic analysis is performed for the all nine families and 13 genera as well as the representative species of Bunyavirales.

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A horizon scan of the impacts of environmental change on wild bees in China
Xiuwei Liu, Douglas Chesters, Chunsheng Wu, Qingsong Zhou, Chaodong Zhu
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (7): 760-765.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018078
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Wild pollinator bees play an important role in ecosystem function and food security. In recent years, natural forests have been lost, while afforestation programs are primarily monoculture plantation, whether commercial or restorative. The net effect for bees has been fragmentation and sometime wholesale loss of habitats. For instance, diversity of wild bees in pure forest, Camellia oleifera and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantation was found to be unexpectedly low. The rampant use of neonicotinoid pesticides and herbicide is known to negatively impact development and behavior of bees. Urbanization has dramatically impacted bee communities, with significant changes in species richness between suburban and central business areas. These are likely tied to the effect of effluent, exhaust gas and dust on foraging, growth and development. Climate change from greenhouse gas emissions can disrupt the mutualistic relationship between pollinating bees and plants via rapid phenological shifts. The above environmental changes occurring in China are likely cause wide declines in diversity and decreases in populations. Although China has rich natural heritage for bees, there is a lack of long term monitoring programs for species of pollinator bees and a dearth of data on distributions of bee species. As a result, the drivers of bee community composition and population decline are poorly understood. We emphasize the need to prioritize surveys of pollinating bees, continue ongoing monitoring programs and build wider research networks for the study of wild pollinator bees. These steps will ensure that sufficient data can accumulate for developing a prediction and risk assessment framework to help manage the declines in pollinating bee populations and mitigate the attendant economic and non-economic impacts.

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Distribution pattern and mechanism of insect species diversity in Inner Mongolia
Yu Zhang, Gang Feng
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (7): 701-706.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018144
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How species are distributed geographically and what drives these distributions remain core issues in macroecology and biogeography. Both regional and local scale factors such as temperature, precipitation, altitudinal range, habitat filtering, predation, competition and reciprocity affect the large-scale distribution pattern of insect species diversity. However, few studies have simultaneously discussed the effects of these multi-scale drivers on the geographical distribution of insect diversity. Using insect diversity data from 86 counties in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, we assessed the distribution patterns and main drivers of insect species diversity. We included mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, paleoclimate change, altitudinal range and plant diversity as predictors. Plant diversity and altitudinal range influenced insect diversity in Inner Mongolia while climatic factors had less influence. Our results show that interspecific relationships (food diversity) and habitat heterogeneity may play a crucial role in shaping distribution patterns of insect diversity in Inner Mongolia.

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