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Biodiversity information resources. I. Species distribution, catalogue, phylogeny, and life history traits
Xin Wang, Fenglin Zhang, Jian Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (11): 1223-1238.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017184
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Species distribution, catalogues, phylogeny, and life history traits are the data basis of biodiversity studies, playing critical roles in understanding species origins, evolution, and conservation biodiversity. Recently, a large number of scientific data-sharing platforms have been created, greatly contributing to the development of biodiversity informatics. However, it is difficult for most researchers to deal with big data with high complexity and heterogeneity. Determining how to select and utilize these data accurately and effectively becomes a huge challenge for ecologists and conservation biologists. To better deal with existing problems related to scattered distributed data, we classify biodiversity data resources into four groups (species distribution, catalogues, phylogeny and life history traits), and select representative databases (e.g. Global Biodiversity Information Facility, The Plant List, Open Tree of Life, and The Plant Trait Database (TRY) for demonstration. For each database, data type, and sampling design, geographic coverage and data availability are reported, and selected publications using these datasets are briefly introduced. Meanwhile, we describe recent achievements on the construction of China’s biodiversity digital platforms in each section. Overall, we hope that this paper provides a starting point for researchers to be familiar with these databases and use them correctly, and could have the potential to stimulate the development of related fields in research and conservation of biodiversity under the efforts of researchers and the public.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
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)
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Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 0-0.  
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Biodiversity information resources. II. Environmental data
Fenglin Zhang,Xin Wang,Jian Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (1): 53-65.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017189
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Environmental data are the basis for addressing many important ecological issues, including biodiversity distribution patterns, mechanisms of biodiversity formation and maintenance, and species conservation. Recently, many types of environment data at regional and global scales have dramatically increased, with the continuous expansion of global environment monitoring networks and emergence of new monitoring technologies. However, the vast amounts of data are scattered all around the world, making it much more difficult for biodiversity researchers to access detailed information and use these data efficiently. In this paper, we combine the main sources of environmental datasets, and classify them into five major groups, including (1) climate, (2) topography, soil and habitat heterogeneity, (3) land cover, (4) hydrology variables, and (5) other data sets. We then select several datasets with high-frequency usage to briefly introduce the data source, data structure, data availability, and data quality. We also select several previous studies to showcase the use of these datasets. In summary, we include 45 environmental data sets in this paper, covering several frequently used data in ecology (e.g., WorldClim and Harmonized World Soil Database), as well as some latest released or seldom used data (e.g., climate change velocity, EarthEnv habitat heterogeneity data, global forest coverage data, and global light pollution data). In addition, it is important to point out that these data sets are only a small fraction of currently available and continuously increasing environmental data. Overall, we hope that the incomplete list of environmental data can provide guidelines for researchers to select and utilize them and other similar data accurately and effectively.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
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)
Camera-trapping surveys of the mammal and bird diversity in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province
Xiaogang Shi, Qiang Hu, Jiaqi Li, Zhuo Tang, Jian Yang, Wenjing Li, Xiaoli Shen, Sheng Li
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 1131-1136.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017193
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Wolong National Nature Reserve is the core nature reserve in the reserve network found in the Qionglai Mountains. Between 2014 and 2016, we conducted a baseline survey in Wolong on large fauna using camera-trapping. After an extensive survey effort comprised of 10,961 camera-days from 83 camera stations in 58 survey blocks (1 km × 1 km each), we recorded 32 wild and 4 domestic mammal species (belonging to 6 orders and 15 families) with 2,095 detections. Five and eleven mammals were listed as Class I and Class II Nationally Protected Wildlife, respectively, and 4, 6, and 4 species were listed as EN, VU, and NT species, respectively, according to the IUCN Red List. Among the recorded wild mammals, Carnivora was the order with the greatest species richness (16 from 6 families), followed by Artiodactyla (8 from 4 families) and Rodentia (5 from 2 families), whereas Artiodactyla was the order with greatest detection (accounting for 63.33% of all mammal detections), followed by Carnivora (20.01%) and Rodentia (5.73%). The most detected species in Carnivora was the hog badger (Arctonyx collaris, RAI = 12.23), and tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus, RAI = 32.21) in Artiodactyla. Three large apex carnivores were detected in Wolong, including snow leopard (Panthera uncia), wolf (Canis lupus) and dhole (Cuon alpinus). We recorded 59 bird species (belonging to 5 orders and 18 families) with a total detection of 655, including 4 newly recorded species in the reserve. Pheasants (Galliformes) had the highest detection of bird groups and accounted for 56.76% of all bird detections. Our results provide basic information on the community structure, spatial distribution and relative abundance of terrestrial wild mammals and birds in Wolong, which provide support and guidelines for reserve management and long-term monitoring of Wolong.

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Cited: CSCD(4)
Planning and conducting field surveys of invasive alien species based on GIS
Hong Chen,Xiaoqing Xian,Rongzhou Qiu,Meixiang Chi,Jian Zhao
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (1): 44-52.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017314
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Pre-planning plays a vital role in developing invasive alien plant surveys rapidly and conveniently in the field. This study combined survey technical standards of invasive alien plants and field survey planning methods based on GIS to develop a targeted field survey planning program. LocaSpace Viewer and Orvital maps, which provide rich map resources and powerful functions, were mainly applied. The detailed workflow was as follows: Firstly, the target areas for invasive alien plant field surveys were selected by integrating high-resolution remote sensing data and geographical annotation data in the LocaSpace Viewer; Secondly, according to standards of invasive alien plant field surveys, survey geographic grids, survey points, sample plots, standard-plots, and quadrats were established through the functions of spatial analysis and editing geographic elements in the LocaSpace Viewer, of which information were stored and shared in the KML format; Finally, positioning and navigation of survey points were implemented by Data Management and Navigation functions in the mobile terminal software of the Orvital map. Comparative experiments and applications of proposed technology and methodology have been carried out in Fujian, Guangxi, and Yunnan provinces. Results suggested that the developed technology and methods for planning invasive alien plant surveys and field operations based on GIS technology can help to fulfill surveys in 6 sample points and collect more than 80 records per day. The direct distance of daily invasive alien plant survey is approximately 180 km. The navigation accuracy of survey points is better than 15 m. Planning-based surveys have double the time utilization rate of unplanned surveys. The technical route presented in this study greatly contributes to improving the efficiency of invasive alien plant surveys and provides powerful technical support for invasive alien plant survey in the field and insight into biodiversity field surveying.

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Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 1033-1036.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017280
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Scleractinian coral community structure and distribution in the coastal waters surrounding Hainan Island
Hongying Zhou, Xuemei Yao, Li Li, Taonian Geng, Ying Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 1123-1130.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017079
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Based on the classical morphological and molecular taxonomy, 55 scleractinian coral species, belonging to 17 genera and 10 families, were recorded in five different coastal areas (Yunlong Bay, Wenchang; Dazhou Island, Wanning; Linqiangshi Island, Danzhou; Shayutang Village, Changjiang; Luhuitou, Sanya) of Hainan between 2014 and 2015. The dominant families included Acroporidae, Poritadae and Faviidae. The community structures of coral reefs in the five coastal areas were different. In Sanya, located in the south of Hainan, branching Acropora corals dominated the coral communities. In Wenchang and Wanning, on the eastern coast of Hainan, the laminar and branching Montipora corals were the dominant groups. In contrast, the mass corals Poritadae and Faviidae dominated the western coast in Danzhou and Changjiang. Analyses of community structure indicated that different geographic environments regulated successional differences. Coverage rates and diversity index values had a positive correlation and were as follows: Sanya > Wenchang > Changjiang > Wanning > Danzhou. Compared with the data obtained between 2005 and 2010, the coverage rates and diversity index values increased in Wenchang and Wanning and were relatively stable in Sanya and Changjiang, but showed an obvious decrease in Danzhou. However, the death rate of scleractinian corals was the highest in Changjiang, and most of the corals died within the last six months of 2015. In our opinion, human activities (including both protective and destructive activities) greatly affected coverage rates, death rates and diversity of the coral reefs.

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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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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)
Methodological assessment on scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services and impacts on China within the IPBES framework
Yuxue Pan,Yu Tian,Jing Xu,Boya Zhang,Junsheng Li
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (1): 89-95.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017228
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With increasing international concern for biodiversity conservation, biodiversity and ecosystem services-related scenarios and models have become the foci of international processes and treaties. The Methodological Assessment on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services was included in the 2014-2018 Work Program of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as one of the first rounds of rapid assessment activities. The assessment report and its Summary for Policymakers were adopted at the Fourth Session of the IPBES Plenary. This research summarizes the assessment report through its main contents and conclusions based on the IPBES framework, and also explores the relationship between IPBES deliverables and other international processes, and possible impacts on policy making in China. The report provided a comprehensive analysis of the existing scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and also provided corresponding solutions for coping with data and knowledge gaps, as well as guidance for the development, use, and optimization of scenarios and models. IPBES assessments have been ushering in the development of biodiversity science and ecosystem services, offering an efficient platform for countries to undertake communication, and provide trade-offs and gains in the field of biodiversity to maximize their own interests. As a developing country with rich biodiversity, China is bound to actively participate in activities of IPBES and use its own voice, which would be an ideal way to deal with the future development of IPBES.

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Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (6): 651-653.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018160
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China and COP 15: a path for responsible environmental power
Yueyu Zou, Yulin Fu, Lirong Yang, Xialin Wan, Ye Wang, Jixin Liu
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (11): 1169-1175.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017246
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The Fifteenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) will be hosted by China in 2020 and could become a milestone in the history of the Convention. This article aims to identify lessons that can be learnt by China in preparation for COP15. The internal motivations and political gains of several host countries with respect to previous COPs were analyzed by looking at national environmental foreign policies against the backdrop of the country’s development and corresponding progress made in convention implementation. This case study of successful COPs indicates that host countries do not treat it as an isolated event but an action under the country’s foreign policy strategy, which provides a strong momentum for the country to contribute to the process. Additionally, by formulating host country initiatives in harmony with existing national and regional policies in the field, the host country was able to optimize marginal effects and gains at both the national and global level. China could also make use the opportunity of hosting COP15 to gradually transform its passive and inward-looking eco-environmental foreign policy into an outward-looking one featuring active engagement and work on eco-civilization along with the international community. In preparation for COP15, China should work together with international stakeholders, reinforce regional strategic coordination and synergism with developing countries, and share Chinese experiences in biodiversity conservation in order to contribute to the creation of a fair, rational, and efficient system of global biodiversity governance.

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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)
Keping Ma*
Keping Ma
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 1031-1032.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017279
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Cited: CSCD(4)
Promoting diversity inventory and monitoring of birds through the camera-trapping network in China: status, challenges and future outlook
Shuyi Zhu, Fei Duan, Sheng Li
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 1114-1122.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017057
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During the past two decades, camera-trapping has been widely used in biodiversity monitoring and wildlife research across China. Most of the existing camera-trapping projects focus on mammals, and birds are frequently considered in by-catch records. We analyzed 230 wildlife camera-trapping research projects in China since 1992, on the basis of an exhaustive review of Chinese and English literature, including published articles, conference reports, public news, and additional unpublished datasets. Results showed that at least 393 wild bird species, belonging to 17 orders and 56 families and accounting for 28.67% of the total number of bird species in China, have been documented using camera-trapping since 1992. The order with the most recorded species was Passeriformes (268). On the family level, Turdidae had the highest number of recorded species (58), followed by Timaliidae (50) and Phasianidae (42). There were 23 families that each only had one recorded species. Ground- and understory-dwelling forest birds accounted for the majority of all birds recorded, in terms of either species richness or camera detections. Published bird records were characterized by regional imbalances. Sichuan and Yunnan provinces were the most surveyed provinces, with 16 and 14 sites, respectively. The highest species richness was recorded in Sichuan (160), followed by Yunnan (91) and Zhejiang (66). A total of 104 new regionally recorded species were reported. Given the fact that there is still an abundance of camera-trapping data that has not been published, we speculated that the actual recorded bird species should be higher. These results indicated that camera-trapping can produce considerable bird distribution data of high accuracy, high quality and large amounts, which may provide a significant contribution to biodiversity monitoring and regional inventories of birds in China. Terrestrial birds, including Galliformes, Turdidae and Timaliidae, should be included as one of the target groups in current and future monitoring networks using standardized camera-trapping techniques, and such networks could also complement data and support the inventory and diversity monitoring of other taxa.

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Cited: CSCD(2)
Scale dependent effects of species diversity and structural diversity on aboveground biomass in a tropical forest on Barro Colorado Island, Panama
Shanshan Tan, Renren Wang, Xiaoling Gong, Jiayao Cai, Guochun Shen
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 1054-1064.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017155
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With global decreases in species diversity, the effects of species diversity on aboveground biomass of forest communities, especially tropical forests which store nearly half of terrestrial carbon, have received much attention. It is commonly assumed that species diversity can promote the accumulation of aboveground biomass in forest communities. However, increasing evidence suggests that this positive effect of species diversity can be influenced or neutralized by structural diversity and various abiotic environmental variables. It is still far from clear whether scale dependent effects of various drivers of aboveground biomass exist. Using structural equation modeling, we examined direct and indirect drivers of aboveground biomass in a 50 ha tropical forest dynamics plot on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama. Our results showed that the effect of species diversity on aboveground biomass was non-significant at the smallest scale and became significantly negative at larger scales. The strength of this negative effect increased with spatial scales. Conversely, structural diversity had a significant positive effect on aboveground biomass and the strength of this effect decreased with scale. Abiotic variables had some relationships with both types of diversity and can indirectly affect aboveground biomass. These results suggest that positive relationships between species diversity and aboveground biomass in conventional studies may be caused by structural diversity. The relationship between species diversity and aboveground biomass is more likely to be negative, due to under the gap dynamics and strong asymmetric competition in forest communities.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Mammal diversity in Shangyong Nature Reserve, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province
Defeng Bai,Ying Chen,Junsong Li,Qing Tao,Lifan Wang,You Piao,Kun Shi
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (1): 75-78.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017223
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Longitudinal patterns in α and β diversity of the taxonomic and functional organizations of stream fish assemblages in the Qingyi River
Dong Zhang,Fengying Wan,Ling Chu,Yunzhi Yan
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (1): 1-13.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017263
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Identifying the spatial and temporal patterns of fish diversity in streams is the basis for the conservation and management of stream fishes. The “upstream-downstream” pattern in the taxonomic diversity of stream fish assemblages has been widely studied. However, spatial patterns in functional diversity of stream fishes along longitudinal gradients have been given less attention. Based on data collected in 15 segments representing 1st- to 5th-order streams in the Qingyi River basin during April, July, October 2009 and January 2010, we examined the variations in taxonomic and functional organizations of stream fish assemblages across 1st- to 5th-order streams, and determined the longitudinal patterns of both taxonomic and functional diversities along the stream-order gradient. According to the feeding habits and functional morphological traits, all 56 species collected were divided into four trophic groups, five locomotion groups and 14 combined groups. Two-way crossed ANOSIM showed that both the taxonomic and functional organizations varied significantly across 1st- to 5th-order streams, but did not present significant among-season variation. Two-way ANOVA showed that both α and β diversity of the taxonomic and functional organizations differed significantly with stream order, but not with season. According to the results of regression analysis, α diversity of both the taxonomic and functional organizations had positive linear correlations with stream order, but the maximum α diversity occurred in 4th-order streams. β diversity of taxonomic and functional organizations showed a quadratic distribution (i.e., U-shape) with increasing stream order. The spatial variation in the taxonomic β diversity was mainly driven by species turnover, but variation in the functional β diversity was mainly driven by function nestedness. Our results suggest that, along the “upstream-downstream” gradient, α and β diversity of stream fishes may present different spatial patterns. Although the taxonomic and functional α diversity show similar longitudinal distributions, the ecological processes driving the longitudinal variations in β diversity may be different for the taxonomic (i.e., species turnover) and functional organizations (i.e., function nestedness).

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Biogeographic patterns and environmental interpretation of plant species richness in desert regions of Northwest China
Jianming Wang, Wenjuan Wang, Jingwen Li, Yiming Feng, Bo Wu, Qi Lu
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (11): 1192-1201.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017149
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Desertification poses an important ecological problem in Northwest China as desert ecosystems are highly vulnerable to climatic and land-use changes. Due to the harsh environment and poor accessibility, systematic studies of plant diversity in the desert region of Northwest China remain elusive. Here, we explored the geographic patterns of species richness and determinants in the desert regions of Northwest China based on species richness and spatial and climatic factors of 195 field plots. Results showed that a total of 363 species were recorded, belonging to 38 families and 153 genera. Species richness exhibited significant longitudinal and latitudinal gradients, which were quadratically correlated with longitude and latitude. Species richness was strongly influenced by spatial, water, and energy factors. These factors explained 65.36% of the variation in species richness, while 48.08% was simultaneously explained by the three groups of factors. Furthermore, the water and energy factors together explained more variation than that of spatial factors. These results indicate that the patterns of species richness were determined by niche, neutral, and other unknown processes together, and suggest that environmental factors play an important role. We highlight that unmeasured factors including soil, topography, and human disturbances may greatly affect plant species richness in the desert regions of Northwest China.

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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
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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)
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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A comparative study on national assessment indicators for Aichi Biodiversity Targets and relevant countermeasures
Rong Dai, Yi Wu
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (11): 1161-1168.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017249
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The implementation of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (hereinafter referred to as the “Aichi Targets”) is conducive to a significant decrease in the rate of biodiversity loss at global, regional and national levels and addresses sustainable development challenges. Incorporating national indicators set under the framework of the Aichi Targets into a national biodiversity strategy, action plan, and national report are important actions for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity at the national level. Using the Aichi Targets as the framework, this paper teases out the challenges of its targets and analyzes relationships among these concerns. By comparing each concern and using European Union, Australia, Germany, India, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, and China as study areas, this paper compares and analyzes the indicators and actions relating to concerns of the Aichi Targets, thus identifying and analyzing weak links in China’s existing relevant indicators. The results showed that the concerns without relevant assessment indicators are as follows: public participation (1-2), biodiversity valuation (2-1), mainstreaming biodiversity (2-2), subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated or reformed (3-1), subsidy policy (3-2), impacts of pollution on biodiversity (8-2), connectivity (11-4), implementation of the Nagoya Protocol (16-1), protection of traditional knowledge (18-1), traditional knowledge owners’ rights and participation (18-2) and foreign official financial resources for development (20-2). The concerns that there are no enough data to be used to assess the indicators are as follows: sustainable consumption (4-2), habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation (5-1), sustainable fisheries (6-2), impacts of agriculture, forestry and fishery on biodiversity (7-2), climate change impacts on coral reefs (10-1) and management effectiveness of protected areas (11-3). By analyzing individual country experiences of relevant indicators and actions as well as issues in China, we provide the following recommendations: (1) To perfect the assessment indicator system in China; (2) To accelerate policy adjustments for those that are not favorable to biodiversity conservation; (3) To carry out quantitative studies on traditional knowledge and benefit-sharing issues; and (4) To carry out scientific activities for citizens that enhance public participation.

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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)
The relationship between species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in the Pinus yunnanensis natural secondary forest
Xiaobo Huang, Shuaifeng Li, Jianrong Su, Wande Liu, Xuedong Lang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (11): 1182-1191.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017167
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Under global climate change, biodiversity is decreasing rapidly due to deforestation and habitat fragmentation, which has serious consequences for ecosystem functioning. In recent years, the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has been a core research area in ecology. Previous researchers have paid great attention to the relationship between biodiversity and individual ecosystem functioning, and seldom consider multiple functions (multifunctionlity), especially in forest ecosystems. Here, based on survey data from 94 plots of Pinus yunnanensis in a natural secondary forest, we selected variables related to ecosystem functioning: woody plant biomass, soil organic carbon, plant nitrogen, plant phosphorus, soil total nitrogen, soil hydrolyzable nitrogen, soil total phosphorus, and soil available phosphorus. We used an averaging approach, single threshold approach, and multiple threshold approach to evaluate the effects of species richness on ecosystem multifunctionality and impacting factors. Results showed that the relationship between species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality was stronger than that of individual ecosystem functioning. Species richness had a significant positive effect on multifunctionality within thresholds ranging from 3% to 88%. When using a moderate threshold (54%), species richness had the strongest positive effect, and the percentage of maximum possible species richness was 53.53%. Path analysis of a structural equation model showed that species richness had the strongest (positive) effect on multifunctionality in the Pinus yunnanensis natural secondary forest. Mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, and soil pH had insignificant effects on multifunctionality, but indirect effects via influences on species richness. Species richness may be of primary importance when considering ecosystem multifunctionality. Increasing species numbers may not always lead to the optimal state of all functions. Increasing species numbers had the strongest effects on multifunctionality, but only once multifunctionality reached moderate levels.

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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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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)
Conservation first, national representative, and commonwealth: the three concepts of China’s National Park System Construction
Rui Yang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 1040-1041.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017282
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Soil microbiota and plant invasions: current and future
Wei Fu, Ning Wang, Fang Pang, Yulong Huang, Jun Wu, Shanshan Qi, Zhicong Dai, Daolin Du
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (12): 1295-1302.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017071
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Profound threats on global biodiversity caused by the expansion and accumulation of invasive species substantiate the urgent need to understand their invasion mechanisms. While most studies of invasive plants have focused on macro-organisms, it has become increasingly clear that microorganisms are pervasive and play central roles in successful invasion processes of exotic plants. According to studies examining soil microbes and invasive plants, we discuss the effects of invasive plants on soil microbial communities by dividing them into three separate groups, namely microbial pathogens, mutualistic microbes, and saprotrophic microbes. Roots are the primary site for interactions with microbes, and the rhizosphere is the largest reservoir of known microbial diversity. The rhizosphere provided a heterogeneity microhabitat at the root-soil interface (rhizosphere soil, rhizoplane, and endorhizosphere) and shapes the habitat into different functions. However, previous studies have tended to focus on either the single dimension or at the hole level, which fails to explain the scope and depth of the phenomenon. When examining this issue, we propose that future studies of the interactions between rhizosphere microbes and invasive plant should combine the root elaborate microhabitat and macro-functional traits. It is essential to construct a systematic and reproducible research framework by using high-throughput DNA sequencing technology and corresponding bioinformatic tools, to switch the mode of research from the description and prediction of the phenomenon into the elaboration of the mechanism in the field of plant invasion.

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New perspectives and techniques are needed to advance invasion science
Ji Yang, Bo Li
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (12): 1255-1256.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018007
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Evaluating the effectiveness of Shennongjia National Nature Reserve based on the dynamics of forest carbon pools
Shuyu Deng, Xiangzhong Dong, Mingzhe Ma, Zhenhua Zang, Wenting Xu, Changming Zhao, Zongqiang Xie, Guozhen Shen
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (1): 27-35.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017240
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Nature reserves are a cornerstone of global conservation strategies. However, the effectiveness of the reserve in conserving ecosystem function such as carbon storage is poorly understood. The Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is a conservation icon and has taken exceptional efforts to protect forests. It provides a unique case to address this question. Here, we quantified the carbon storage from aboveground carbon, belowground carbon, litter, coarse woody debris, and soil organic carbon inside and outside the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve between 1990 and 2010, based on inventory data and digitized historical land cover maps. The result showed that the woodland covered 92.76% of the reserve, most of which was coniferous forest (51.85%), deciduous broad-leaved forest (35.11%), and evergreen broad-leaved forest (4.47%). Between 1990 and 2010, the area of the woodland has increased 0.11%, while the area of shrubland and cropland has declined 8.85% and 6.06%, respectively. The Shennongjia National Natural Reserve has accumulated 24.24 Tg carbon (22.57-26.62 Tg C) until 2010, of which 90.68% was contributed by soil organic carbon and aboveground carbon. A total of 95% of the carbon storage in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve are contributed by evergreen broad-leaved forest, deciduous broad-leaved forest and coniferous forest. Between 1990 and 2010, the aboveground carbon pool and soil organic carbon pool has increased 14.50 kt C (11.81-18.31 kt C) and 6.84 kt C, respectively. The carbon density inside the reserve is 22.37 t C/ha higher than that outside the reserve. Our results indicated that the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is efficiently conserving forest carbon.

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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)
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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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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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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The latest development for implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity
Dayuan Xue
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (11): 1145-1146.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017310
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Biodiversity of natural vegetation and influencing factors in western Inner Mongolia
Chongyao Yang, Engui Li, Huiying Chen, Jinghui Zhang, Yongmei Huang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (12): 1303-1312.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017140
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To determine biodiversity, 74 plant community plots were surveyed in western Inner Mongolia between 2012 and 2014. These samples were divided into four vegetation types, including temperate steppe, temperate shrub, meadow, and desert. Four biodiversity indices (Patrick index, Simpson index, Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou index) were calculated to show biodiversity differences among the four vegetation types. Climate and soil data were also collected over the course of the survey. Pearson correlation analysis was conducted to reveal the relationship between biodiversity and environmental factors and stepwise regression analysis was used to determine dominant environmental factors. Results indicated that: (1) In western Inner Mongolia, biodiversity indices were different among the four vegetation types. Temperate steppe and meadow had similar values for biodiversity indices, and were also the highest amongst all vegetation types, while the lowest biodiversity was found in the desert. (2) Pearson correlation analysis showed that the Patrick index, Shannon-Wiener index, and Simpson index were all negatively and linearly correlated with mean annual temperature and potential evapotranspiration. (3) Among all chemical properties of the soil, pH, organic carbon and total nitrogen all influenced biodiversity indices. (4) Stepwise regression analysis showed that potential evapotranspiration and soil organic carbon were the most influential factors affecting the Patrick index and Shannon-Wiener index. The only dominant factor for the Simpson index was soil organic carbon while soil total nitrogen was most important factor for the Pielou index.

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China’s zoogeographical regionalization based on terrestrial vertebrates
Erhu Gao, Jiekun He, Zhichen Wang, Yang Xu, Xiaoping Tang, Haisheng Jiang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (12): 1321-1330.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017135
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China’s previous zoogeographical regionalization designations were delineated according to expert knowledge and experience. However, these previous designations have limited application in wildlife conservation and management because of a lack of quantitative footing. Additionally, there are still significant differences in the ecological components of some of the basic units. In order to meet the needs of wildlife protection and management, especially the needs of the Second National Survey on Terrestrial Wildlife Resources in China, we carried out national wildlife survey unit zoning, based on Zhang Rongzu’s “Zoogeographical Regions of China”. In this study, hierarchical clustering was applied to a 5 km × 5 km grid of faunistic and environmental components, based on a comprehensive species distribution dataset, consisting of 262 amphibians, 358 reptiles, 814 birds, and 350 mammals. Our results delineated China into 2 realms, 7 regions, 19 sub-regions, 54 zoogeographical provinces, 239 eco-geographical units, and 310 survey units. Compared to Zhang’s scheme, the number of realms, regions, sub-regions, and zoogeographical provinces are the same and most of the boundaries are broadly consistent, however, some discrepancies also emerge. To meet the needs of wildlife conservation and management, two hierarchical levels of zoogeographical units were added, namely eco-geographical units and survey units.

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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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