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Advances in species coexistence theory
Chengjin Chu, Youshi Wang, Yu Liu, Lin Jiang, Fangliang He
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 345-354.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017034
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How species coexist locally is a fundamental question in community ecology. Classical coexistence theory underscores the importance of niche differentiation between species and focuses on specific coexistence mechanisms. Studies on these specific coexistence mechanisms have profoundly contributed to understanding species coexistence at the local scale and inspired ecologists to create a more general contemporary coexistence theory. Under the contemporary coexistence theory, species differences are categorized into two groups: niche differences and average fitness differences. Niche differences serve as stabilizing mechanisms that promote species coexistence, whereas average fitness differences are related to equalizing mechanisms that drive competitive exclusion. In this paper we provide a detailed review of contemporary coexistence theory, including its definition and theoretical models, empirical tests of these models and their applications to biodiversity studies. Coexistence theory has applications in a number of other areas including biodiversity conservation and management in a changing world beyond the basic concept of how communities are structured. We show how contemporary coexistence theory has advanced the niche-based classic coexistence theory, helping us to better understand the underlying mechanisms of community assembly and biodiversity maintenance.

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Biodiversity science and macroecology in the era of big data
Jian Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 355-363.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017037
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High-quality biodiversity data are the scientific basis for understanding the origin and maintenance of biodiversity and dealing with its extinction risk. Currently, we identify at least seven knowledge shortfalls or gaps in biodiversity science, including the lack of knowledge on species descriptions, species geographic distributions, species abundance and population dynamics, evolutional history, functional traits, interactions between species and the abiotic environment, and biotic interactions. The arrival of the current era of big data offers a potential solution to address these shortfalls. Big data mining and its applications have recently become the frontier of biodiversity science and macroecology. It is a challenge for ecologists to utilize and effectively analyze the ever-growing quantity of biodiversity data. In this paper, I review several biodiversity-related studies over global, continental, and regional scales, and demonstrate how big data approaches are used to address biodiversity questions. These examples include forest cover changes, conservation ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and the effect of climate change on biodiversity. Furthermore, I summarize the current challenges facing biodiversity data collection, data processing and data analysis, and discuss potential applications of big data approaches in the fields of biodiversity science and macroecology.

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Cited: CSCD(3)
Beta-diversity partitioning: methods, applications and perspectives
Xingfeng Si, Yuhao Zhao, Chuanwu Chen, Peng Ren, Di Zeng, Lingbing Wu, Ping Ding
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 464-480.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017024
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Beta diversity describes the variation in species composition among communities within a region and it is determined by two antithetic processes: species turnover (or species replacement), and nestedness (or difference in richness). Beta-diversity partitioning aims to separate these two processes when examining species composition among communities, and to reveal their underlying mechanisms. Since 2010, the partitioning methods were proposed following two dominant frameworks: the BAS method proposed by Andrés Baselga in 2010 (partitioning overall beta diversity into turnover and nestedness components) and the POD method proposed by János Podani and Dénes Schmera in 2011 and José C. Carvalho et al. in 2012 (partitioning overall beta diversity into species replacement and richness difference components). With the continuous debate on the nature of the BAS and POD methods, studies on beta-diversity partitioning have developed rapidly worldwide. We reviewed journal articles in the field of beta-diversity partitioning since 2010. Results showed that the number of publications and citations using the BAS method were greater than those using the POD method (75% vs. 20%). In those publications, most of study sites were located in Europe (45%) and research taxa were dominated by animals (64%). Here, we introduce the history and development of beta-diversity partitioning, potential applications in studying biodiversity distributions across spatial-temporal scales (latitudinal/altitudinal gradients, habitat fragmentation, seasonal and annual dynamics), multiple-faceted diversity (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity), and comparisons among various biological taxa. We point out the following directions in the field of beta-diversity partitioning in the future: (1) the synthesis and comparative analysis of the methods of beta-diversity partitioning; (2) examining patterns of overall beta diversity and its components by incorporating species abundance; and (3) testing the generality of results yielded from beta-diversity partitioning across large scales.

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Comments on the APG’s classification of angiosperms
Wei Wang, Xiaoxia Zhang, Zhiduan Chen, Anming Lu
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 418-426.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017015
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With the rise of plant molecular systematics, tremendous progress has been made in understanding phylogenetic relationships within angiosperms. With the basic phylogenetic framework of angiosperms established, a DNA phylogeny-based angiosperm classification system at the order and familial levels was proposed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) in 1998 and has been updated three times. In this paper, we summarize the major achievements of the APG system as follows: (1) testing the repeatability and predictability of the APG system for angiosperms; (2) resolving the systematic positions of some segregate taxa which were not placed based on morphological characters; (3) proving that it is not reasonable to first divide angiosperms based on cotyledon character; (4) demonstrating the importance of tricolpate/tricolporate pollen and derivatives for angiosperm classification; (5) finding that the centrifugal development of stamens in polyandrous groups have evolved independently many times and should not be used to delimit class or subclass of angiosperms; (6) supporting that most of the families delimited by broad morphological characters are natural; and (7) separating some families which are traditionally regarded as natural. We then point out potential problems that need to be resolved in the future, including: (1) how to harmonize the APG system and the morphology-based systems; (2) establishing new morphological evolution theories on the basis of the APG system; (3) determining whether it is enough to only use “monophyly” as a criterion to circumscribe orders and families; (4) determining morphological synapormorphies of those orders in the APG system; and (5) how to best compile a key to distinguish the orders and families of the APG system and to list their diagnostic characters for orders and families. In addition, we propose suggestions for the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic status of some taxa mainly distributed in Asia, specifically East Asia, including Illiciaceae, Acanthochlamydaceae, Tetracentraceae, Leeaceae, Rhoipteiaceae, Hippocastenaceae, Aceraceae, Bretschneideraceae as familial status, and dividing Cornaceae sensu lato into Cornaceae sensu stricto and Nyssaceae sensu lato.

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China’s mammal diversity (2nd edition)
Zhigang Jiang, Shaoying Liu, Yi Wu, Xuelong Jiang, Kaiya Zhou
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (8): 886-895.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017098
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Due to recent modifications of mammalian taxonomy, discoveries of mammalogy in China, and conservation needs of the country, China’s mammal diversity inventory is in urgent need of an update. We collected new species and records of mammal species in China from the literature since March 2015, adopted the new taxonomy, incorporated our own research, and added mammalian species of the Zangnan Region, to renew the inventory of mammal diversity in the country. The major changes in the new version of the inventory are the elevation of the order Cetartiodactyla to the super order Cetartiodactyla and the split of the order Cetartiodactyla in Jiang et al (2015) into orders Cetacea and Artiodactyla, respectively. Chodsigoa hoffmanni C. furva and Mesechinus sp. were added to the order Eulipotyphla. In the order Chiroptera, Murina fanjingshanensis, Myotis rufoniger and Rhinolophus subbadius were added, while Myotis hirsutus and Miniopterus fuscus were deleted from the inventory. In the order Primates, Hoolock tianxing, Trachypithecus pileatus, Nycticebus coucang and Hoolock hoolock were added to the inventory. In the order Carnivora, Melursus ursinus, Canis aureus, Vulpes bengakensis, Herpestes edwardsii, and Felis viverrinus were added. We reclassified the species in the order Artiodactyla according to the taxonomy of the Handbook of the Mammals of the World, Vol. 2, Ungulates. Ovis ammon, O. collium, Budorcas taxicolor, and Muntiacus muntjak were added to the order. All sika deer in the country were grouped as a single species, Cervus nippon, and all moose were grouped as a single species, Alces alces. Cervus alashanicus and C. macneilli as well as the dwarf blue sheep, Psuodois sharferi, were deleted, and the species of the Tragulus in Xishuangbanna was listed as Tragulus sp. In the order Cetacea, Platanista gangetica was added while Delphinus capensis was deleted. In the order Rodentia, new species, Typhlomys nanus, Neodon medogensis and N. nyalamensis, Bandicota bengalensis as well as Myospalax cansus, Biswamoyopterus biswasi, Niviventer niviventer, Mus booduga; and one species, Typhlomys daloushanensis, which was elevated from the status of subspecies, were added to the inventory, however, Hadromys humei was deleted from the inventory. The taxonomy of Arvicolini of Cricetidae was renewed. Caprolagus hispidus and Lepus nigricollis were added to the order Lagomorpha and the taxonomy of Ochotona was renewed, with 5 species downgraded from the status of species to subspecies while 4 were elevated from subspecies to species. Altogether there are 29 pika species in China. However, O. princeps, O. collaris, O. hoffinanni, O. rufescens and O. pusilla are not found in the country. The new inventory of China’s mammals has 13 orders, 56 families, 248 genera and 693 species. Compared with that reported by Jiang et al (2015), there is now an additional order, family, three genera and 20 species in the new mammalian diversity inventory. Of the mammalian species in country, the statuses of 18 species, mostly rodents, are still in dispute amongst mammalogists. There are 146 endemic mammalian species in China, which accounted for 21% of the total mammal species in the country. Of those endemic species by order, the highest endemic rate is found in Lagomorpha (37%), followed by Eulipotyphla (35%) and Artiodactyla (25%). Overall, China has the richest mammal diversity in the world.

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Cited: CSCD(3)
Threatened Species List of China’s Higher Plants
Haining Qin, Yong Yang, Shiyong Dong, Qiang He, Yu Jia, Lina Zhao, Shengxiang Yu, Huiyuan Liu, Bo Liu, Yuehong Yan, Jianying Xiang, Nianhe Xia, Hua Peng, Zhenyu Li, Zhixiang Zhang, Xingjin He, Linke Yin, Yulin Lin, Quanru Liu, Yuantong Hou, Yan Liu, Qixin Liu, Wei Cao, Jianqiang Li, Shilong Chen, Xiaohua Jin, Tiangang Gao, Wenli Chen, Haiying Ma, Yuying Geng, Xiaofeng Jin, Chaoyang Chang, Hong Jiang, Lei Cai, Chunxin Zang, Jianyong Wu, Jianfei Ye, Yangjun Lai, Bing Liu, Qinwen Lin, Naxin Xue
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (7): 696-744.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017144
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Cited: CSCD(6)
The outstanding universal value and conservation of the Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site
Zongqiang Xie, Guozhen Shen, Youbing Zhou, Dayong Fan, Wenting Xu, Xianming Gao, Yanjun Du, Gaoming Xiong, Changming Zhao, Yan Zhu, Jiangshan Lai
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 490-497.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016268
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World Natural Heritage site is recognized globally as the pinnacle of natural protected areas that are the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation. The World Natural Heritage of Shennongjia represents one of the worldwide biodiversity hotspots. But, until now, it has not been clear how outstanding the universal value of Shennongjia is worldwide, and this study presents one of the most compelling challenges to conservation efforts. Here, we compiled literature and conducted additional field surveys in the Shennongjia region to illustrate the outstanding universal value of Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site using World Heritage criteria (ix) and (x), following the operational guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Results show that the heritage of Shennongjia offers an outstanding example of the ongoing ecological processes occurring in the development of intact subtropical mixed broad-leaved evergreen and deciduous forests in the Northern Hemisphere. This region presents a typical example of mountain altitudinal biological zones in the Oriental Deciduous Forest Biogeographical Province. Shennongjia is also a vital origin location for global temperate flora, and harbors the highest concentration of global temperate genera of trees. Moreover, the heritage of Shennongjia displays exceptional biodiversity and is a key habitat for numerous relic, rare, endangered and endemic species. The richness of deciduous woody species in Shennongjia is the highest in the world. Our study provides great insight into protecting, monitoring and managing the outstanding world heritage in the Northern Hemisphere.

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Cited: CSCD(7)
Gap distribution patterns in the south subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Dinghushan
Dandan Sui, Yue Wang, Juyu Lian, Jian Zhang, Jianbo Hu, Xuejun Ouyang, Zongji Fan, Honglin Cao, Wanhui Ye
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 382-392.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017027
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Studying the dynamic characteristics, species coexistence and biodiversity conservation mechanisms of subtropical forest ecosystems is important in the study of the quantitative characteristics and spatial gap distribution patterns. Based on census data from the 20 ha dynamics plot of the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Dinghushan in 2015, we analyzed the geometric characteristics and spatial distribution pattern of gaps in the plot by combining aerial image processing technology of unmanned aerial vehicles and GIS. Results show that the gap fraction is 13.72%, the gap density is 35.75 no./ha, and the average gap area is 38.37 m2. Results also show that: (1) The number of gaps in the area is negatively exponentially distributed with the increase of gap area, that is, the gap is small and the marginal effect is not significant. (2) The average area of ??forest gaps in over-mature forest stands is larger than that in mature forests, while the mature forest is more likely to have more small gaps and fewer large gaps. (3) In different habitats, the distribution of gaps in each habitat shows the same pattern as that found in the whole plot. However, the difference in the valley is significant when compared with other habitats, and gap area and gap density in the valley are larger than other habitats. The ridge gap is also distinctive, and its gap density is lower than other habitats. (4) Gap area is significantly correlated with topographic factors. It was significantly negatively correlated with altitude and convexity, and had a significantly positive correlation with aspect and gradient. Based on these comparative analyses, a monitoring system of forest canopy changes and patterns can be established using drones, to dynamically monitor forest gaps and the undergrowth community.

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Characteristics and effects of sprouting on species diversity in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Gutianshan, East China
Duo Ye, Ruirui Dong, Xiangcheng Mi, Wei Lu, Zhenjie Zheng, Mingjian Yu, Jian Ni, Jianhua Chen
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 393-400.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016296
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Sprouting, a life history strategy found in woody plant communities, enables woody plants to persist in situ through disturbance events. The ‘persistence niche’ of sprouting has important influences on species coexistence, community assembly, and ecosystem stability. However, the mechanism of the ‘persistence niche’ in maintaining species diversity is not well understood. Based on data collected in a 5 ha plot in a mid-subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Gutianshan National Natural Reserve of Zhejiang Province, China, we analyzed the characteristics of sprouting and their relationships with species diversity. Our results revealed that the sprouting species had a great proportion of 63.95% in richness and a high proportion of 38.53% in abundance, especially a higher abundance proportion of 59.51% of potential sprouting at the community level. Sprouting occurred in most taxa, and there was high ability of sprouting in Fagaceae, Ericaceae, Hamamelidaceae, and Theaceae. There were significant negative correlations between abundance proportion of sprouting species and the biodiversity index of the community, despite no relationships between richness proportion of sprouting species and biodiversity index. Therefore, the sprouters could retain their position in forests and reduce biodiversity of the forest community. This trade-off of sprouting may result in the maintenance of community stability.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Research advances and challenges in the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems
Jianbo Tan, Ainong Li, Guangbin Lei, Guoke Chen, Keping Ma
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 453-463.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016134
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The Red List of Ecosystems is a growing toolbox for assessing risks to biodiversity at the ecosystem level, which is complementary to the Red List of Threatened Species and important for the protection of key species’ habitats. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria was adopted as an official global standard for assessing the risks to ecosystems by the IUCN Council. With the revision and extension of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria, this framework is gradually improved, which plays an important role in biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. However, it faces challenges in ecosystem mapping, the concepts of ecosystem collapse and practical application. This paper reviews the development of the Red List of Ecosystems and introduces the five criterions in the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems protocol (declining in distribution, restricted distribution, abiotic degradation, biotic degradation and quantitative estimates of risk of ecosystem collapse) and how it is used. While focusing on the challenges in the assessment with the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria, we also discuss the potential solutions to these problems based on remote sensing and ecological models. We points out that the explicit definition of ecosystem collapse and the classification system of ecosystems is essential for applying the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria; the scale effects have great impacts on the results of assessment; assessment at hierarchical scales may be a potential method to provide spatial information for the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems; incorporating remote sensing and ecological models into this framework is an important way to study the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria in the near future.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Approaches used to detect and test hybridization: combining phylogenetic and population genetic analyses
Jian-Feng Mao, Yongpeng Ma, Renchao Zhou
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (6): 577-599.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017097
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Hybridization among diverging (interspecific or intraspecific) groups involves gene flow and genetic recombination. Increasingly, studies have shown that hybridization, a process of genetic exchanges, occurs widely in the divergence and unity of animals, plants, and microorganisms, and acts as an important mechanism for the formation and maintenance of biological diversity. The rapid development of high-throughput sequencing technology and the widespread application of genome-level techniques provides an unprecedented opportunity for us to further evaluate the universality and evolutionary significance of hybridization. However, selecting appropriate research techniques and strategies to detect the potential hybridization and evaluate its characteristics becomes a common question. In this review, we attempt to synthesize methods from phylogenetics and population genetics of the genomic era to provide biodiversity and evolutionary researchers a practical reference for testing hybridization.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Keping Ma*
State Key Laboratory of Vegetation, Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 343-344.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017137
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Red List of Ecosystems (RLE): progress and challenges
Keping Ma
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 451-452.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017160
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The complex reticulate evolutionary relationships of early terrestrial plants as revealed by phylogenomics analysis
Jiangping Shu, Li Liu, Hui Shen, Xiling Dai, Quanxi Wang, Yuehong Yan
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (6): 675-682.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017042
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Plants from aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems have undergone a very complex evolution, and their evolutionary pathways of large numbers of genes may be different from one another, so that traditional phylogenetic trees cannot show true evolutionary relationships. The phylogenetic network graph is a good solution to show the complex relationships of reticulate evolution, including vertical evolution and horizontal evolution. In this paper, we selected Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and four terrestrial plants, and screened 1,668 one-to-one orthologous genes to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationship of terrestrial plants based on phylogenomics. Results showed that phylogenetic trees were different based on different analysis strategies. The 1,668 genes were analyzed separately and 15 different topologies were found. The phylogenetic network of the orthologous genes obtained from the five species was analyzed, and the results showed that in a very robust phylogenetic network map, only five species have nine different split branches, suggesting a very complex evolutionary relationship network. Futhermore, the difference in split branches between algae and bryophytes or lycophytes is very small, which may be one of the reasons influencing the phylogenetic tree conflict, and implies that early terrestrial plants underwent a complex radiate evolution.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Parallel effects of environmental properties on genetic diversity and species diversity
Wumei Xu, Xiuqin Ci, Jie Li
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 481-489.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017006
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Genetic diversity and species diversity are the two basic levels of biodiversity; recent studies have indicated the parallel effects of environment properties on these two levels of biodiversity. Here we introduce the species-genetic diversity correlation model regarding the parallel effects of environment properties on genetic diversity and species diversity. Based on the four basic processes in community ecology and population genetics (i.e. mutation and speciation, selection, drift, dispersal), we further discuss the theoretical foundations of the parallel effects of environment properties on these two levels of biodiversity. The studies conducted on these effects have shown significant importance in ecology and conservation biology, especially in the age of global change; however, few studies consider these two levels of biodiversity together but most consider only one in the biodiversity research so far. Therefore, we review the recent progress and outline the future directions in the study of the parallel effects of environmental properties on genetic diversity and species diversity. We hope this will benefit and promote the related studies in China.

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The roles of epigenetic variation in plant hybridization and polyploidization
Linfeng Li, Bao Liu
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (6): 600-607.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017028
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Hybridization and polyploidization are common phenomena in plants and play important roles in speciation and diversification of extant species. Previous studies using ecological, physiological and molecular investigations have provided a framework for understanding the underlying mechanisms of plant hybridization and polyploidization. In this review, we examine the roles of epigenetic variation in species evolution from an evolutionary perspective. We summarize recent advances in Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa and species of Brassica to elucidate the correlations between phenotypic novelty and epigenetic variation. Based on currently available observations, we propose that future studies should emphasize the roles of epigenetic variation at both the natural population and species levels, and that statistical methods need to be improved to identify causative epigenetic variations at the genome-wide level.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Natural hybridization and speciation
Yuguo Wang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (6): 565-576.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017041
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Natural hybridization plays a pivotal role in the formation of new species during the evolution of organisms. There are two principal types of hybrid speciation: polyploidization and homoploid hybrid speciation. The former has been regarded as an important force driving plant speciation, whereas the latter has proved to be a main mode of speciation based on an increasing number of cases, which have reported successful crosses between the species at the same ploidy level. However, only a few cases of homoploid hybrid speciation have been documented when strict criteria are applied. Therefore, molecular evidence involving more genomic loci and morphological investigations from different kinds of hybrid zones, as well as assessments of existing speciation models and new computer stimulations, are required for further understanding the genetic basis of the initial and entire process of speciation. Through the historical reconstruction of gene flow between diverging lineages, additional organismal models for hybrid speciation need to be developed to reveal the effects of natural selection on the formation of reproductive isolation, and to discern the ecologically adaptive changes and the formation rules of novel diversity in the process of hybrid speciation. Here I briefly review the history of studies examining natural hybridization and speciation to introduce concept changes, research methods, and the latest advances of natural hybridization and speciation, to identify the unsolved core and basic scientific questions and to provide feasible suggestions for future studies and the protection of biodiversity involved in natural hybridization.

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Cited: CSCD(6)
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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How to balance development between nature reserves and community: a case study in Shiwandashan National Nature Reserve, Guangxi
Run Sun, Shuangling Wang, Linqiao Wu, Hui An, Shiying Qin, Youjun Liu, Weifu Tan
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 437-448.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016295
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In order to balance development, nature reserves, and community, it is necessary to understand community characteristics and willingness. Between September and November of 2014, we surveyed infrastructure, demographic factors, economic activity, development willingness, and the demands of all 151 concerned resident sites of the Shiwandashan National Nature Reserve in Guangxi. Methods included semi-structured interviews, key people interviews complemented with a literature review, seasonal calendars, market surveys, participatory forest surveys, and community demand interviews. In 2015, we carried out focused complementary investigations on the communities located in the nature reserve. Results on the characteristics of the communities of the Shiwandashan reserve included minority culture, forest-based land utilization, high dependence on natural resources, less infrastructure development, low market accessibility, and minimal financial resources for development. There were diverse perspectives on community development, but almost all focused on subsistence needs. The demands of the communities for the nature reserve mainly included infrastructure development and forest resources use. Holistically, topics including considering the community status, threats faced by the nature reserve, development strategy of the nature reserve, species and vegetation distributions, prioritized working areas, focused communities, and urgent activities were discussed and then, suggestions were given based on the research. Specific measures included developing forest restoration and ecological compensation in priority areas, to meet the demands of the communities located in the nature reserve and realize ecological immigration if possible and establishing some projects on infrastructure construction, community culture development, and building the local brand. Meanwhile, it is necessary to establish co-management institutions, provide training to community residents and nature reserve staff and to strengthen publicity and education. This study provides some suggestions on methods and contents of community work during its primary phase and future directions were also discussed including at the micro-level (establishing an indicator system to estimate village or family status) and at the macro-level (achieving good effects of community development by legal and standard construction and allied stakeholders) which is also significant for other aspects of nature reserve management.

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Cited: Baidu(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)
Red list assessment of lycophytes and ferns in China
Shiyong Dong, Zhengyu Zuo, Yuehong Yan, Jianying Xiang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (7): 765-773.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016204
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To understand the extinction risk of lycophytes and ferns in China, we conducted an evaluation of the two groups according to IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (version 3.1) at the national level. During a period of 16 months, a group of three researchers evaluated each taxon by means of reading literature, checking herbarium specimens, and consulting colleagues working on lycophytes and ferns in China. A total of 30 colleagues share their knowledge, mainly regarding living status and distribution, on Chinese lycophytes and ferns. Here we present a preliminary red list of Chinese lycophytes and ferns which includes 2,244 taxa of the following categories: 43 Critically Endangered (CR, among which six have probably been already extinct) , 68 Endangered (EN), 71 Vulnerable (VU), 66 Near Threatened (NT), 1,124 Least Concern (LC), and 872 Data Deficient (DD). The taxa which have been taken into account include species, subspecies, and varieties only, with forms and hybrids excluded. Of the 182 threatened species (VU, EN, and CR), 79 are endemic (or nearly) to China. Conservation priorities are suggested for the 79 threatened and endemic species, especially the 24 critically endangered species which include Adiantum meishanianum, A. nelumboides, Angiopteris chingii, Asplenium cornutissimum, Bolbitis hainanensis, Huperzia quasipolytrichoides var. rectifolia, Isoëtes orientalis, I. taiwanensis, I. yunguiensis, Paesia taiwanensis, Parathelypteris subimmersa, Polystichum basipinnatum, P. cavernicola, P. minutissimum, P. oblanceolatum, P. speluncicola, Pronephrium longipetiolatum, Pseudocyclosorus caudipinnus, Pteridrys lofouensis, Pteris angustipinna, Selliguea cruciformis, Tectaria ebenina, T. hekouensis, and Woodsia okamotoi. This red list is of a preliminary nature as a rather high proportion of taxa belong to DD (up to 872, ca. 39 % of total taxa in China). To gain a complete and precise red list, further evaluation work, especially taxonomic revisions based on field observations, is needed for the lycophytes and ferns in China. These include Angiopteris, Asplenium, Athyrium, Deparia, Dryopteris, Huperzia, Polystichum, Pteris, Selaginella, Polypodiaceae, and Thelypteridaceae which are still relatively poorly understood in terms of taxonomy and conservation.

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The effectiveness of Shennongjia National Nature Reserve in conserving forests and habitat of Sichuan snub-nosed monkey
Cuiling Wang, Zhenhua Zang, Yue Qiu, Shuyu Deng, Zhaoyang Feng, Zongqiang Xie, Wenting Xu, Lei Liu, Quansheng Chen, Guozhen Shen
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 504-512.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016349
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Nature reserves are a cornerstone of global conservation. Although the network of global protected areas has expanded substantially over the last few decades, many protected areas are not effective and the use of protected areas as a conservation tool has been criticized due to its inefficiency. Understanding which institutional conditions of protected areas are effective is therefore a key research priority. Shennongjia National Nature Reserve offers a fascinating case to investigate the effectiveness of protected areas in China. This reserve is exceptionally important for conservation as it harbors the remaining subtropical mixed broadleaved evergreen and deciduous forests in the northern hemisphere, numerous endemic and endangered species, and viable populations of the snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana hubeiensis). From an institutional perspective, Shennongjia Nature Reserve experienced a heavily exploited deforestation period and forest cover rebounded since the establishment of the reserve and the implementation of the Natural Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and the Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP). We assessed the effectiveness of the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in conserving forests and habitat of the snub-nosed monkey based on landuse datasets of 1980, 1990, 2010 and 2015, respectively; combining DEM, distribution and behavioral characteristics of the snub-nosed monkey, and constructing the criterion of the survival function of the snub-nosed monkey and metapopulation capacity. Results showed that the forest area increased by 34.27% and forest coverage increased 16.42%, of which 82.77% of the newly gained forest recovered from shrubs and sparse forests since the establishment of the reserve. The area of the most suitable habitat for the snub-nosed monkey increased 17.70%, and metapopulation capacity of the habitat increased 515.17%. Furthermore, since the implementation of NFCP and SLCP, the forest area and forest coverage increased 23.24% and 12.77%, respectively, the most suitable habitat area for the snub-nosed monkey increased 14.29%, and the metapopulation capacity increased 367.20%. Our results indicate that the Shennongjia Nature Reserve is efficient for forest conservation and snub-nosed monkey habitat provision.

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Cited: CSCD(3)
Additional remarks on “Three ‘What’: mission of a botanic garden”
De-Yuan Hong
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (9): 917-917.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017176
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Monitoring diversity of ground-dwelling birds and mammals in Wuyanling National Nature Reserve using infrared camera traps
Shusheng Zhang, Fangdong Zheng, Jiaqi Li, Qimin Bao, Jiahou Lai, Hongyi Cheng
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 427-429.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016358
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Multi-scale assessments of forest fragmentation in China
Yao Li, Xiangming Xiao, Xiangping Li, Jun Ma, Bangqian Chen, Yuanwei Qin, Jinwei Dong, Bin Zhao
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 372-381.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016257
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We used the forest fragmentation model to assess forest fragmentation in China based on a 50-m forest cover map in 2010. Six different fragmentation types including interior forest, perforated forest, edge forest, patch forest, transitional forest and undetermined were obtained. We reported the forest fragmentation status in different administration scales (by country, province, and county) based on Chinese administration boundary map of 2010, At the national scale, the patch forest accounted for the largest proportion (49.05%), while the interior forest was the smallest (3.40%). At the regional scale, Northeast China had the lowest forest fragmentation, while Southwest China had moderate forest fragmentation. The highest forest fragmentation areas were mainly distributed in the North China Plain, Central China, Shandong Peninsula and the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. At the provincial scale, the highest forest fragmentation was located in Shanghai and Tianjin, and the lowest forest fragmentation was located in Yunnan Province and Heilongjiang Province. At the county scale, the lowest forest fragmentation was located in counties in Shaanxi Province. Overall, our results have clearly shown that forest fragmentation occurs extensively and varies substantially over China in 2010. Our study will provide data support for the forestry administrative sector to conduct better forest management and to optimize forestry production and forest spatial patterns, which can improve forest ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation.

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Post-pollination reproductive isolation of sympatric populations of Primulina eburnea and P. mabaensis (Gesneriaceae)
Xiaolong Zhang, Lihua Yang, Ming Kang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (6): 615-620.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017029
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Reproductive isolation is essential for sympatric populations of closely related species to maintain species integrity and to prevent genetic introgression caused by hybridization. Primulina is the largest genus of Gesneriaceae in China, with a high degree of species diversity and endemism. Most species of the genus are karst habitat specialists (i.e. calciphiles), and many closely related species show a sympatric distribution in karst landscapes. To better understand the mechanism of sympatry in Primulina, post-pollination reproductive isolation, including pollen competition, fruit set, seed mass, seed germination, and pollen viability, was investigated in two closely related species, P. eburnea and P. mabaensis. Results indicated that the total post-pollination isolation strength for P. eburnea and P. mabaensis was 0.09 and 0.13, respectively, which were not strong enough to prevent hybridization completely. The strength of reproductive isolation from pollen competition and seed germination of P. eburnea and P. mabaensis was negative, suggesting facilitation for gene flow between species; while the strength of the fruit set, seed mass, and pollen viability showed a weak role in preventing interspecies hybridization. However, the two species are able to maintain their integrity well, as rare hybrid individuals are found in nature, suggesting that the existence of pre-pollination isolation mechanisms may play a more important role in maintaining species boundaries in these two species.

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Biodiv Sci   
Potential distribution range and conservation strategies for the endangered species Amygdalus pedunculata
Jianmin Chu, Yifu Li, Lei Zhang, Bin Li, Mingyuan Gao, Xiaoqian Tang, Jianwei Ni, Xinqiao Xu
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (8): 799-806.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015218
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The endangered shrub species Amygdalus pedunculata is distributed in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and Shaanxi Province, China. However, little is known about its resource quantity and conservation status. A field investigation was conducted to determine the natural distribution range of A. pedunculata. Eight environmental factors were chosen to build models with the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) model and maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model. We predicted the potential distribution of A. pedunculata in China. Using four model evaluation metrics (Kappa, true skill statistic (TSS), overall accuracy and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC)), we assessed the predictive performance of both models. The Jackknife method was used to investigate the most important environmental factors for the distribution of A. pedunculata. The results indicated that both models were effective for predicting the distribution of A. pedunculata, but MaxEnt performed better than GARP in terms of the four evaluation metrics. The species was predicted to have a broad suitable area, which ranged from the south of Daxing’anling to the east of Helan Mountains and the Ulan Buh Desert. Amygdalus pedunculata is mainly distributed in the middle regions of Inner Mongolia, including Mu Us Sandy Land, Kubuqi desert, Otindag Sandy Land, and the Wulashan and Daqingshan Mountains. Low suitable sites occurred in some regions of Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi and Shaanxi. Besides, and there were some sporadic low suitable areas in the middle regions of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and Gansu Province. Variable importance analysis showed that the variables relevant to precipitation had more significant effects on the geographic distribution of A. pedunculata. These results have important implications for resource conservation and ecology including the revegetation of semi-arid ecosystems.

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Biodiv Sci   
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)
The state’s will, scientific decision and citizen participation: in memory of the first provincial species red list in China
Zhigang Jiang, Keping Ma
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (7): 794-795.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017198
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Cited: CSCD(2)
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Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (10): 0-0.  
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A catalogue of animal type specimens from the Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site, China
Youbing Zhou, Xiaolin Yu, Nan Wu, Guozhen Shen, Gaoming Xiong, Wenting Xu, Dayong Fan, Changming Zhao, Zongqiang Xie
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 513-517.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017032
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Type specimens provide the taxonomic basis for publishing and naming new species, and thus have scientific importance. Mt. Shennongjia is the highest mountain in Central China, and its unique fauna and flora have attracted global attention and interest from naturalists for centuries. Based on historical literature, we provide an updated catalogue of animal type specimens from the Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site, where a total of 275 species of type specimens belonging to 3 phyla, 5 classes, 22 orders, 91 families, and 170 genera have been collected. The first catalogue of type specimens in Shennongjia occurred in 1960, with two subsequent peaks in collection occurring in 1977-1986 and in 2009. The time delay between collection and publication varied from 0 to 34 years, however, most type descriptions were published within 10 years of collection (222, 80.73%). Species were published in 163 scientific papers, mostly authored by domestic scholars (245, 89.09%). These type specimens are currently deposited across 62 institutions and in private collections. Our comprehensive and integrative curation of these animal type specimens meets the requirements of the World Heritage Centre, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to further improve site management and conservation. Recent publications described several new species, suggesting that the number of species in the Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site may have been underestimated and further surveys should be undertaken in the future.

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Cited: Baidu(1)
The best case in the history of International Botanical Congress and biodiversity science receiving special attention in the 19th IBC
Keping Ma
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (8): 797-798.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017222
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Molecular and morphological evidence for natural hybridization between Rhododendron decorum and R. delavayi (Ericaceae)
Shuoli Zheng, Xiaoling Tian, Chengling Huang, Lingjun Wang, Yuan Feng, Jingli Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (6): 627-637.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017090
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The southwestern region of China is the center of differentiation for the genus Rhododendron. Studies on the natural hybridization of Rhododendron provide solutions for taxonomic problems and enhance the ability to breed new cultivars faster. In this paper, we compared the morphological features and sequenced nuclear internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and chloroplast trnL-trnF, rbcL, trnH-psbA for Rhododendron decorum, R. delavayi, and the putative hybrid offspring of these two species. All samples in this study were collected from Baili Rhododendron Nature Reserve in Guizhou Province, the Shibao Mountain of Yunnan Province and Kunming Botanical Garden. Results showed that all putative hybrids (natural and artificial) produced an intermediate morphology. Sequencing results revealed that all artificial hybrids and one collected from the Shibao Mountain inherited cpDNA from R. decorum, and all putative hybrids collected from Baili Rhododendron Nature Reserve and six from Shibao Mountain inherited cpDNA from R. delavayi. In this study, we have confirmed that natural hybridization between R. decorum and R. delavayi exists in the Guizhou and Yunnan sites. Hybridization was bilateral, and most of the hybrids were derived from maternal parent R. delavayi.

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Diversity investigation and application of DNA barcoding of Acridoidea from Baiyangdian Wetland
Jinfeng Hao, Xiaohong Zhang, Yusong Wang, Jinlin Liu, Yongchao Zhi, Xinjiang Li
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 409-417.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016331
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Both the species diversity and distribution pattern of the superfamily Acridoidea of the suborder Caelifera have important contributions to understanding the local biodiversity of the Baiyangdian Wetland. This research tries to study the species diversity and distribution pattern of the superfamily Acridoidea within the Baiyangdian Wetland and test the feasibility of DNA barcoding in species identification for this superfamily. Sequences of the cox1 gene were obtained from 97 individuals of 21 species of the superfamily Acridoidea. Phylogenetic, genetic distance and sequence difference threshold analyses using the Neighbor Joining (NJ), Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD) and Molecular Defined Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTU) methods, respectively, were performed for these and the 25 additional sequences of 10 species downloaded from GenBank. The results indicate that there are 34 species, 23 genera, and 6 families of the superfamily Acridoidea insects around the farmland, dam, and grassland of the Baiyangdian Wetland, including a new-record genus, Euchorthippus, and three new-record species, Euchorthippus unicolor, Atractomorpha psittacina and Oxya japonica. The DNA barcoding technology therefore is very efficient and helpful for identifying the species of the superfamily Acridoidea, although the morphological approach is still playing a key role in the species identifications.

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Assessing the threat status of China’s bryophytes
Qiang He, Yu Jia
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (7): 774-780.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016205
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In this paper, the assessment principles of the endangered categories of Chinese bryophytes are expanded. This principle mainly refer to “IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 3.1”, and also include results from other bryologists. The authors propose that those taxa published in the past ten years temporarily be classified as Data Deficient (DD), and estimate population sizes for all taxa be made based on herbarium specimens. A total of 3,221 taxa of Chinese bryophytes were evaluated based on the above principles and methods. Sixteen species were identified as Critically Endangered (CR), 58 species as Endangered (EN), 112 species as Vulnerable (VU), 214 species as Near Threatened (NT), 1,900 species as of Least Concern (LC), and 921 species are classified as Data Deficient (DD). Overall, 186 species of bryophytes (5.77% of the bryophytes found in China) were identified as threatened (including CR, EN, and VU).

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Cited: CSCD(2)
Natural hybridization: a nightmare or a delight to biodiversity?
Yuehong Yan, Ming Kang, Yongpeng Ma, Renchao Zhou
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (6): 561-564.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017180
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Red list assessment and conservation status of gymnosperms from China
Yong Yang, Bing Liu, Dennis M. Njenga
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (7): 758-764.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017145
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Based on the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (Version 3.1), we assessed native gymnosperm species and infraspecific taxa found in China between March of 2010 and December of 2012. Results indicated that 37 species were critically endangered (CR), 35 species were endangered (EN), 76 species were vulnerable (VU), 87 species were of least concern (LC), and 16 species were data deficient (DD). Up to 59% of the 251 native species of gymnosperms found in China were classified as threatened. Threatening factors impacting gymnosperm species in China were ascribed into seven categories, among which habitat degradation, restricted distribution, and over exploitation were listed as the top three threats. According to results of red list assessments and conservation practices of gymnosperms in China, we propose that conservation of endangered gymnosperm species should have a targeted program. Otherwise, over-protection could result in additional threats to endangered species.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
Evaluating the endangerment status of China’s angiosperms through the red list assessment
Haining Qin, Lina Zhao, Shengxiang Yu, Huiyuan Liu, Bo Liu, Nianhe Xia, Hua Peng, Zhenyu Li, Zhixiang Zhang, Xingjin He, Linke Yin, Yulin Lin, Quanru Liu, Yuantong Hou, Yan Liu, Qixin Liu, Wei Cao, Jianqiang Li, Shilong Chen, Xiaohua Jin, Tiangang Gao, Wenli Chen, Haiying Ma, Yuying Geng, Xiaofeng Jin, Chaoyang Chang, Hong Jiang, Lei Cai, Chunxin Zang, Jianyong Wu, Jianfei Ye, Yangjun Lai, Bing Liu, Qinwen Lin, Naxin Xue
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (7): 745-757.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017156
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All known species of Angiosperms in China were evaluated according to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition and the Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels, Version 4.0. Of the 30,068 species evaluated, 21 species were found Extinct (EX), 9 species were Extinct in the Wild (EW), 10 species were Regionally Extinct (RE), 518 species were Critically Endangered (CR), 1,152 species were Endangered (EN), 1,693 species were Vulnerable (VU), 2,538 species were Near Threatened (NT), 21,132 species were Least Concern (LC), and 2,995 species were Data Deficient (DD). The results show that 3,363 species, representing 11.2% of the evaluated species, were identified as threatened (CR, EN and VU). The main portion of threatened species occurs below 2,000 m elevation in southwestern and southern China. Habitat loss and degradation, over-collecting by humans, and intrinsic factors are the three leading threats to angiosperms in China. Comparisons of the status of taxa on this Red List to those evaluated by Wang & Xie (2004) show changes in the names and categories of some taxa due to land use pressures, the impact of conservation measures to improve the status of some species as well as new information, such as from taxonomic revisions. Therefore, there is a need for future data collection and reevaluation of the red list.

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