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Red List of China’s Vertebrates
Zhigang Jiang, Jianping Jiang, Yuezhao Wang, E Zhang, Yanyun Zhang, Lili Li, Feng Xie, Bo Cai, Liang Cao, Guangmei Zheng, Lu Dong, Zhengwang Zhang, Ping Ding, Zhenhua Luo, Changqing Ding, Zhijun Ma, Songhua Tang, Wenxuan Cao, Chunwang Li, Huijian Hu, Yong Ma, Yi Wu, Yingxiang Wang, Kaiya Zhou, Shaoying Liu, Yueying Chen, Jiatang Li, Zuojian Feng, Yan Wang, Bin Wang, Cheng Li, Xuelin Song, Lei Cai, Chunxin Zang, Yan Zeng, Zhibin Meng, Hongxia Fang, Xiaoge Ping
Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (5): 500-551.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016076
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Cited: CSCD(40)
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Biodiv Sci   
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)
Faunal communities of deep soil layers in suburban Beijing
Wei Mo,Zhiliang Wang,You Li,Jianjun Guo,Runzhi Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (3): 248-257.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018027
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In order to reveal composition of faunal communities in deep soil, we investigated soil at 30 and 55 cm at the Olympic Campus of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a suburb of Beijing using trap collectors. A total of 10,163 individuals representing 20 orders belonging to ten classes and three phyla were captured in eight surveys carried out over five years. The dominant groups were Hymenoptera (61.0%), Acarina (12.1%) and Collembola (11.2%). The individuals and groups in the 30 cm soil layer were greater than at 55 cm. The dominant group of the 30 cm soil layer was Hymenoptera (69.4%) while at 55 cm, Hymenoptera (45.7%), Acarina (21.8%) and Collembola (16.4%) were all dominant. The number of individuals and groups recorded from April to October was greater than October to April of the next year. Annelida appeared only between October to April of the next year, while Thysanoptera, Psocoptera, Dermaptera appeared only between April to October. The lowest Jaccard value of soil faunal communities in different vegetation forms was 0.75. None of Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson dominance index and Pielou evenness index showed significant differences between different vegetation types (P > 0.05). The results showed that there were abundant soil faunal communities in deep soil. The number of individuals and groups decreased with increasing soil depth. Soil faunal community structure was different in different seasons and the composition was highly similar between different vegetation types.

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The categorization and analysis on the geographic distribution patterns of Chinese alien invasive plants
Xiaoling Yan,Quanru Liu,Haiyang Shou,Xianfeng Zeng,Yong Zhang,Li Chen,Yan Liu,Haiying Ma,Shuyan Qi,Jinshuang Ma
Biodiv Sci    2014, 22 (5): 667-676.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14069
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We used the literature, field investigations, specimen records and taxonomic research to categorize 515 alien invasive plant species from 72 families and 285 genera reported from China according to their biological and ecological characters, extent of spread within China, and amount of damage caused. Each species was put into one of 5 categories: malignant invasion (34 species), serious invasion (69 species), local invasion (85 species), general invasion (80 species), and species requiring further observation (247 species). According to our analyses of geographic distributional patterns, Chinese alien invasive plants were highly concentrated in the southwestern and eastern coastal provinces of China, and were rapidly spreading to inland China. These categories and distributional patterns of alien invasive plants could help to assess and control their invasive risk. Our results provide baseline information on Chinese alien invasive plants; and, at the same time, we put forward preliminary suggestions for further study, public education and the management of the important alien invasive plants in China.

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Cited: CSCD(19)
Families and genera of Chinese angiosperms: a synoptic classification based on APG III
Bing Liu,Jianfei Ye,Su Liu,Yuan Wang,Yong Yang,Yangjun Lai,Gang Zeng,Qinwen Lin
Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (2): 225-231.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015052
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Angiosperms constitute the most diverse lineage of higher plants and are represented by ca. 300,000 living species that dominate the vegetation of terrestrial ecosystems. Number and composition of families, genera, and species are important to understanding global and regional biodiversity. Due to the rapid development of molecular systematics, circumscriptions of many traditional angiosperm families and genera have been revised. This study investigates circumscriptions of families and genera of native and introduced angiosperms in China according to the APG III classification system and recent phylogenetic studies. Results showed that there are 258 native and 55 introduced families (including 6 naturalized families), and 2,872 native and 1,605 introduced genera (including 152 naturalized genera) in China. A brief introduction to the historical and recent changes of circumscriptions of families and genera occurring in China was also provided. Our list included 115 newly recorded families and 1,729 newly recorded genera when compared to Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae, and 85 newly recorded families and 1,531newly recorded genera when compared to Flora of China.

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Cited: CSCD(7)
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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Some scientific questions for ecosystem services
GUO Zhong-Wei, GAN Ya-Ling
Biodiv Sci    2003, 11 (1): 63-69.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2003009
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Ecosystem services and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the Earth′s life supporting system. They contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent part of the total economic value of the planet. Four scientific quastions about the functions of ecosystem services are discussed in this paper. They are: 1) study of the integration, amount and spatial location of functions of ecosystem services; 2) the spatial transfer of functions of ecosystem services; 3) the relationship between ecosystem service and ecological security; and 4) the sustainable use of ecosystem services. The heterogeneity in the structure of ecosystem's results in heterogeneity of their functions. Consequentially, there is spatial heterogeneity in the functions of ecosystem services. Thus, it is necessary to analyze the functions of ecosystem services by qualitative, quantitative and spatial means. Some functions of ecosystem services can be transferred spatially by various methods, and produce benefits at areas far removed from their habitats and range of suitable conditions. This phenomenon is called spatial transfer of ecosystem services. Thus, characteristic ecosystem services can bring economic values to a region of larger area than that covered by the ecosystem′s habitats. Ecosystem services provide supporting system for humans, and their strengths depend on ecological capital stock. Ecological capital stock illustrates the capability of sustainable development of a country. Ecological capital stock of an ecosystem relies in turn on the function and the structure of the ecosystem. Endangerment of ecosystem service raises a question for ecological security. In many regions ecological resources are rare. To use ecological resources sustainably, local communities should be urged to develop their economies by means of managing ecosystem services, i.e., to industrialize the management of ecosystem services. These four scientific questions for ecosystem services are related to each other. The aim of discussing them is to focus study on ecosystem services in the future.
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Biodiv Sci   
China’s mammalian diversity
Zhigang Jiang,Yong Ma,Yi Wu,Yingxiang Wang,Zuojian Feng,Kaiya Zhou,Shaoying Liu,Zhenhua Luo,Chunwang Li
Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (3): 351-364.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014202
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China’s mammalian fauna is unique: it possesses the endemic species and genera of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; it has the relic families, Ailuropodidae and Lipotidae, of the Tertiary Period; more than half of the species of the Ochotonidae in the country are endemic; furthermore China is also the country with world most abundant ungulate diversity. In the new millennia, changes to the taxonomy of mammals of world were proposed. New mammalian species and new mammals were reported in China. Thus it is necessary to renew the inventory of China’s mammal diversity. During the compiling of The Red List of Endangered Species in China: Mammals, we collected the available data on China’s mammals (including those of Taiwan) and formed The Checklist of China’s Mammal Species 2015. For taxonomy of orders, we followed the existing theory using molecular phylogeny whereas for the classification of families and the taxa below family level, we followed the A Complete Checklist of Mammal Species and Subspecies in China: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference by Wang (2003) and Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference by Wilson & Reeder (2005). We also adopted Ungulate Taxonomy by Groves & Grubb (2011) to classify the ungulates in China. The initial list included species recorded in taxonomic books and field guides, new species and new records in literature before March 31, 2015. After five evaluation meetings and two rounds of evaluation by correspondence, we finalized The Checklist of China’s Mammal Species 2015, which includes 12 orders, 55 families, 245 genera and 673 species. Among those species, 18 new species (including 11 discovered with molecular biology methods, the validity of the species are still in dispute among zoologists), 18 new species records in country, and 60 subspecies were elevated to the status of species were added to the checklist. According to literature and expertise, we deleted 52 species which are not found in China. Of them, specimens of some species were collected only once, and then never been found again during following surveys. Taxonomists hold different opinions on 20 Glires, and those species need further investigation. Compared with the data of IUCN Red List (2014), the number of mammal species in China recorded in the study is surpassed that of Indonisia (670), China became the country with the most abundant mammal species in the world. The mammals in China accounted for 12.3% of the world total numbers of mammalian species. There are 150 endemic mammals in China, which accounted for 22.3% of the national total. 43% of the species in Lagomorpha are endemics to the country. The endemic ratio of Ochotonidae is even higher, 52% of the total. Endemic ratio of Eulipotyphla is 35%. About one fifth of Primates, Chiroptera and Rodentia in China are also endemics, including 12 new bat species discovered in the country during recent decade. The Checklist of China’s Mammal Species 2015 provides the most updated baseline information for biodiversity research and conservation.

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Cited: CSCD(3)
Seasonal variations in macrobenthic communities in the subtidal zones of Jiaozhou Bay
Mei Yang,Xinzheng Li,Yong Xu,Hongfa Wang,Baolin Zhang
Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (7): 820-830.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015264
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Jiaozhou Bay is a semi-enclosed bay at the southern shore of Shandong Peninsula and has abundant macrobenthic species. In present study, the seasonal variation of the macrobenthic community in this bay was analyzed based on data collected from four cruises in February (winter), May (spring), August (summer) and November (autumn) of 2014. A total of 199 macrobenthic species were identified, of which, 79 species were Polychaeta, 47 were Crustacea, 40 were Mollusca, 17 were Echinodermata, and the remaining 16 species belong to other animal groups. The composition of dominant species seasonally varied, however, most of them were species belong to Polychaeta. The average abundance of the macrobenthos from the four cruises was 209.85 ind./m2, with the highest abundance found in the autumn cruise and the lowest in the spring cruise. The average biomass from the four cruises was 79.22 g/m2, with the highest biomass found during the summer cruise and the lowest found during the spring cruise. The Shannon-Wiener index (H') of the macrobenthic community varied from 2.16 to 2.86, the species richness index (D) varied from 2.79 to 3.72 and the species evenness index (J) varied from 0.58 to 0.82. The Bray-Curtis similarity cluster analysis and NMDS ordination analyses indicated that the similarity among macrobenthic community groups was low and the distribution pattern of microbenthic animal groups showed seasonal characteristics. In recent years, with the rapid economic development of coastal zones and the continuous impact of human activities, the stability of the benthonic community in Jiaozhou Bay is threatened, therefore, long-term monitoring is recommended and effective comprehensive management measures need to be explored to result in the healthy and sustainable development of the marine ecosystem in Jiaozhou Bay.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
A method for assessing species diversity conservation value of nature reserves
Ziliang Guo,Shaohua Xing,Guofa Cui
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (3): 312-324.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016350
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In order to provide a scientific basis for upgrading the level of a nature reserve (NR) and selecting the appropriate management type, the conservation priority of NRs should be identified. How to objectively identify conservation priorities has become a key problem. We propose a mathematical method to comprehensively assess species diversity conservation values by comparing existing evaluation indexes and methods, consulting experts and processing indexes quantitatively. This evaluation method includes the following indices: the wild plant diversity conservation value index; wild animal diversity conservation value index; rare and endangered wild plant diversity conservation value index; and the rare and endangered wild animal diversity conservation value index of a NR. Meanwhile, 39 NRs in North China Warm Temperate Region and 67 NRs in Northeast China Temperate Region were selected as case studies to verify methods, based on species diversity data of the NRs. The evaluation results revealed that some provincial NRs could be recommended for an upgrade to national NRs, due to high species diversity conservation values, including the Nandagang Wetland and Liaohe River Source NRs of Hebei, Wuling Mountain NR of Beijing in the North China Warm Temperate Region, the Jingpo Lake, Dajia River, and Cuibei Wetland NRs of Heilongjiang in the Northeast China Temperate Region. The computation method showed a great advantage in comparing species (various groups) diversity conservation values for different NRs and determining the conservation priority sequence. Moreover, there were significant differences in the species diversity conservation value of NR among different natural conservation geographical areas, and types of NRs.

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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)
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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Soil microbial diversity observation in China: current situation and future consideration
Xiangzhen Li,Liangdong Guo,Jiabao Li,Minjie Yao
Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (11): 1240-1248.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015345
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Soil microbial diversity has not been extensively observed due to technique limitations. With the development of the high-throughput sequencing technique and bioinformatics, much progress has been made in observations of microbial diversity. Currently, international microbiome initiatives have been founded (including the Earth Microbial Project). However, problems in these projects include a lack of dynamic observations, differences in observational methods, and data integration. The soil microbial observation network (SMON) is an important part of the Chinese Biodiversity Monitoring and Research Network (Sino BON). The observational network initially selected field observation sites in forest ecosystems along a temperature and precipitation gradient from south to north, in grassland ecosystems along a precipitation transect from east to west, and in typical wetland and agricultural ecosystems in China. Field ecological observation stations have been established in these selected ecosystems. Key tasks for the SMON are to observe spatial and temporal dynamics of soil microbial communities and functional genes in various ecosystems, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, and lichens. Observational data will be published periodically in the format of database, annals, and illustrated handbooks. Key methods used in the SMON are high- throughput sequencing, metagenomics, and bioinformatics. A soil biota database is currently being constructed to store observational data for public inquiry and analysis. Through the efforts of SMON, we plan to explore the driving mechanisms of spatial and temporal variations of soil microbial communities and their functional genes, and understand the relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function, in order to predict microbial dynamics under global environmental change scenarios, and to design strategies to protect soil microbial diversity and properly utilize microbial resources.

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Current research and development trends in floristic geography
Hang Sun,Tao Deng,Yongsheng Chen,Zhuo Zhou
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (2): 111-122.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016253
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This paper summarizes the research status, existing issues, and trends in floristic geography. There is now a wealth of research accumulation on floristic investigations, distribution types of genera, floristic regions, and regional floristic analysis. It is also noted that most of these studies utilize simple statistical analyses, comparative studies, traditional methods, and single subjects, to provide a basic understanding and description of the floristic phenomenon, which is lacking spatial pattern formation processes and detailed exploration of formation mechanisms. Additionally, there are still some weak and non-existent areas of botanical investigation. Many existing specimens lack detailed or accurate information and the precise identification of plant species also needs to be much improved. At the same time, when analyzing the development trends of floristic geography, with the rapid development of related disciplines, including the development of biogeography and analysis methods and improvements, floristic geography research is an area of multidisciplinary integration, comprehensive research, and analysis. On the one hand, using database information, and combining ecology, paleobotany, and geology can allow us to probe into spatial pattern formation. On the other hand, combining phylogenetics, the tree of life, and molecular biogeography allow us to reveal floristic origins and evolution. The rapid development of various disciplines has given rise to a large amount of data, meanwhile, the emergence and application of new analytical methods and theories incorporate big data into floristic geography research, which will enhance qualitative understanding and description, and allow us to further explore the mechanisms of formation quantitatively.

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Cited: CSCD(2)
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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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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Phylogeography of East Asia’s Tertiary relict plants: current progress and future prospects
Yingxiong Qiu,Qixiang Lu,Yonghua Zhang,Yanan Cao
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (2): 136-146.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016292
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In this review, based on recent studies of population genetics and phylogeographics of East Asia’s Tertiary relict plants, we have outlined the main phylogeographic patterns and processes. We also summarize common geographic and environmental factors which may contribute to the phylogeographic patterns of East Asia’s Tertiary relict plants and present future challenges and research prospects. There are four recurrent phylogeographic scenarios identified by different case studies, including: (1) the global cooling and aridification during the Middle and Late Miocene induced recent speciation, with climate change during the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene accounting for their intra-specific lineage divergence, genetic diversification and demographic expansion/contraction. The latitudinal contraction/expansion can lead to the formation of “suture zone” for some relict plants; (2) the effects of the formation of the glacial East China Sea land bridge, as a “corridor” or “filter”, have to account not only for habitat preferences per se but also for other biological features of different relict plant species; (3) the uplift of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) during the Late Pliocene and the intensification of East Asian monsoon system (EAMS) are the most suggestive factors responsible for the major phylogeographic break between the western and eastern lineages across the Sichuan Basin and northwestern arid regions; and (4) some Tertiary relict plants migrated southward to Taiwan from mainland China or Japan before the Pleistocene under global climatic cooling and aridification since the Late Miocene, and refugial isolation that occurred between Taiwan and mainland Asia accelerated vicariant lineage diversification and speciation. Overall, both historical and contemporary geography and environment have affected the distribution, genetic diversity, lineage divergence and speciation of East Asia’s Tertiary relict plants. Finally, we emphasize notable gaps in our knowledge due to the long-term application of simple molecular clock based on very limited genetic markers, and outline future research prospects for disentangling the evolution and biogeographic history of East Asia’s Tertiary relict flora. We present the utilization of genome data and biogeography models and integrative phylogeographic research of multi-taxon communities as possible future directions.

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Development of foreign ecological protected areas and linkages to ecological protection redline delineation and management in China
Dong Liu,Naifeng Lin,Changxin Zou,Guangyong You
Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (6): 708-715.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015131
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Ecological protection redline (EPR) is a new concept recently put forward in the Environmental Protection Law of the People's Republic of China and the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. Policy regarding the implementation of protection is strictest in EPR areas. Although there was no EPR worldwide previously, most countries had established protected areas, a similar practice to EPR, in natural or near natural areas, aiming at protecting species, habitats and ecosystems. In this paper, we summarize the ecological protection systems and their management practice executed by IUCN and in other foreign countries (USA, EU, Russia, Japan, etc.) based on relevant literature. Ecological protection areas range from 5% to 40% for most countries. In these countries, a specific management system is either governed by a special protection management department or a multi-sectoral management division. Different management and control measures are decided according to the human activity intensities. Based on gap analysis research in China’s presently protected areas and problems in classification management of protected areas, we suggest integrating and optimizing different types of protected areas by evalua- ting their importance and sensitivity. Land with important ecological service, biodiversity and habitat protection functions should be preferentially included in EPR. The area ratio assigned to EPR should be up to 30% of the total land area. We propose that unified supervision and management by China’s environmental protection departments should be strengthened, establishing EPR management laws and regulations, and implementing different management measures according to its classifications.

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Estimating population abundance and utilization of Rhinogobio ventralis, an endemic fish species in the upper Yangtze River
Fei Xiong,Hongyan Liu,Xinbin Duan,Shaoping Liu,Daqing Chen
Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (3): 304-312.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015268
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Rhinogobio ventralis, an endemic species in the upper Yangtze River, has been threatened by overfishing and dam construction. To understand its population dynamics after the Three Gorges Reservoir was built and before the Xiangjiaba and Xiluodu reservoirs were built, we employed body length-frequency data to estimate growth and mortality parameters, population abundance and utilization of the fish based on surveys in the Jiangjin and Yibin sections of the upper Yangtze River conducted from 2007-2009. Fish ranged from 52 to 250 mm in length and 2.7 to 307.2 g in weight, with an average length of 150.8 ± 40.7 mm and an average weight of 72.3 ± 49.7 g. The average size of the fish in the Jiangjin section of the Yangtze River (168.6 ± 29.5 mm) was significantly larger than that in Yibin section (125.6 ± 41.2 mm). The length-weight relationship of R. ventralis was well-fit with a power function, W = 6.06 × 10-6 L3.20 (R2 = 0.98, P < 0.01, n = 436). Asymptotic length (L) and growth constant (k) were estimated using length frequency data as 338 mm and 0.24/yr, respectively. Average natural mortality was comprehensively estimated as 0.43 using three empirical formulas proposed by Pauly, Gunderson & Dygert, and Jensen, respectively. The total mortalities were estimated using a length-converted catch curve analysis as 2.26 in the Jiangjin section and 2.09 in the Yibin section of the Yangtze River. The observed exploitation rates were 0.81 in the Jiangjin section and 0.79 in the Yibin section, which were higher than the maximum exploitation rates of 0.57 in the Jiangjin section and 0.62 in the Yibin section that were estimated using Beverton & Holt Y′/R analysis. Population abundance of R. ventralis in the Jiangjin section was estimated by length-structured virtual population analysis as 68,247 in 2007, 67,432 in 2008, and 176,266 in 2009, respectively, with an average of 103,982; while abundance in the Yibin section was estimated as 22,953 in 2007, 46,340 in 2008, and 34,021 in 2009, respectively, with an average of 34,438, indicating the population abundance was higher in the Jiangjin section than the Yibin section. We conclude that overfishing is occurring in these stocks of R. ventralis and recommend a longer period of monitoring in order to understand population dynamics of R. ventralis. We further suggest that management authorities establish a longer closed period for fishing and undertake habitat restoration to protect the endemic fish species.

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Perspectives and prospects of unmanned aerial vehicle in remote sensing monitoring of biodiversity
Qinghua Guo,Fangfang Wu,Tianyu Hu,Linhai Chen,Jin Liu,Xiaoqian Zhao,Shang Gao,Shuxin Pang
Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (11): 1267-1278.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016105
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During the past decade, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) based remote sensing has been increasingly used in the fields of vegetation inventory, natural resource management, and biodiversity conservation, due to its low cost and high flexibility. In this study, we present a reference for the selection of UAV platforms and remote sensing sensors, by introducing a UAV classification system and summarizing applicability in biodiversity monitoring using remote sensing techniques. For each UAV platform category, we also introduce the characteristics and capabilities of different remote sensing sensors that can be supported. Moreover, through the combination of a case study which collected high-fidelity UAV-based remotely sensed data, we discuss current research progress using UAV-borne remote sensing data to derive direct and indirect biodiversity parameters. Finally, we discuss the current limitations of UAV-based remote sensing platforms for biodiversity monitoring, such as the existing gap between hardware and software, the high cost of certain components (e.g. the initial measurement unit), incomplete laws and regulations, and the disconnect with traditional biodiversity monitoring methods. In summary, we believe that UAV-based remote sensing platforms can greatly help to fill the gaps between terrestrial measurements and aerial/spaceborne measurements, and can increase the accuracy and reliability of upscaling point-based terrestrial measurements to the regional scale. There is a need to launch more projects that address building a UAV-based biodiversity monitoring network, and therefore improve our capability to analyze and forecast biodiversity changes in hotspots.

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Phenotypic characteristics and phylogenetic analysis of crude oil degrading bacteria
HAN Ru-Yang, MIN Hang, CHENG Zhi-Qiang, LIU Liang-Hao
Biodiv Sci    2002, 10 (2): 202-207.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2002026
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Ten strains of crude oil degrading bacteria were isolated from three soil samples. The isolates were Gram-negative, aerobic, non-spore-forming rods. All of the ten isolates were able to grow on nalkanes with medium length, diesel fuel and crude oil, but not polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Based on phenotypic characteristics and 16S rDNA sequence analysis, ten isolates were identified as Pseudomona spp. (strain EVA5,EVA6,EVA7,EVA8,EVA9) and Acinetobacter spp. (strain EVA10, EVA11,EVA12,EVA13, EVA14), respectively.
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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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The distribution and introduction pathway of alien invasive species in China
XU Hai-Gen, QIANG Sheng, HAN Zheng-Min, GUO Jian-Ying, HUANG Zong-Guo, SUN Hong-Ying, 6, HE Shun-Ping, 7, DING Hui, WU Hai-Rong, WAN Fang-Hao
Biodiv Sci    2004, 12 (6): 626-638.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2004078
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Alien invasive species have become a serious environmental issue throughout the world. It is necessary to launch a nationwide investigation on alien invasive species, so as to obtain baseline data, identify causes of invasion, and put forward effective control strategies and measures. Data on classification, origin, pathway and environmental impacts of alien invasive micro-organisms, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, weeds, trees in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and alien invasive species in marine ecosystems of China were analyzed, based on literature research, field survey and consultation. 283 alien invasive species have been identified in China, and the number of species of alien invasive micro-organisms, aquatic plants, terrestrial plants, aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, fish, and mammals were 19, 18, 170, 25, 33, 3, 10, and 5, respectively. The proportion of alien invasive species originating from America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania were 55.1%, 21.7%, 9.9%, 8.1% and 0.6%, respectively. Many institutions and individuals in China lack adequate knowledge of ecological and environmental consequences caused by alien invasive species, with some blindness in the introduction of alien species. For instance, 50.0% of alien invasive plants were intentionally introduced as pasture, feed stock, ornamental plants, textile plants, medicinal plants, vegetables, or lawn plants. 25% of alien invasive animals were intentionally introduced for cultivation, recreation, or biological control. In addition, much effort has been made on introduction of alien species, and little attention has been paid to the management of introduced alien species, which may allow their escape into natural environments and potential threats to the environment. There are also gaps in the quarantine system in China. All invasive micro-organisms were unintentionally introduced, through timber, seedlings, flowerpots, or soil. 76.3% of alien invasive animals invaded through commodity or transportation facilities because of the failure of quarantine. It is recommended that quarantine measures should be strictly implemented. At the same time, the intentional introduction of alien species should be strictly managed and a system of risk assessment should be implemented.
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“The integrative species concept” and “species on the speciation way”
Jianquan Liu
Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (9): 1004-1008.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016222
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One of the diverse species concepts defined before may only perceive one aspect of the mature species like “the blind men feel the elephant” while the mature species at the final speciation stage should have integrated all species concepts. Most “species” in the nature are on the way to the final speciation stage. However, before reaching the final speciation stage, these species undertake further cycles of speciation. Species from the repeated splits of the incomplete divergences show incomplete reproductive isolations, frequent interspecific gene flow and reticulate evolutions. In addition, the earliest divergent gene differs between different pairs of species. Therefore, the divergence orders for different species concepts vary greatly between organisms. Such random divergences lead to the extreme difficulty to define a common and accurate species concept for all “species” on the speciation way. It is better to delimitate species, publish new species and conduct taxonomic revisions based on conditions and approaches of as many species concepts as possible. In addition, incomplete reproductive isolations, limited interspecific gene flow and some ‘abnormal’ individuals not ascribed to any species due to interspecific hybridizations and within-population mutations should be widely acknowledged during species delimitations. Such circumscribed species may be more objective and scientific than previously delimitated based only on one single species concept.

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The current status and conservation of otters on the coastal islands of Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, China
Fei Li, Xi Zheng, Huarong Zhang, Jianhuan Yang, Bosco Pui Lok Chan
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (8): 840-846.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017130
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Otters are rare and threatened in China, but both research and conservation efforts on this specialized group of mammals are largely overlooked. To provide baseline information on the current conservation status of otters in coastal Guangdong Province, we conducted rapid otter surveys using semi-structured interviews, transects, camera-trapping surveys, and a molecular study of the coastal islands of Zhuhai City between September 2016 and March 2017. Data collected suggested a dramatic decline of otter populations and the local extirpation of otters was reported on several islands. The discovery of a remnant population of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) on Hengqin Island provides hopes for the recovery of this species in South China. Nonetheless, the future of Hengqin’s otter is at stake due to the rapid urbanization of suitable habitats for economic development. To ensure its continual survival, critical habitats on Hengqin Island should be strictly protected as soon as possible. Furthermore, systematic, otter-specific surveys should be conducted in other coastal areas of China, to best devise a national otter conservation plan.

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Location determination of ecologically vulnerable regions in China
Junhui Liu,Changxin Zou,Jixi Gao,Su Ma,Wenjie Wang,Kun Wu,Yang Liu
Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (6): 725-732.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015147
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Ecologically vulnerable regions in China are not only the most serious areas of environmental degradation, but also the most poverty-stricken regions. However, these regions are still undefined. Three typical factors including land desertification, soil erosion and rocky desertification were selected to establish an evaluation model of eco-environmental sensitivity by using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. We conducted a comprehensive research on eco-environmental sensitivity to reveal its spatial features in a quantitative way in China, and redefine the location of ecologically vulnerable regions integrated with the existing relevant government documents and the previous research. Results are demonstrated as follows: the extremely sensitive areas are distributed in northwestern, southwestern, southeastern parts of China and loess hilly regions; the highly sensitive areas are located in the Altai Mountains, the Tianshan Mountains, the southern part of Yinshan Mountains, the Horqin Sandy Land, the Hulun Buir Sandy Land, the western part of Chang Tang Plateau, the Hengduan Mountains and the hilly mountains regions in Southeast China. A total of 18 ecological vulnerable regions in China were defined, comprising a total area of 2.4 million km2. The name, type, area, spatial distribution and the main ecological problems of each region were characterized. The spatial distribution map of ecologically vulnerable regions in China can be used as a base map for the redline delimitation of national ecological protection.

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Cited: CSCD(5)
Species composition and seasonal variation of netz-phytoplankton in the eastern marginal China seas
Qianqian Zhou, Changping Chen, Junrong Liang, Yahui Gao
Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (1): 23-32.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014103
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The abundance and seasonal variation of phytoplankton were studied in the eastern marginal China seas (25.00°–39.00° N, 118.00°–129.00° E). Based on surveys in June and July 2006, January and February 2007, November 2007 and April and May 2009, we analyzed the species composition, community structure, and cell density of netz-phytoplankton (mesh size 77 μm). A total of 257 phytoplankton species were identified, belonging to 70 genera and 4 classes. Bacillariolhyta was the dominant functional group, followed by Pyrrophyta. The dominant species were Skeletonema spp., Thalassiosira subtilis, T. scrotiformis, Thalassionema frauenfeldii, T. nitzschioides, Paralia sulcata, Chaetoceros lorenzianus, C. curvisetus, Pseudo-nitzschia pungens and Noctiluca scintillans. The cell density of the phytoplankton ranged from 0.02×104 cells/m3 in the Yellow Sea in winter to 31,350.21×104 cells/m3 in the Yangtze River in spring. Overall phytoplankton cell density showed the following seasonal trend: spring > summer > autumn > winter.

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Cited: CSCD(1)
On Chinese forest canopy biodiversity monitoring
Hao Shen,Jianing Cai,Mengjiao Li,Qing Chen,Wanhui Ye,Zhengfeng Wang,Juyu Lian,Liang Song
Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (3): 229-236.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016294
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As the most direct and active ecological interface of the interaction between forest and its environment, the forest canopy, known as the earth’s “eighth continent”, contains the greatest forest biological diversity, and plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of biodiversity as well as the processes and functions of the ecosystem. However, the forest canopy is highly sensitive to global climate change and human disturbance. In the wake of increasing human activities and global climate change, the forest ecosystem, especially the forest canopy, is facing a serious threat. Therefore, protection of forest canopy biodiversity and sustainable utilization are increasingly important issues in modern ecology research under the scenarios of climate change, and have gained more and more attention in the fields of forest ecology, climatology, and environmental science. Accordingly, in 2015, the Chinese Forest Canopy Biodiversity Monitoring Network was created within the framework of Sino BON. This network includes biodiversity monitoring plots those were or will be equipped with forest canopy cranes. According to international standards, the network will unify monitoring parameters of forest canopy biodiversity using monitoring standards and norms, and conduct long-term monitoring of plant diversity (including epiphytic seed plants and epispore plants), fauna diversity, microbial diversity and their dynamic changes, through large scale zonal forest canopies. Combined with monitoring of the microclimate, we will build four dynamic databases (including a forest canopy microclimate database, canopy plant, canopy arthropod, and canopy microbial). The network is expected to discern the change patterns of forest canopy biodiversity of typical forest ecosystems in China, and to reveal how they influence the functioning of forest ecosystems and respond to global change.

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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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Plant functional traits, functional diversity, and ecosystem functioning: current knowledge and perspectives
Lingjie Lei,Deliang Kong,Xiaoming Li,Zhenxing Zhou,Guoyong Li
Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (8): 922-931.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015295
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Increasing attention has recently been focused on the linkages between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning. A comprehensive understanding of these linkages can facilitate to address the ecological consequences of plant species loss induced by human activities and climate change, and provide theoretical support for ecological restoration and ecosystem management. In recent twenty years, the evidence of strong correlations between plant functional traits and changes in ecosystem processes is growing. More importantly, ecosystem functioning can be predicted more precisely, using plant functional trait diversity (i.e., functional diversity) than species diversity. In this paper, we first defined plant functional traits and their important roles in determining ecosystem processes. Then, we review recent advances in the relationships between ecosystem functions and plant functional traits and their diversity. Finally, we propose several important future research directions, including (1) exploration of the relationships between aboveground and belowground plant traits and their roles in determining ecosystem functioning, (2) incorporation of the impacts of consumer and global environmental change into the correlation between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning, (3) effects of functional diversity on ecosystem multifunctionality, and (4) examination of the functional diversity-ecosystem functioning relationship at different temporal and spatial scales.

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Cited: CSCD(7)
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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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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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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Plant DNA barcodes promote the development of phylogenetic community ecology
Nancai Pei, Jinlong Zhang, Xiangcheng Mi, Xuejun Ge
Biodiv Sci    2011, 19 (3): 284-294.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.11250
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There is a dynamic interplay between ecology and evolution within community ecology. Phylogenetic community ecology describes the intraspecific and interspecific relationships within a community, aiming to reveal the processes driving community assembly at multiple scales. Previous research has highlighted the role of phylogenetic and historical biogeographical data in explaining current patterns of global biodiversity. The success of using DNA barcoding in the construction of tropical forest community phylogenies highlights the usefulness and challenges of long-term research on community ecology and phylogenetics based on forest dynamic plots. In this paper, we illustrate the feasibility of a synthesis between community ecology and evolutionary biology in order to resolve particular ecological issues on community phylogenetic structure, community niche structure, biogeography, and trait evolution. We summarize progress on the development of a plant DNA barcoding system, and introduce the usage of a combination of DNA markers (rbcL+matK+trnH-psbA) for fast species discrimination and community phylogenetic reconstruction. We also explore the utilization of well-resolved phylogenies to understand community ecology. We discuss the limitations of core plant DNA barcodes (rbcL+matK) when identifying congeners, and propose an improved sequencing strategy suitable for studies at the community level. We expect that plant DNA barcodes will prove very useful for the study of species diversity, mechanisms of biodiversity maintenance, phylogenetic beta diversity and functional trait evolution.
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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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