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Table of Content
    Volume 27 Issue 2
    20 February 2019
    Marco Polo sheep (Ovis polii), which has been listed as class II national protected animals, is an endemic and flagship species of Pamir Plateau. In China, its distribution area mostly locates in Taxkorgan Nature Reserve, Kashi, Xinjiang. Based on habitat suitability assessment, Chen et al (for details see pages 186–199 of this issue) confirmed the core patches of Marco Polo sheep in summer and winter, respectively, and recognized the ecological corridors between those core patches using corridor [Detail] ...
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    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  0-0. 
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    Special Feature: China’s National Park System Construction
    Institutional reform for building China’s national park system: Review and prospects
    Wang Yi, Huang Baorong
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  117-122.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019061
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    Since the concept of National Park in China was put forward in 2013, the institutional reform for building China’s national park system has made important progress and become the fastest and the most iconic comprehensive reform in the entire reform of the ecological civilization system. In the past five years, China has completed a top-down design, clarified a management system, initiated relevant legislative procedures, and built the basic framework for national park system through pilot programs. There are four important experiences in the institutional reform. The first is the combination of high-level leadership and system innovation. The second is pilot first followed by dynamic adjustment. The third is the problem oriented and top-down design. The fourth is encouraging stakeholder participation to improve governance system. Though progress has been made, the reform still faces many challenges and difficulties, and has a long way to go. National park potential construction areas often have large populations, complex land ownership patterns, numerous stakeholders, lack of multi-participation mechanisms, and weak local management capabilities. In the future, based on the experiences of institutional reform, we should insist on the correct reform orientation, further expand openness and innovate thinking, and follow the basic principles of system promotion, classification guidance, and phased implementation. We should combine top-down design with pilot programs, to establish national park system legally, scientifically, democratically and openly, to accelerate national park legislation, to establish a modern governance system, and to explore value realization mechanism of ecological products produced in national parks. In this way, the natural protected areas system with national parks as the backbone will be protected as a whole, the interests of the people will be maximized, and the harmonious development between man and nature will be realized.

    Construction progress of national park system in China
    Tang Fanglin, Yan Yan, Liu Wenguo
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  123-127.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019041
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    Establishing a systematic, standardized and efficient national park system with Chinese characteristics is an important strategic measure for the system construction of China’s ecological civilization. It is of great significance and far-reaching influences to strengthen the construction and management of nature reserves, protect biodiversity and build a beautiful China. On the basis of combing the achievements of national park system pilot work, especially obvious progress since 2018, this paper puts forward some strategies and suggestions to accelerate its development. It can provide some references for future research and development of national park system.

    Systematic legislation for nature conservation with national parks as the main body
    Lü Zhongmei
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  128-136.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019046
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    The rule-of-law is necessary to achieve reform goals of establishing a protected area system with national parks as the main body, which was proposed in the Report of the Nineteenth CPC National Congress. The establishment of the protected area system involves various ecosystems, administrative agencies, and stakeholders. It is a very complicated process requiring holistic and systematic legislative research. Currently in China, the State is promoting a reform of the national park system and has listed the National Park Law in the legislative plan of the thirteenth National People’s Congress. It is necessary to correctly manage the relationship between the National Park Law and a possible future law of protected areas. Systematic legislation and legislative space for the Law of Protected Areas within the National Park Law are required to establish a connecting mechanism and to coordinate and promote in a concerted manner the National Park Law and the Law of Protected Areas.

    Recommendations on building up China’s National-park-centric Protected Area System
    Yang Rui, Shen Xiaoli, Ma Keping
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  137-139.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019065
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    Original Papers
    Selecting the best native individual model to predict potential distribution of Cabomba caroliniana in China
    Fan Jingyu, Li Hanpeng, Yang Zhuo, Zhu Gengping
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  140-148.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018232
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    Uncertainty is inherent in ecological niche model predictions and different models yield different predictions. Based on the niche conservatism hypothesis, classic niche models that are calibrated on native areas and transferred to introduced areas for evaluation and prediction have advantages. Cabomba caroliniana is a notorious invasive aquatic weed native to South America that has established populations in China. In this study, independent testing points from China were used to validate and select the best individual model to predict the potential distribution, offering reliable and valuable information for risk analyses of C. caroliniana. The distributional records of C. caroliniana in China were sorted in chronological order, and climate niche dynamics and niche conservatism of C. caroliniana invasions across major continents were investigated using environmental variables associated with observed records. A total of 10 models were then calibrated in native area using two environmental datasets and five model algorithms. The best individual model was used to predict distribution, which was tested and selected based on the criteria of low omission and commission errors of independent introduced points. Results showed that present distribution of C. caroliniana occurs mainly along the eastern coastal areas of China. It has also dispersed northward in rivers and lakes system along Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal or South-to-North water diversions. The climate conditions occupied by different continental populations overlap broadly suggesting its climate niche was conserved during the invasion in China. There were many climate spaces that were unfilled when compared to its native niche spaces, suggesting a high invasion potential in these areas. Areas of potential distributions identified by best native individual model include Beijing, Shanghai, Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei and Hunan provinces. These potential areas were mainly distributed in the southeastern rivers, lakes, canals and channels all with high human activity and no effective natural enemy, which could assist C. caroliniana expansion. Our research demonstrates the need for rigorous surveys in these areas, together with an integrative management action to control further expansion of C. caroliniana.

    Species diversity and geographical distribution of the Chaetoceros lorenzianus complex along the coast of China
    Chen Zuoyi, Xu Xiaojing, Zhu Suying, Zhai Mengyi, Li Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  149-158.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018261
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    The Chaetoceros lorenzianus complex is composed of several planktonic diatom species that share a similar morphology with C. lorenzianus Grunow. The complex has been recorded frequently in coastal waters across the world. Recently, new taxonomic information has enriched the known species diversity of the complex from 3 to 7 taxa. However, the identities of many species comprising the complex in China is still unclear. To clarify the species diversity and provide solid identification criteria for further studies, 332 monoclonal strains belonging to the C. lorenzianus complex were collected from the coast of China. With light microscopy and scanning and transmission electron microscopy, the morphologies of vegetative cells and resting spores were observed. Hypervariable D1-D3 regions of nuclear large subunit ribosomal encoded genes were amplified to construct the phylogenetic relationship. Morphological clustering was consistent with molecular systematics, which indicated that a total of 5 species are present within the C. lorenzianus complex along the coast of China; C. decipiens, C. elegans, C. laevisporus, C. mannaii and C. pauciramosus. The ultrastructure on setae, such as the shape, size and density of the setae pores, can be used as distinguishing features among allied taxa. The morphology of the resting spores also aid in accurate identification. The previous reports identifying the taxa within the C. lorenzianus complex in China need to be reexamined. Chaetoceros decipiens and C. laevisporus are the most widespread taxa along the coast of China, whereas C. pauciramosus has the narrowest distribution, having only been recorded in Taishan and Zhuhai of the Guangdong Province.

    Variation in style length and the effect on reproductive success in Chinese plums (Armeniaca mume)
    Wang Xiaoyue, Zhu Xinxin, Yang Juan, Liu Yunjing, Tang Xiaoxin
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  159-167.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018317
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    Style length might affect gametophyte competition during pollen germination and pollen tube elongation if pollen quality and quantity deposited on stigmas differs with style length. However, it is unknown whether pollen donors from flowers with different style lengths affect sexual reproduction. Field observation noted that style length of Armeniaca mume varied within individuals including those with long-style type, short-style type and male-flower type. Corolla diameters, pistil length, style length, pollen number and pollen volume of long-style type were significantly higher than those of short-style type. Flower longevity and female phase of long-style type were significantly longer than those of short-style type. Pollen germination rates among long-style, short-style and male-flower types were not significantly different. Pollen tube length of the male-flower type was significantly longer than that of long-style and short-style types. Pollen germination rates and pollen tube length of long-style type as pollen recipient were significantly higher than those of short-style type as pollen recipient. Fruit sets did not significantly differ between flowers pollinated by pollen from long-style, short-style and male-flower types with open-pollinated individuals. Fruit sets of long-style type as pollen recipient were significantly higher than those of short-style type as pollen recipient.

    Comparison of taxonomic morphological characteristics between Rorippa indica and R. dubia
    Tu Weifeng, Zhang Yang, Tang Jie, Tu Yuqin, Xin Jiajia, Ji Hongli, Zhang Nanfeng, Zhang Tao
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  168-176.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018224
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    The taxonomic status of Rorippa indica and R. dubia remains controversial. In order to clarify the taxonomic relationship between them, the differences of taxonomic characteristics and cytogenetic between both of them were systematically investigated by means of morphological index measurement, DNA relative content detection, somatic chromosome observation and genetic distance analysis based on SSR markers. Our results showed that R. indica (2n = 48) was hexaploid and R. dubia (2n = 32) was tetraploid. Consistently, the DNA relative content of the former was about 150, which was 1.5 times that of the latter. Genetic distance analysis based on 45 SSR markers indicated sister relationships between R. indica and R. dubia. However, they could be divided into two species when the threshold of genetic distance was set as 0.23, which was the genetic distance between two well separated species, R. globosa and R. sylvestris. Meanwhile, the two taxa could be readily distinguished by pod length and seed density. In addition, obvious reproductive barriers were observed between them. The seed setting rates of self-pollinated R. indica and R. dubia were 97.73% and 95.65%, respectively, while that of R. indica cross-fertilized by the pollens from R. dubia was 0. In comparison, the seed setting rate of R. dubia cross-fertilized by the pollen from R. indica were 47.06%, but the germination rate of these seeds was zero. In conclusion, R. indica and R. dubia should be regarded as two species

    Spatial distribution patterns of mammal diversity in Yangxian County of Shaanxi Province on the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains
    Yan Wenbo, Ji Shengnan, Shuai Lingying, Zhao Leigang, Zhu Dapeng, Zeng Zhigao
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  177-185.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018266
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    Studies on spatial patterns of biodiversity are of great interest in ecology and biogeography. Mountain ecosystems with high habitat heterogeneity and rich biodiversity are ideal for the study of biodiversity distribution. From November 2016 to November 2017, line transect survey, camera-trapping and cage-trapping/snap-trapping were used to investigate the mammal diversity in Yangxian County of Shaanxi Province, which is located on the southern slope of the Qinling Mountains. A total of 48 mammal species belonging to 21 families and 8 orders were identified in the study area. The spatial distribution of mammal species richness was generally low in the midland and south and high in the north and east of the study area. The spatial distribution of mammal species diversity was generally low in the midland and south and north and high in the east of the study area. The spatial distribution of rodents and non-rodent mammals were different. The elevational distribution of mammal species richness and diversity were unimodal. The elevational distribution of rodents and non-rodent mammals were also different. The best model suggests that patterns of mammal species diversity are governed by the integrated effects of different environmental predictors, with annual mean temperature being the most important. Mammal species diversity peaked at mid and high elevation area. To maintain high biodiversity in the region, we should sustainably strengthen protection of mid and high elevation areas.

    Identification of potential ecological corridors for Marco Polo sheep in Taxkorgan Wildlife Nature Reserve, Xinjiang, China
    Chen Qiangqiang, Li Meiling, Wang Xu, Mueen Qamer Faisal, Wang Peng, Yang Jianwei, Wang Muyang, Yang Weikang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  186-199.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018264
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    Identifying suitable habitats for wildlife and building corridors between those habitats increases the connectivity of suitable habitat patches, enhancing gene communication, and mitigating the adverse effects of habitat fragmentation. In this study, the core distribution areas of Marco Polo sheep (Ovis polii) were determined based on a suitability index model. The lowest cost corridors were then identified using the Linkage Mapper model and their priorities were determined. Results showed that the suitable habitats of Marco Polo sheep were mainly distributed in the northwestern areas of the Taxkorgan Wildlife Nature Reserve. A total of 28 core patches (CPs) (core patches were defined as habitat patches with an area of larger than 10 km 2 in summer and 5 km 2 in winter) were confirmed both in summer and winter, which is a lower number and demonstrates fragmentation of suitable habitat. In total, 45 and 47 potential corridors for Marco Polo sheep habitat were identified for summer and winter habitats, respectively. The ratio of the cost-weighted distance and the Euclidean distance ratio (CWD : EucD), and ratio of cost-weighted distance and the least-cost path length (CWD : LCP) were used to evaluate the quality and importance of each corridor. Using the CWD : EucD, the top four highest quality corridors in summer were Tongku to Maeryang, Keketuluke to Paripake, Pisiling to Paripake and Haernuzi to Tongku; the top three highest quality corridors in winter were Qikeerkeer to Yaxiluofu, Satiman to Yixidaier and Qikeerkeer to Keketuluke. In comparison, using the CWD : LCP, the only two highest quality corridors were identified in summer and winter, i.e. Haernuzi to Kuokejiaer and Kuokejiaer to Maeryang in summer and Ailemixi to Tasala, the southwest of Shaerbilie to Yixidaier in winter. Current flow centrality was used to evaluate the contribution of each core patch and corridor to facilitate sheep movement. The highest contributions were from patches in Paripake, Tasala and Maeryang in summer and patches Paripake, Tasala and Maeryang in winter. The highest corridors were between patches Tongku to Maeryang, Malate to Qikeerkeer and Pisiling to Paripake in summer, and Ailemixi to Tasala, Shaerbilie to the southwest of Shaerbilie and Tieerbuerlie to Shaerbilie in winter. These results suggest that the above-mentioned CPs and corridors play key roles in maintaining connectivity of Marco Polo sheep habitats. Patches such as Zancan and Shaerbilie that are small in area and contribution little, still play an important role in maintaining the connectivity of important patches in the landscape. The results of present study will optimize understanding of functional zones and improve management schemes for conservation of this endangered species in the Taxkorgan Nature Reserve.

    Effect of seasonal hypoxia on macrobenthic communities in the Muping Marine Ranch, Yantai, China
    Yang Lufei, Chen Linlin, Li Xiaojing, Zhou Zhengquan, Liu Bo, Song Bo, Li Bingjun, Li Baoquan
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  200-210.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019012
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    Hypoxia is a common phenomenon in the world’s oceans, especially in the shallow waters of coastal zones. Rates of hypoxia are increasing due to global climatic changes and anthropogenic activities. Hypoxia can cause mass mortality of marine animals and can have severe negative impacts on marine ecosystems. To better understand the effects of hypoxia on macrobenthic communities, a survey was carried out in the Muping Marine Ranch (Yantai) during June, August and September of 2016. Results showed that seasonal hypoxia led to changes in benthic community structure, especially in terms of species composition and dominant species. The dominant species were Polychaeta Lumbrinereis latreilli, Sternaspis scutata and Mollusca Endopleura lubrica in summer. The opportunistic species Lumbrinereis latreilli increased, whereas, sensitive species such as Leptomya minuta, Glycera chirori, Upogebia major, Pontocrates altamarimus, Eriopisella sechellensis decreased during the hypoxic period of August. Hypoxia also reduced biodiversity indices. The effect of hypoxia on abundance and biomass were not significant, mainly because of the increase in the opportunistic Lumbrinereis latreilli, which counteracted the decline in abundance and biomass of other species. Individual physiological tolerance to hypoxia was different among species. Lumbrinereis latreilli showed higher tolerance to hypoxia in dissolved oxygen (DO) = 1.0 mg/L compared to other species. Some sensitive species, such as Leptomya minuta, Upogebia major, Pontocrates altamarimus and Eriopisella sechellensis showed lower tolerance when DO < 2.5 mg/L. When DO increased to 2.5 mg/L, the macrobenthic community start to recover gradually. The recovery extent and time needed were closely related to the degree of seasonal hypoxia.

    A catalogue of plant type specimens and history of plant collecting in Shennongjia National Park
    Xie Dan, Wang Yuqin, Zhang Xiaoshuang, Wu Yu, Yang Jingyuan, Zhang Daigui
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  211-218.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018255
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    Here we provide a brief overview of the history of higher plant collection in the Shennongjia National Park based on a literature review and specimen data. The local history of collecting dates back 140 years to when Irish botanist Augustine Henry first visited the area. Since then, 21,402 specimens collected in the Shennongjia region have been added to the herbarium of the Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (HIB); 16,483 specimens are in the herbarium of the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (PE) and 1,851 specimens are in the museum of Huazhong Agricultural University (CCAU). Most of the specimens were collected during three periods: 1956-1959, 1976-1981, and 1985-1987; with a peak of collecting in 1976. Most specimens were collected between April and November, with August being the month with maximum collection. The number of specimens of each varies greatly, from the 295 specimens of Viburnum betulifolium to a single specimen of 612 species; nearly 2/3 of the species are represented by fewer than ten specimens. Thus, more effort should be focus on collecting insufficiently sampled taxa rather than on those already well represented. All areas should be covered as thoroughly as possible, especially difficult to reach habitats at high elevations, in valleys, on cliffs, and in less-populated areas. Additional fieldwork should be undertaken in less favorable growing seasons, such as in winter and early spring. Thirty nine species, two varieties, and three forms, representing 34 genera in 24 families have been described from Shennongjia. The checklist provides references for meeting the requirements for United Nations World Natural Heritage Site status and for its management and conservation.

    Advancing phylogeography with chloroplast DNA markers
    Hu Ying, Wang Xi, Zhang Xinxin, Zhou Wei, Chen Xiaoyang, Hu Xinsheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (2):  219-234.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018319
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    Phylogeography seeks to identify the historical ecological and evolutionary processes underlying modern-day phylogenetic relationships across a spatial gradient. Owing to the characteristics of uniparental inheritance, low mutation rates and haploid, chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) markers record the events occurring in historical long-term evolutionary processes to different extents, and hence aid in understanding the mechanisms for phylogeographic variation. Here we discuss how these characteristics affect cpDNA marker selection, how they increase or reduce population genetic differentiation, how they lengthen or shorten the average gene coalescent times, how they promote or impede gene introgression among species and how the process of lineage sorting functions from polyphyly to paraphyly to monophyly. We reviewed the theoretical bases of these mechanisms, as well as the progress made in empirical studies regarding the theories of phylogeographic variation. Because of the heterogeneity of DNA sites in mutation rate, selection strength and interactions with genetic drift effects, one study to examine the genome-wide pattern of phylogeography will be necessary in the future. This must include the analysis of differential gene introgression and gene flow among sites, as well as the distribution of the differential phases of lineage sorting along the chloroplast genome.

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