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Table of Content
    Volume 27 Issue 6
    20 June 2019
    Biodiversity inventory and monitoring is an important support for biodiversity conservation and management. By camera-trapping technology, Wang et al (pages 638–647) reported the individual characteristics and activity rhythms of different color patterns of Asiatic golden cats (Catopuma temminckii) in Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve of Tibet, Mu et al (pages 683–688) surveyed the diversity of mammals and birds in Xishui National Nature Reserve. The pictures show E, Capricornis milneedwardsii, Ursus thibetanus, and the melanistic form of Asiatic golden cat. (The first three photos are provided by Xishui National Nature Reserve Administration Bureau, and the last is provided by Yuan Wang.) [Detail] ...
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    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  0-0. 
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    Original Papers
    Variation in basic morphological and functional traits of Chinese bamboo
    Gu Hanjiao, Zhang Cancan, Wang Jinsong, Shi Xuewen, Xia Ruixue, Liu Bin, Chen Fusheng, Bu Wensheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  585-594.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019001
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    Bamboo is a clonal plant that lacks a secondary growth process and has unique growth and reproduction characteristics. However, little is known about the variation in functional traits of bamboo among different functional group. In this study, all 534 known bamboo species (34 genera) in China were used as research subjects. Data of biological characteristics of these bamboo species was collected and organized from Flora of China, including various types of functional group and different functional traits. Types of functional group included rhizome type (sympodial, monopodial or mixed), shooting season (spring, summer, autumn or winter) and endemism (371 species endemic to China). Functional traits included height, diameter, internode length, wall thickness, leaf length and leaf width. Analysis of variance and multiple contrasts were performed to explore the variation in the basic morphological traits of bamboo among the different functional groups. Principal component analysis (PCA) was employed to explore the intrinsic correlations among functional traits and analyze functional trait variation in different functional groups of bamboo plants. The results show that: (1) Sympodial, monopodial and mixed bamboos differed significantly in their functional traits. Sympodial bamboo plants had the largest height, diameter, internode length and wall thickness, and the smallest leaf length and leaf width, followed by mixed bamboo plants. Meanwhile, monopodial bamboo plants had the smallest pole traits and the largest leaf traits. Species endemic to China had significantly smaller values for height, diameter, wall thickness and leaf length than non-endemic species. (2) There were significant positive correlations among bamboo plant height, diameter, internode length and wall thickness. Also, there was a positive correlation between leaf length and leaf width. (3) The “size traits” (diameter, culm height and wall thickness of bamboo) in vertical direction contributed more to the first principal component axis, while the “leaf traits” (leaf length and leaf width) in horizontal direction contributed more to the second principal component axis. These results show that for bamboo plants, the variation in capturing light resources in both horizontal and vertical directions may be the key factors driving the systematic evolution, the endemic distribution and the seasonal difference in bamboo shooting.

    Influence of future climate change in suitable habitats of tea in different countries
    Zhang Xiaoling, Li Yichao, Wang Yunyun, Cai Hongyu, Zeng Hui, Wang Zhiheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  595-606.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019085
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    Tea (Camellia sinensis) is an important crop and is sensitive to climate change. Evaluating the impact of climate change on tea distribution and production is not only important for the global economy but also the livelihoods of farmers in many countries. Here we compiled data from 858 global occurrences of C. sinensis and six climatic variables, and used species distribution model (SDM) to predict the current potential distribution and possible range shifts in response to climate change in 2070 under Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6 and 8.5 (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). The results indicate that the current potential distribution of tea is mainly confined to Asia, Africa and South America, and distribution is limited by mean temperature of coldest quarter (MTCQ) and precipitation of warmest quarter (PWQ). Under future climate change scenarios, by 2070 suitable habitat for tea could significantly shrink at low latitudes, but expand at middle latitudes, leading to a northward shift of the distribution. However, the influence of future climate change on tea distribution differed across regions. The climatically suitable areas in Argentina, Myanmar, and Vietnam are projected to decrease by 57.8%-95.8%, whereas those in China and Japan are projected to increase by 2.7%-31.5%. Moreover, 68% of the new suitable habitat for tea cultivation under future climate change are predicted to lie within areas of natural vegetation cover. Therefore, the establishment of new tea gardens in these areas may lead to conflicts between tea cultivation and conservation of natural vegetation and biodiversity.

    Response of understory plant diversity to nitrogen deposition in Quercus wutaishanica forests of Mt. Dongling, Beijing
    Zou Anlong, Ma Suhui, Ni Xiaofeng, Cai Qiong, Li Xiuping, Ji Chengjun
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  607-618.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018346
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    Nitrogen deposition is one of the major driving factors for biodiversity. Generally speaking, graminoids and deciduous shrubs compete more for nitrogen than forbs and evergreen shrubs. However, previous studies have mainly focused on a single life-form of plants in alpine meadows or desert steppes, ignoring the range of different life-forms across different habitats. Furthermore, there is no obvious canopy or vertical structure in these ecosystems that might exacerbate light limitation. Hence, there need to be more nitrogen experiments in other more complicated ecosystems (e.g. forest ecosystem) to better understand how nitrogen affects understory plants. We conducted an 8-year N fertilization experiment with three treatment levels (0 kg N·ha -1·yr -1, 50 kg N·ha -1·yr -1, 100 kg N·ha -1·yr -1) in the Quercus wutaishanica forest at Mt. Dongling, Beijing to study the response of temperate forest understory plants to nitrogen deposition. We found that: (1) Nitrogen addition reduced the species richness and biodiversity of understory plants and changed the species composition and community structure significantly. (2) Nitrogen addition increased richness of the shrub layer, but decreased richness of the herbaceous layer. (3) Graminoids responded negatively to nitrogen deposition, while forbs were positively affected. The study shows that richness and species composition change differently in response to nitrogen deposition for different life-forms of plants. In fact, the entire community of understory plants may shift in response to a change in soil resources (e.g. increase in nutrient contents and decrease in pH) and light availability (e.g. shrubs can access light easier than herbs).

    Vertical structure and its biodiversity in a subtropical evergreen broad- leaved forest at Dinghushan in Guangdong Province, China
    Gui Xujun, Lian Juyu, Zhang Ruyun, Li Yanpeng, Shen Hao, Ni Yunlong, Ye Wanhui
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  619-629.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019107
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    Community structure plays a fundamental role in forest ecosystems as one of the basic mechanisms underlying community assembly. Community structure includes both horizontal and vertical structure. We stratified the vertical structure of a lower subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest at Dinghushan in Guangdong Province, China by surveying each individual with DBH ≥ 1 cm via a canopy crane, and then explored α diversity within each layer, as well as β diversity between layers. We found that: (1) The vertical structure of the forest was stratified into five layers; from bottom to top, the shrub, sub-canopy, lower canopy, middle canopy, and upper canopy correspond to the traditionally defined vertical levels of a forest community. (2) Layer α diversity decreased with height, and the Pielou evenness index was largest in the lower canopy. (3) The β diversity of layers relative to the shrub layer increased with height. Using the POD framework, the differences between layer community compositions were mainly attributed to differences in species richness. However, the lower canopy showed increased species replacement and decreased richness difference relative to the middle canopy layer when compared with other neighbouring layers. (4) Air temperature, light intensity and relative humidity increased with layer height, and the most dramatic change in light occurred in the middle canopy. These microenvironmental features may play an important role in the formation of vertical hierarchy in the forest, with light intensity as the largest factor.

    Impact of livestock terrain utilization patterns on wildlife: A case study of Wanglang National Nature Reserve
    Chen Xing, Zhao Lianjun, Hu Xixi, Luo Chunping, Liang Chunping, Jiang Shiwei, Liang Lei, Zheng Weichao, Guan Tianpei
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  630-637.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019122
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    Terrain use is a fundamental factor of wildlife habitat and is closely related to other environmental factors. To assess the impact of cattle and horse on wildlife, we conducted field surveys in Wanglang National Nature Reserve and analyzed terrain preferences. We also deployed infrared cameras and historical biodiversity data to evaluate the risk of disturbance to key protected species based on altitudinal distribution of livestock. Results showed: (1) Both horse and cattle preferred low altitude habitats with low slopes, close to water with half to full sun aspects. However, there was also significant differences in terrain use between these two domestic animals. (2) The areas with the most frequent disturbance by livestock in the Wanglang Nature Reserve were Youyizhigou and Zhenggou in Zhugencha, and Yangdonggou in Dawodang. (3) Based on historical data, takin (Budorcas taxicolor tibetana) is likely the most influenced wildlife species, as the degree of overlap with livestock along altitudinal gradients is very high. Infrared camera data showed that areas frequented by livestock had fewer takin individuals recorded, indicating a negative relationship due to co-existence. Based on our findings, we suggest, (1) nature reserve should focus livestock in two core areas of Zhugencha (Youyizhigou, Zhenggou and Baishagou) and Dawodang (Yangdonggou and Waicepo) by monitoring the population and distribution of livestock in these areas; (2) they should prohibit the dispersal and distribution of livestock towards higher elevations; (3) the frequency with which local herdsman feed livestock salt needs to be controlled; (4) the strength of law enforcement towards illegal herds should be elevated.

    Coat pattern variation and activity rhythm of Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) in Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve of Tibet, China
    Wang Yuan, Li Sheng, Liu Wulin, Zhu Xuelin, Li Bingzhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  638-647.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019070
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    From 2013 to 2018 we conducted camera-trapping surveys on the elusive Asiatic golden cat (Catopuma temminckii) in Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Nature Reserve, Tibet. With an extensive survey effort of 14,071 camera-days at 70 camera stations, we obtained 101 independent detections of Asiatic golden cat, of which 60 (59.4%) were captured during day time and used to identify the coat markings of each captured individual. Four types of coat variations were detected and defined. The capture rates were: 46 common form, 7 red form, 4 melanistic form, and 3 gray form. The gray form was the first ever record in China. Results indicate that individuals of different forms could be co-existing and southeast Tibet has the most diverse coat variations of Asiatic golden cat in China. We described the morphological characteristics shared among and between the different forms, which will provide a sound foundation for further research on this species. The Asiatic golden cats in the study area showed a diurnal activity rhythm with the highest activity peak between 10:00 and 12:00. There were significant differences in daily-discrepancy index α and diurnal-nocturnal index β in different months and the activity intensity and peak patterns had obvious seasonal changes. This study has accumulated basic data for wildlife inventory of the East Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, and also provided basic information and reference for subsequent research on the mechanisms determining coat variations of felid species.

    Assessment of macrobenthos biodiversity and potential human-induced stressors in the Ganjiang River system
    Xing Yuan, Wu Xiaoping, Ouyang Shan, Zhang Junqian, Xu Jing, Yin Senlu, Xie Zhicai
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  648-657.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018296
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    The Ganjiang River is the seventh-largest first-level tributary of the Yangtze River, and knowledge is limited about the river’s macrobenthos assemblages. Here, we carried out a comprehensive assessment of macrobenthos species diversity in the river system, and then identified the potential drivers of the observed community patterns based on combined datasets of available historical records and field investigations from 2016-2017. A total of 330 species have been recorded to date, including 138 from the historical record and an additional 267 from the 2016-2017 investigations. In particular, this river network harbors a high array of mollusk diversity, with 17 gastropods and 31 bivalves endemic to China while 32 molluscs endemic to China were recorded in the 2016-2017 investigations. The dominant species in the Ganjiang River can tolerate pollutants. The density, biomass and richness index of branches of midstream were all higher than those of main stream, branches of the upstream and branches of the downstream. The canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that five environmental factors (substrate, sand-excavating, altitude, turbidity, velocity) and four spatial factors (PCNM1, PCNM11, PCNM12, PCNM15) were the key drivers structuring macrobenthos community variation. The variation partitioning analysis indicated that the environmental factors had a stronger effect on macrobenthos communities than the spatial factors. This study provides useful information to enhance the conservation of benthic biodiversity in the Ganjiang River.

    Effect of ant colonization on spatiotemporal dynamics of readily oxidizable soil carbon across different restoration stages of tropical forests
    Zhang Zhe, Wang Shaojun, Chen Minkun, Cao Run, Li Shaohui
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  658-666.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019011
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    This study aimed to understand the mechanism of ant colonization on spatiotemporal variations of soil ROC (readily oxidizable carbon) during the restoration of tropical forests. The experiment was conduced with two treatments (ant nests and without nests) in three restoration stages of Xishuangbanna tropical forests (i.e. Mallotus paniculatus, Musa acuminata, and Mellettia leptobotrya communities). We compared the spatiotemporal dynamics of ROC concentrations in both treatments and concurrently measured soil microbial biomass carbon and physicochemical properties. The results showed that: (1) Ant colonization significantly affected soil ROC concentrations in the tropical forests (P < 0.05), and ROC concentrations in ant nests increased by 14% compared with the control soils. Soil ROC concentrations in three recovery stages were ranked as Musa acuminata community > Mellettia leptobotrya community > Mallotus paniculatus community. (2) ROC concentrations in ant nests and the control soils both showed unimodal temporal variations across the three restoration stages (P < 0.05). The maximum was observed in June, and monthly ROC concentrations were higher in ant nests than in the control soils. (3) ROC concentrations in ant nests and the control soils decreased along the soil profile across three restoration stages (P < 0.05), and they were higher in ant nests (P < 0.05). (4) Variations in soil physicochemical properties induced by ant colonization influenced soil ROC dynamics. Soil ROC was negatively correlated with soil pH and bulk density and positively correlated with soil organic carbon, microbial biomass carbon, total nitrogen, ammonium nitrogen and nitrate nitrogen (P < 0.05). Microbial biomass carbon and total organic carbon in soils were the main contributors to the spatiotemporal variation in ROC in ant nests, while ammonium nitrogen, total nitrogen and total organic carbon were the main controlling factors for the spatiotemporal variation in ROC in control soils. Overall, ant colonization significantly altered soil microbes (e.g. microbial biomass carbon) and soil physicochemical properties (e.g. total organic carbon, ammonium nitrogen and total nitrogen), which impacted spatiotemporal variations in ROC concentrations in the tropical forest soils.

    Genetic diversity and population structure of black-bone chickens in China revealed by mitochondrial COI gene sequences
    Weng Zhuoxian, Huang Jiaqiong, Zhang Shihao, Yu Kaichun, Zhong Fusheng, Huang Xunhe, Zhang Bin
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  667-676.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019013
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    Comprehensively evaluating the genetic diversity of Chinese black-bone chickens will facilitate conservation and utilization initiatives for this invaluable genetic resource. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene sequences were obtained from 12 black-bone chicken breeds in China. These sequences were then used to analyze the genetic variation and population structure. A total of 22 mutation sites were detected from 255 individuals representing 3.17% of all sites. The nucleotide diversity and haplotype diversity ranged from 0.00142 to 0.00339 and from 0.380 to 0.757, respectively. Lueyang black chicken has the highest level of genetic diversity and Dehua the lowest. Seven amino acid variations were detected from 11 individuals from six breeds. A total of 24 haplotypes were defined, where haplotype H1 and H3 are shared by 12 black-bone chicken breeds with a frequency of 115 and 64, respectively. Yanjin had the greatest number of haplotypes, while Guangxi has the fewest. Neutrality tests and mismatch distribution analysis revealed that these populations have not experienced significant population expansion. Most of the genetic variations observed were intra-population variation (81.06%) as indicated in AMOVA analysis. Pairwise fixation indexes Fst values among 12 populations range from -0.035 to 0.594, and genetic distance ranges from 0.002 to 0.004. The genetic differentiation indexes between Xuefeng and other populations was the greatest. Black-bone chickens cannot be separated from domestic chickens and red junglefowls within the neighbor-joining tree. The median-joining network of black-bone chickens is classified into three main clusters with the characteristic of specific breeds, while haplotype H8, H9, H11 and H12 existing in Wuliangshan, Yanjin, Xuefeng are not directly related to the three main clusters. The median-joining network of black-bone chickens and additional domestic chickens and red junglefowls does not change the main structure of the tree. The results presented here indicate that the genetic diversity of Chinese black-bone chickens is low but significant genetic differentiation is evident. The Chinese black-bone chickens may be selected in situ from domestic chickens. Overall, the results suggest that more attention should be paid to germplasm resource protection of these fascinating breeds.

    Research Bulletin
    Importance of conservation priority areas for bryophyte biodiversity in Chongqing
    Liu Yan, Yang Yushuang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  677-682.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019045
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    Biodiversity is especially rich in conservation priority areas. Based on field investigations and available literature, a bryophyte checklist was compiled for the Dabashan and Wulingshan conservation priority areas in Chongqing, China. Species richness and abundance of endemic and threatened species were analyzed. Species compositions were also compared between the two areas. In total, 722 species in 221 genera and 77 families were recorded across the two areas, accounting for 76.0% and 23.9% of all bryophyte species in Chongqing and in China, respectively. Among these, 56 species are endemic to China. One critically endangered (CR), four endangered (EN) and three vulnerable (VU) bryophytes were also found in the two areas. The Jaccard similarity coefficients between the two areas were calculated to be 0.7, 0.6 and 0.3 at the family, genus and species levels, respectively, indicating the big difference of species composition. Dabashan and Wulingshan both have relatively high bryophyte diversity and representative species composition. They are important priority areas not only for Chongqing, but also for overall biodiversity conservation in China.

    Field monitoring using infrared cameras and activity rhythm analysis on mammals and birds in Xishui National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China
    Mu Jun, Wang Jiaojiao, Zhang Lei, Li Yunbo, Li Zhumei, Su Haijun
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  683-688.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018347
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    In order to further enrich the regional bio-inventories of mammals and birds for the Wulingshan Priority Area for Biodiversity Conservation of China (WPABCC), we monitored mammals and birds using infrared cameras in Xishui National Nature Reserve (XNNR) in Guizhou Province from July 2015 to November 2017. From the camera data, a total of 56 avian species were classified into 5 orders and 20 families, and 28 mammal species were classified into 5 orders and 12 families. One species, Moschus berezovskii is listed as a first-level species on the China National Key List for Wildlife Protection, and 13 species including Tragopan temminckii, Lophura nycthemera, Nisaetus nipalensis, and Capricornis milneedwardsii, are listed as second-level. Nisaetus nipalensis was newly recorded in this area and 10 species including Chrysolophus amherstiae, and Turdus obscurus were recorded for the first time in XNNR. According to the zoogeographic regionalization of China, the Oriental Region Type was dominant (41.67%), Southern China Region Type followed (29.76%), and Northeastern Region Type was the lowest (2.38%). The activity rhythm analysis of four dominant mammals and two dominant avian species revealed that, in mammals, Elaphodus cephalophus was more active in the evening as expected, but became active earlier in winter. The daily activity rhythm of Callosciurus erythraeus varied with seasons becoming more active at noon in spring and autumn, and in the mornings in summer. In winter, it showed two activity peaks, from 8:00 to 10:00 and from 16:00 to 18:00. Hystrix brachyura always moved frequently between 20:00-24:00 in all seasons and Macaca thibetana was active from 14:00 to 16:00 in autumn and winter, and from 10:00 to 12:00 in spring, in summer, it also had two activity peaks, from 12:00 to 14:00 and from 16:00 to 18:00. In birds, Chrysolophus pictus was active at noon in spring and summer, but from 6:00 to 8:00 in autumn; comparatively, Tragopan temminckii was more active in the morning in spring and summer, and from 14:00 to 16:00 in autumn and winter. Our results would be helpful to further understand the biodiversity and improve its conservation in this area.

    Recent taxonomic changes for Fabaceae (Leguminosae) genera in China
    Jiang Kaiwen, Pan Bo, Tian Bin
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  689-697.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019032
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    Fabaceae (= Leguminosae) is the third largest plant family after Asteraceae and Orchidaceae. It contains ca. 791 genera and 19,325-19,560 species. Many taxa possess great economic and ecological significance. Since the publication of Flora Republicae Popularis Sinicae in 1998, molecular systematics has continued to develop, and thus the classification categories of many genera have changed tremendously. In this paper, we summarize recent research results from both home and abroad (including 32 treatments and 4 newly recorded genera), compare these new changes with the treatment of legume genera in Flora Republicae Popularis Sinicae and provide a reference for future taxonomic research into native Chinese legumes.

    China’s key protected species lists, their criteria and management
    Jiang Zhigang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (6):  698-703.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019089
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    China’s key protected species lists include the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals (LSKPWA), the List of Terrestrial Wildlife with Important Ecological, Scientific and Social Values, and the lists of local key protected wild animals. After the amendment and implementation of the Wild Animal Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China in 2017, the revision of the LSKPWA is on the agenda. In order to revise the list of the state key protected species, the relationship between these lists should be delineated to reflect the priority of protection and to facilitate administration and to divide the responsibility of protection between the central and local governments. It is recommended to determine the level of key protected wildlife species according to their attributes of endangerment, endemism, rareness, preciousness and management requirement. By adopting the Principle of Clump Listing, related species or the higher taxa such as a whole genus even a whole family should be included in the lists of protected species as far as possible. It is also practical to list a subspecies or a population as a management unit on the species protection list. In addition, to reflect the new provisions of the amended Wild Animal Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, it is necessary to distinguish domesticated and wild populations, those populations which have been artificially successfully bred with mature technology and stable production traits should be exempted from the listing. Thus, using the Principle of Splitting Listing to solve the real problems in conservation. In addition, taxonomic changes should be closely tracked and species list should be updated in time. It is also necessary to formulate criteria for protection levels, to develop guidelines for species recovery plan after their listing and to design amendment procedure for the list. It is important to formulate populations and habitats recovery plan for each key protected species. Through periodic evaluation of the listed species, the listed species are upgraded, downgraded, deleted or maintain its status for the needs of dynamic management of rare and endangered wild animals.

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