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Table of Content
    Volume 14 Issue 4
    20 July 2006

    Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) is a globally endangered species. In 2004, we observed a wintering population of black-faced spoonbills in Beili Bay, Dongfang County, Hainan Island. For details see pages 352–358 of this issue. (Photographed by Xiaojie Su)

      
    Editorial
    Effects of winter burning and cutting on aboveground growth and re-production of Spartina alterniflora: a field experiment at Chongming Dongtan, Shanghai
    Zhichen Wang, Yimo Zhang, Xiaoyun Pan, Zhijun Ma, Jiakuan Chen, Bo Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  275-283.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060072
    Abstract ( 3382 )   PDF (345KB) ( 3158 )   Save
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    Winter burning and cutting facilitate growth and reproduction of certain plant species. These two human dis-turbances occurred in winter as a result of economic activities at Chongming Dongtan, where saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), an American native, has been naturalized. To test the hypothesis that these two disturbances can also facilitate the growth and reproduction of S. alterniflora, a simulated field experiment was carried out at Dongtan. At the same time, the effect of elevation was also considered in the experiment. We found that both winter burning and cutting, to a certain extent, promoted regeneration of S. alterniflora, as they significantly increased ramet density and heading ratio, and reduced culm diameter. This effect was probably caused by the changes of habitat and the improvement of light conditions due to the dis-turbances. The effects of the two disturbances on S. alterniflora were unexpectedly weaker than those of ele-vational variation based on Wilks’ λ from multivariate ANOVA. Little difference occurred in the effects be-tween the two disturbances. We can conclude that disturbances should be managed appropriately because they might facilitate invasion of S. alterniflora.
    Tourism effect on species composition and diversity of understory plants in Abies fargesii var. faxoniana forest in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan
    Zhu Zhu, Weikai Bao, Xueyong Pang, Xiaoli Yan, Yuwu Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  284-291.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060037
    Abstract ( 4482 )   PDF (358KB) ( 4038 )   Save
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    In recent years, tourism has developed rapidly in Jiuzhaigou Nature Reserve, which has been designated a World Heritage Natural Site. To measure the effect of tourism on vegetation in Jiuzhaigou, we selected two scenic spots, namely the Virgin Forests and the Grass Lake, as study sites and compared the species composition and diversity of understory plants in Abies fargesii var. faxoniana forest. The results showed that (1) the species composition and their frequency were significantly impacted by tourism. Some native shade-tolerant or hygrophilous plants had disappeared, while some xerophilous, disturbance-resistant species, as well as some exotic and synanthropic species, had expanded their populations. (2) In the Virgin Forests, the coverage of understory plants was reduced and the shrubs and bryophytes were markedly depressed (both in height and density). In the Grass Lake, which was only slightly disturbed, there were no obvious effects on herbaceous and shrub communities except for bryophyte. It is concluded that bryophytes are more sensitive to the degree of tourism disturbance, and the species composition can be a better indicator for disturbance degree than other indices such as height, coverage and density. The results indicate that tourism in Jiuzhaigou had an obvious negative effect on the indigenous biodiversity, and conflicted with biodiversity conservation. Therefore, it is necessary to restrict tourism activities to an appropriate extent.
    Species diversity of forests in Tongguling National Nature Reserve, Hainan
    Xiufen Che, Xiaobo Yang, Ping Yue, Zhiyang Ou, Donghai Li, Qingshu Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  292-299.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050275
    Abstract ( 3598 )   PDF (296KB) ( 3890 )   Save
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    Tongguling National Nature Reserve is located in northeastern Hainan Province. To analyze its vegetation variation after 18 years of protection, we investigated the species diversity of plants in the reserve in 2005. A total of 984 plant species, belonging to 618 genera and 166 families, were recorded. Of these, 35 species are endemic to Hainan, such as Cycas hainanensis, Phoebe hainanensis, and Arcangelisia gusanhung, and 12 are listed as nationally endangered and protected species, including Cibotium barometz, Cycas hainanensis, Oncodostigma hainanense, Aquilaria sinensis, Hydnocarpus hainanensis, Homalium hainanense, Ixonanthes chinensis, Antirhea chinensis, Dimocarpus longan, Litchi chinensis, Gmelina hainanensis, and Artocarpus hypargyreus. The Shannon-Wiener indices of the three major vegetation types, namely tropical evergreen monsoon elfin forest, tropical shrubland, and mangrove forest, were 4.7485, 4.5876, and 1.8096, respectively, while Simpson diversity indices were 0.9247, 0.9206, and 0.6978, respectively. In the 2,800-m2 plots of tropical evergreen monsoon elfin forest, a total of 1,366 trees over 1.5 m tall were recorded, belonging to 81 species. Of these, the top five dominant species were Litsea variabilis, Hydnocarpus hainanensis, Arytera littoralis, Bridelia insulana, and Sapindus mukorossi. It is notable that the dominant species Schefflera octophylla in 1987 has been replaced by Litsea variabilis. Among the trees more than 1.5 m tall in the 3,300-m2 plots, there are 20 singleton species and 13 doubleton ones, accounting for 32.7% of the total tree species. In general, the development of tropical evergreen monsoon elfin forest tends to be stable, and shrublands are in succession to secondary forests. The area of mangrove forests has been reduced because of serious destruction. Therefore, further protection of Tongguling National Nature Reserve is important and necessary.
    Traditional use of wetland plants in Dai villages in Xishuangbanna, Yun-nan
    Liying Fang, Hongmao Liu, Jingyun Cui, Zaifu Xu
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  300-308.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060012
    Abstract ( 3730 )   PDF (308KB) ( 3260 )   Save
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    We studied the usefulness of wetland plants in three Dai villages, Manjing, Man’an and Mansan, all in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province. Each village had varied environmental conditions and cultural traditions. We examined differences in the knowledge of using and conserving wetland plants between different age groups and between different genders. Our results showed that: (1) Dai people of Xishuangbanna used a wide range of wetland plants, including 46 families and 102 species, of which hygrophytes (helophytes) are the dominant group. The use of wetland plants can be divided into three categories: food source, medicinal use, and religious purposes, of which food source was the most common use. (2) The number of species used traditionally was higher in Mansan than in Man’an or Manjiang. Few plants were commonly used in all three villages. This variation in wetland plant use correlated closely with vegetation types near each village and the land use history of each village. (3) Knowledge for the use of wetland plants in the elder group (>45 years of age, P<0.05) of the three villages was remarkably more vast than in the younger groups (≤45), and the knowledge difference between genders had a close relationship with environmental conditions and economic status in the villages. We further discussed the relationship between plant diversity and traditional cultural diversity. Our results suggest that transmission and inheritance of ethnical culture plays a very important role for the conservation of plant diversity.
    Low frequencies of transgene flow between Bt/CpTI rice and their non-transgenic counterparts under alternating cultivation
    Jun Rong, Zhiping Song, Jun Su, Hui Xia, Feng Wang, Bao-Rong Lu
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  309-314.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060025
    Abstract ( 3658 )   PDF (269KB) ( 3612 )   Save
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    With the fast development of biotechnology, many transgenic crops have been developed and are in the pipelines for environmental release or commercialization. Crop-to-crop transgene flow from transgenic to non-transgenic rice varieties will affect seed purity of non-transgenic rice varieties, which might lead to unwanted biosafety problems. To assess the probability of transgene outflow in rice (Oryza sativa), gene flow experiments were conducted at two confined biosafety experimental sites in Fuzhou of Fujian Province and Sanya of Hainan Province, with the field design of alternating rows of transgenic rice lines and non-transgenic varieties. Three transgenic rice lines containing two insect-resistance genes (Bt/CpTI) and their non-transgenic counterparts (isogenic lines) were used in the experiments to achieve high levels of spontaneous outcrossing. A hygromycin resistance gene tightly linked with the target transgenes was used as a selective marker for identifying transgenic hybrids. Based on examination of 70,056 geminated seeds, we observed low frequencies of transgene outflow (0.275–0.832%) under cultivation of alternating rows between transgenic rice and its non-transgenic counterparts. This result of low crop-to-crop transgene flow in rice at such close spacing can provide scientific support for the safe use of transgenic rice in terms of “contamina-tion” of non-transgenic rice caused by pollen-mediated transgene outflow, if certain isolation measures are taken.
    Genetic differentiation among natural populations of Gastrodia elata (Orchidaceae) in Hubei and germplasm assessment of the cultivated populations
    Huifang Wu, Zuozhou Li, Hongwen Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  315-326.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060053
    Abstract ( 3420 )   PDF (318KB) ( 3505 )   Save
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    Gastrodia elata (Orchidaceae) is a rare and endangered medicinal plant. Seven ISSR primers were used to examine population genetic parameters of 483 samples across eight natural populations and six cultivated populations of G. elata. The seven primers amplified a total of 77 unambiguous and reproducible bands, among which 64 bands were polymorphic and the percentage of polymorphic loci was PPB=83.12%. The results showed that genetic variation in the natural populations was significantly higher than that in the cultivated populations (PPB=59.09% vs. PPB=35.71%, Ae=1.29 vs. Ae=1.16, H=0.176 vs. H=0.100 and Shannon’s I=0.270 vs. I=0.155), suggesting that the cultivated populations are narrowly genetic-based and genetically uniform. UPGMA cluster analysis showed that natural populations and cultivated populations were distinctly separated into two groups. Coefficient of genetic differentiation among eight natural popula-tions was 0.2558 (GST) which was well in accordance with the result by AMOVA analysis (27.25% of the to-tal genetic variation resided among populations), indicating that natural populations were genetically differ-entiated to a certain extent. Gene flow among natural populations was relatively weak (Nm=1.4547), which might have caused the genetic differentiation among the populations. It is interesting to note that natural populations tended to cluster by geographical locations as revealed in UPGMA dendrogram, while the Mantel test showed no significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances among natural popula-tions(r=0.1669, P=0.2110). This incongruence suggested that the current genetic differentiation among natu-ral populations might have resulted from combined effects, including those of life history traits, geographical isolation and human disruption. The genetic uniformity found in cultivated populations might reflect the loss of genetic diversity caused by a genetic bottleneck during human domestication and clonal reproduction over generations. The narrow genetic base as revealed in cultivated G. elata and the genetic differentiation be-tween cultivated and natural populations might have resulted from a cutoff of gene exchange when domesti-cation began.
    Protozoan community character in relation to trophic level in the Beijing section of the Juma River
    Fengchao Li, Xianjiang Kang, Wenbo Yang, Yueqiang Guan, Xiaohui Zhang, Weiwei Liu, Gongming Shen, Jilong Li, Hongwei Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  327-332.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060004
    Abstract ( 3324 )   PDF (565KB) ( 3005 )   Save
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    To study the ecological status of the Juma River, we conducted a survey of the protozoa in the Beijing section of the river during March to November 2004. A total of 310 protozoa species, belonging to 157 genera, were observed, including 134 flagellate species, 64 sarcodina, and 112 ciliate. The most species-rich orders were Euglenoidida (39 species), Kinetoplastida (25 species), Volvocida (21 species), Chrysomonadida (21 species), Hypotrichida (18 species), Scuticociliatida (17 species), and Hymenostomatida (15 species). Cryptomonas ovata was the dominant species, whereas Cinetochilum margaritaceum was subdominant. Jac-card similarity indices among the protozoan communities from the nine sampling stations varied between 0.4569 and 0.5950. After comparing the characteristics of the protozoan communities and the func-tional-trophic groups with those of other waters, we found that the percentage of Phytomastigophora, identity of dominant taxa and the functional-trophic structure of the protozoan communities indicate an oligotrophic to mesotrophic state.
    Host plant effects on the morphological and biological characteristics of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) biotype B
    Chen Luo, Xiaojun Guo, Mei Yue, Yuyong Xiang, Zhili Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  333-339.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050276
    Abstract ( 3354 )   PDF (395KB) ( 3080 )   Save
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    We studied the body size, development, longevity, fecundity and survivorship of Bemisia tabaci biotype B on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), collard (Brassica oleracea var. capitata), cucumber (Cucumis sativus), squash (Cucurbita pepo), eggplant (Solanum melongena), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) at 27 ± 1℃, 75% RH and a photoperiod of 14:10 (L:D) h in the laboratory. We found that the pupae size on cucumber and cotton was the largest whereas that on poinsettia was the smallest. The developmental periods from egg to adult varied from 17.3 days on cucumber to 22.0 days on poinsettia. Fecundity varied from 266.5 eggs on tomato to 112.9 eggs on poinsettia, while the average longevity of adult females on tomato, cucumber and eggplant was longer than that on the other plants. The total survivorship from egg to adult on cucumber, poinsettia, cotton, eggplant, collard, tomato and squash was 77.8%, 70.6%, 67.9%, 67.8%, 65.0%, 59.0%, and 55.6%, respectively. An overall comparison of performance on the seven plant species indicates that cucumber is the most suitable host plant for B. tabaci biotype B.
    Community structure of fig wasp in Ficus benjamina in different habitats
    Lifen Bai, Darong Yang, Zhanghong Shi, Yanqiong Peng, Shuwei Zhai
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  340-344.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060018
    Abstract ( 4069 )   PDF (335KB) ( 3136 )   Save
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    Ficus are species-specifically pollinated by Chalcidoid wasps (Agaonidae). Each monoecious fig species shelters a wasp community of pollinator and nonpollinators. Ficus benjamina is a monoecious tree worldwide cultivated for ornamental purposes, but the fig wasp community inside the syconium of this spe-cies is still little known. In order to study the fig wasp community structure of F. benjamina in different habitats, we collected 180 syconia from three different study sites distinct in plant coverage and disturbance level in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan. In all syconia, 49,149 specimens were collected, consisting of 13 species of fig wasps from 8 genera of Chaleidoidae. Eupristina koningsbergeri was the pollinator, whereas the others were nonpollinators. The species diversity and abundance of the fig wasp community were significantly dif-ferent in the three study sites, and were significantly higher in the site with high plant coverage and relatively little disturbance. This result indicates that nonpollinators are inclined to oviposit in flowers of F. benjamina in habitats with high plant coverage and relatively little disturbance. The data also suggest that the correlation between pollinator and nonpollinators inside the syconium is significantly negative.
    PCR-RFLP analysis of bacterial 16S rDNA from a typical garden soil in Taihu region
    Qihui Teng, Hui Cao, Zhongli Cui, Ying Wang, Bo Sun, Hongtao Hao, Shunpeng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  345-351.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060003
    Abstract ( 4362 )   PDF (636KB) ( 4908 )   Save
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    Soil microbial diversity provides basic function of a soil ecosystem. In this study, the total DNA of microorganisms was extracted by an indirect method from a typical garden soil of Taihu region, Jiangsu Province. The 16S rDNAs of the extracted DNA were amplified using bacterial universal primers 27F and 1492R. PCR products were ligated into the pMD 18-T Vector and transformed into Escherichia coli DH5α to construct a 16S rDNA clone library of the soil microbes. A total of 173 clones from the library were screened and their 16S rDNA fragments were reamplified. The PCR products were digested by Rsa I and Hha I, re-spectively, and their fingerprints were analyzed. The results indicated that the library includes 63 Hha I and Rsa I restriction endonuclease types and the coverage (C value) of the clone library is 76.30%. The number of genotypes digested either by Hha I or Rsa I is only 40 and 27 although it has a high coverage. There were two main restriction types accounting for 16% and 12% of the total 16S rDNA clones, respectively. Phy-logenetic analysis suggests that the dominant bacteria in this garden soil belong to α-proteobacteria and γ-proteobacteria.
    Wintering behavior of black-faced spoonbill in Hainan Island
    Guogang Zhang, Wei Liang, Guozhong Chu
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  352-358.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050263
    Abstract ( 3247 )   PDF (378KB) ( 2574 )   Save
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    Black-faced spoonbill (Platalea minor) is a globally endangered species. From January to March 2004, win-tering behavior of black-faced spoonbills was observed during the day in Beili Bay, Dongfang County, Hainan Island, using scan and focal sampling methods. During the day, the proportion of resting was much higher than other activities. Only in the morning and at dusk, the spoonbills foraged at mudflats, not at ponds nearby where there were human disturbances. There was a remarkable peak and valley in resting. From 8:00–17:00, the birds often rest at the mudflats. A small increase in foraging, maintenance and standing behaviors occurred after 17:00. However, there was a lower frequency of locomotion and social behaviors, and no remarkable peak and valley. There were significant differences among the duration of different be-haviors, with resting occurring for 491.4 ± 595.9 s and walking for 15.3 ± 20.5 s. In addition, there is re-markable difference in feeding frequency among the different time periods, with higher frequency recorded after 16:00 everyday. Further, there is close relationship between feeding frequency and tidal level, and higher and lower tidal level has a negative effect on feeding frequency. During the periods of observation, some threats were found, such as seafood collecting, ocean pollution and illegal hunting. Some recom-mendation for conservation and management are proposed.
    Halophilic archaea diversity of Aibi Lake and Yiwu Lake in Xinjiang
    Xuewei Xu, Min Wu, Tohty Dilbar, Ababaikeli Gulibahaer
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (4):  359-362.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060040
    Abstract ( 3346 )   PDF (258KB) ( 2384 )   Save
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    The diversity of halophilic microorganisms from two different hypersaline environments was analyzed and compared by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular technique and cultivation approaches. The samples were collected from Aibi Lake located in Zhungeer Basin and Yiwu Lake in Tianshan Basin, Xinjiang, respectively. Under aerobic culture conditions, novel halophiles were isolated. 16S rRNA gene sequences of 65 isolates were amplified and determined. The results revealed that all sequences belonged to six genera grouped within the Halobacteriaceae. Most of the 16S rRNA gene sequences related to the genera Haloterrigena and Natrinema were detected in Aibi Lake samples. In contrast, sequences related to the genera Haloarcula and Halorubrum were obtained from Yiwu Lake samples. In addition, the isolates’ diversities were analyzed and compared using different diversity indices, richness indices, evenness indices, and species abundance models. There were certain correlations among these indices, and they indicated that halophilic archaea diversity of Aibi Lake is higher than that of Yiwu Lake. The discovery of novel species, in a relatively small number of sites from two representative salt lakes, indicated that there are many microbial resources in Xinjiang region that should be protected and utilized.

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