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Table of Content
    Volume 13 Issue 1
    20 January 2005
      
    Editorial
    Diversity of benthic boundary layer fauna in a section of the Yellow Sea in summer
    Feijun Zhang, Yansong Zhang, Xiaoling Zhang, Xuewu Guo, Zhenlin Liang
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  1-11.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040014
    Abstract ( 2658 )   PDF (603KB) ( 3372 )   Save
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    The biodiversity and diel variation of the species in benthic boundary layer (BBL) fauna were analyzed in samples collected, using a Midicorer, at four stations in a section of the Yellow Sea from Qingdao to Chejudo Island. Thirty-two species were identified from the samples, including 19 copepods, 3 amphipods, 3 cumaceans, 2 mysids, 2 chaetognaths, 2 cladocerans, and 1 euphausiid. These species could be sorted into three biological assemblages: mesozooplankton, macrozooplankton, and hyperbenthos. The main species included Euterpina acutifrons, Microsetella norvegica, Danielssenia sp.,Paracalanus parvus, and Acartia bifilosa. The hyperbenthos dominated the BBL fauna in abundance. Copepod larvae (nauplii and copepodites) also formed an important component. In these samples, the BBL fauna exhibited high evenness (0.728-0.915), low species number (19-33) and low diversity indices (2.248-2.827). The diversity index of hyperbenthos and mesozooplankton was higher than that of macrozooplankton. No significant difference was found in diversity of each assemblage between daytime and nighttime (t-test,P>0.05). The abundance of the BBL fauna at station 1-3 with fine sand sediments was lower than that at the other three stations with silt-clay sediments. Based on these two sedimentary conditions, the BBL fauna could be formed into two Bray-Curtis clusters joining at a distance of 26.6%. The Biota-Environment Matching (BIOENV) analysis showed that the species and abundance of the BBL fauna were correlated closely not only to water depth and bottom water temperature, but also to the vertical fluxes of particulate organic carbon and nitrogen in the near bottom layer and to the nature of the sediment particulates.

    On the status and distribution of threatened birds of China
    Hongfeng Zhao, Xuebin Gao, Fumin Lei, Xinyang Liu, Ning Zheng, Zuohua Yin
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  12-19.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040093
    Abstract ( 3876 )   PDF (635KB) ( 2408 )   Save
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    We compared bird species in the China Red Data Book of Endangered Animals (Aves) and Chinese bird species in the Threatened Birds of Asia. Species composition was different in the two red data books, and only 69 species were listed in both. Most bird species listed in the two books live in forest, wetlands and scrub. We established a geographical database of threatened birds and used Arcview (3.2) software to analyze their zoogeographical patterns. We find threatened birds are mainly distributed in the Southwest Mountain subregion, East Hillock-Plain subregion, Huanghuai Plain subregion, and Taiwan subregion. Threatened resident birds occur more frequently in the Southwest Mountain subregion and adjacent areas, and threatened migratory birds in the East Hillock-Plain subregion and adjacent areas. Of the 57 outstanding important bird areas identified by BirdLife International in China, 51 are within protected areas, whereas another 6 are not. We suggest much attention should be paid to the six areas. Based on IUCN criteria of causes of threats, the foremost cause of bird endangerment is human-induced habitat loss and degradation. We conclude that the threatened birds inhabiting mountain areas in southwestern China, Taiwan and Hainan Island, where ecosystems are more vulnerable, are facing more threats.

    Editorial
    Genetic diversity in the Wuzhishan pig from Hainan based on 32 microsatellite loci
    Xilong Wang, Jiangtao Ou, Liguang Huang, Chunhua Guo, Jincheng Zhong, Xiaocheng Li, Feng Wang, Xinli Zheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  20-26.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040127
    Abstract ( 3596 )   PDF (601KB) ( 2195 )   Save
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    Wuzhishan pig, which originated from Hainan Province, China, is one of China′s rare miniature pig breeds. It is a potential genetic resource for sustainable pig production. In addition, it can be utilized as an experimental animal for medical and veterinary research due to its small size with the mature body weight of only about 25 kg. We detected its genetic polymorphisms using 32 microsatellites distributed on 14 chromosomes. A total of 200 individuals were sampled from the nuclear herd and from an inbred herd at the Wuzhishan Pig Breeding Farm in Hainan Province and analysed by multiplex PCR and gene scanning techniques. The average numbers of alleles at the 32 marker loci were 9.410, 13.660, and 14.590 in the nuclear group, the inbred group, and the merged group, respectively. The average homozygosity was almost the same in the three groups, about 44% in each case. The polymorphism information content in the three groups was 0.708, 0.731, and 0.742, respectively. The results indicate a rich genetic polymorphism in Wuzhishan pig.

    Allozymic genetic diversity in Manglietia patungensis, an endangered species, and its conservation strategies
    Jingsheng He, Zuozhou Li, Hongwen Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  27-35.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040104
    Abstract ( 3200 )   PDF (736KB) ( 2179 )   Save
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    The allozymic genetic diversity in Manglietia patungensis, an endangered and endemic species of China, was examined by employing isoelectric focusing in thin-layer polyacrylamide slab gels. Nineteen loci of eight enzyme systems were detected and used to estimate genetic diversity within and among populations. The results revealed that high levels of genetic diversity existed in M. patungensis. The average number of alleles per locus(A) was 1.57, the percentage of polymorphic loci (P)was 48.1%, and the mean expected heterozygosity (He) was 0.192. At the species level, the values of As, Ps,and Hes were 1.89, 68.4, and 0.209, respectively. The GST was 0.165, suggesting that 83.5% of the total genetic diversity was distributed within populations. Average gene flow (Nm = 1.27) was moderate. The fixation index (F= -0.191) indicated a slight excess of heterozygotes within populations. Considering the relatively high levels of genetic diversity in M. patungensis populations and the many seedlings regenerating in the largest population, we recommend in situ conservation to maintain viable M. patungensis populations in their original habitats.

    Genetic diversity of Siraitia grosvenorii detected by ISSR markers
    Yuntao Peng, Shaoqing Tang, Bolin Li, Yanhua Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  36-42.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040079
    Abstract ( 4115 )   PDF (653KB) ( 2508 )   Save
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    Siraitia grosvenorii, a liana species of the Cucurbitaceae endemic to southern China, is an important economic plant. The genetic diversity of 130 individuals from seven Siraitia grosvenorii populations from Guangxi and Guangdong provinces was estimated using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers. The fifteen primers employed produced a total of 111 scorable amplified fragments, of which 91 (82.0%) are polymorphic. Genetic diversity analysis showed that Nei′s gene diversity (He) was 0.248 and Shannon′s genetic diversity index (I) was 0.354. Genetic differentiation mainly occurred among populations (Gst=0.569). The correlation between genetic distance and geographic distance among the populations was not significant (r = 0.369, P=0.115). UPGMA cluster analysis showed that the 130 individuals were clustered into seven clusters corresponding to the seven populations.

    Editorial
    Species diversity and regeneration in forest gaps of the Karst forest in Maolan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou Province
    Cuiling Long Shixiao Yu, Zhibin Xiong, Luming Wei
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  43-50.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040083
    Abstract ( 2502 )   PDF (698KB) ( 2040 )   Save
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    Karst forest is a special forest ecosystem with rich biodiversity. In the Karst forest in Maolan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou Province, we investigated the quantitative characteristics of major tree species in forest gaps and non-gap stands, and the changes in species diversity and life forms during various gap phases. Our result showed that the forest gap stands were dominated by species such as Carpinus pubescens, Sapium rotundifolium, Platycarya longipes, Pistacia chinensis, and Celtis sinensis, whereas non-gap stands were dominated by Quercus glauca, Cladrastis platycarpa, Litsea verticillata, Photinia davidsoniae, and Machilus rehderi.These trees could be classified into three groups: negative response, positive response, and non sensitive. Most evergreen tree species regenerated in the non-gap stands; most deciduous tree and shrub species regenerated in the gap stands; and most understory small trees regenerated in both gap and non-gap stands. The species diversity in different gap phases ranked as follows: mid phase gaps (15-30 yr) > early phase gaps (<15 yr) > late phase gaps (>30 yr)> non-gap stands. Species diversity in gap stands was higher than that in non-gap stands, and the mid phase gap was a key period for maintaining species diversity. In the early gap phase, the species number of evergreen trees was less than deciduous trees. In the middle gap phase, both evergreen and deciduous tree species increased markedly, but deciduous species number increased more. In the late gap phase, evergreen trees species number continued to increase but deciduous tree species number decreased obviously. Shrubs dominated the stands during the early and middle gap phases, whereas trees dominated during the late gap phase. We conclude that the regeneration of gaps can enhance species richness and diversity in the Karst forest. Through the development of gaps, the structure of the plant community tends to be more stable.

    Significance of Tibetan sacred hills in nature conservation of Shangri-La Gorge, Yunnan
    Li Zou, Zongqiang Xie, Xiaokun Ou
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  51-57.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040141
    Abstract ( 3758 )   PDF (695KB) ( 2243 )   Save
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    Shangri-La Gorge, located in Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Northwest Yunnan, has a unique landscape and is abundant in biodiversity. As the dominant indigenous culture, Tibetan culture has a significant influence on the local natural environment. In order to evaluate the role of the Tibetan sacred hills in nature conservation, we carried out an extensive survey through the methods of ethno-ecology, plant ecology and cultural anthropology. In the field survey, two representative forest communities (Pinus densata community and Abies ernestii var.salouenensis community) at different locations (sacred hills and ordinary hills) were selected as samples. A comparison between samples of sacred forest and samples of ordinary forest was made to evaluate their plant species diversity. The results showed that total species number and community coverage in the sacred grove communities were 20 and 100% in Pinus densata community, 14 and 85% in Abies ernestii var.salouenenensis community, respectively, which were higher than those in ordinary forest (11 and 70%, 12 and 60%, respectively). Sacred hills constitute a “bottom-up” conservation system. This system plays an important role in local biodiversity conservation and ecological balance in Shangri-La Gorge. Furthermore, it provides different kinds of non-timber forest products and has various ecological functions. We discuss the importance of applying traditional knowledge and vernacular conservation systems to promote nature conservation. In addition, based on the research on Tibetan sacred hills, we suggest that traditional knowledge should be respected and conserved. Applying indigenous knowledge to promote nature conservation would be an effective way to achieve win-win results between local community development and biodiversity protection. To supplement the modern nature conservation system, more efforts should be made to promote the vernacular conservation system, which has been proved to be more effective.

    Species diversity of wild edible mushrooms from Pinus yunnanensis forests and conservation strategies
    Fuqiang Yu, Peigui Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  58-69.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040129
    Abstract ( 3552 )   PDF (900KB) ( 2592 )   Save
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    From 2000 to 2004, we studied wild edible mushrooms collected from forests of Yunnan pine (Pinus yunnanensis), a dominant vegetation in central Yunnan and adjacent regions. A total of 776 mushroom collections were obtained and identified, including 457 from the field investigation of the authors, 167 from mushroom markets, and 152 from specimens in the Herbarium of Cryptogams, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In total, 211 taxa belonging to 43 genera of 27 families were identified, among which 111 taxa in 35 genera of 23 families were commercial mushrooms traded in the local markets. Of these commercial mushrooms, 23.23% belonged to Russulaceae, comprising 15.17% (32 species) from the genus Russula and 8.06% (17 species) from the genus Lactarius. Boletaceae ranked the second in species richness and made up 19.43% (41 species) of the total species. Seventeen species found were from the family Tricholomataceae, 11 from Ramariaceae and Suillaceae, and 9 from Cantharellaceae, sharing 8.06%, 5.21%, 5.21% and 4.27% of the total species, respectively.More than 30 species from the genera Russula, Boletus, Lactarius, Ramaria, Suillus, Tricholoma, Cantharellus, and Thelephora made up 47.50% of the total wild commercial mushroom species in the Yunnan local markets. In recent years, increasing demand for wild edible mushrooms has resulted in large-scale commercial harvesting, which has led to a decline of mushroom species. We appeal for protecting these valuable fungal resources and their habitats.

    Marginal diversity and its application to Chinese sheep breeds conservation
    Yuehui Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  70-74.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040162
    Abstract ( 3104 )   PDF (450KB) ( 2505 )   Save
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    This paper introduced an approach of marginal diversity, and evaluated the contribution, marginal diversity and conservation potency of each of the 11 sheep breeds from northern China based on genetic distance and extinction probability. The results showed that the marginal diversity of Sunite sheep was the highest (-0.2008), Tan sheep (-0.1932) and Lanzhou large tailed sheep (-0.1843) the next, and Minxian black fur sheep the lowest (-0.1268). The conservation potency of Lanzhou barge tailed sheep was the highest (0.1419), the second was Tong sheep (0.1017), and small tailed Han sheep was the lowest (0.0365). Our result suggested that the optimum conservation strategy is to give priority to those breeds with the highest conservation potency,rather than to the most endangered breeds; thus, Lanzhou large tailed sheep and Tong sheep should be given conservation priority.

    Editorial
    Numerical taxonomy of rhizobia isolated from the nodules of Sophora alopecuroides from Xinjiang
    Mingfu Gong, Gehong Wei, Jianghua Liu, Peng Su, Peng Cao
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  75-80.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040105
    Abstract ( 3206 )   PDF (623KB) ( 2252 )   Save
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    We collected the nodules of Sophora alopecuroides from a number of locations in Xinjiang, China. From these nodules, we isolated 67 previously unknown strains of rhizobia. We analyzed the phenotypic characteristics and the numerical taxonomy of these rhizobia and 36 reference strains through 118 parameters. The results showed that the strains differed in some characteristics, including carbon and nitrogen source, resistance to antibiotics and chemical dye, and endurance to salt and alkali. All unknown strains were tolerant to low temperature, and grew in YMA medium with an initial pH from 9 to 12. Up to 92.5% of the strains were able to grow on YMA medium containing 3.0% NaCl, and more than 91.0% were able to grow on YMA medium containing 4.0% NaCl. Eighteen strains were able to tolerate NaCl concentrations as high as 5%-6% in the growth medium. The unknown strains formed four new clusters defined by at least 84.8% similarity. Cluster I had 21 strains and NWBC152 was the central strain. Cluster II had 7 strains and NWTKX101 was the central strain. Cluster III had 4 strains and NWYJS12 was the central strain. Cluster IV had 3 strains and NWLP112 was the central strain. In addition, the numerical taxonomic analysis indicates that some strains in the new clusters could be new taxa.

    Analysis of the current situation of China′s nature reserve network and a draft plan for its optimization
    Xiaoping Tang
    Biodiv Sci. 2005, 13 (1):  81-88.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.040157
    Abstract ( 3348 )   PDF (798KB) ( 2988 )   Save
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    China′s nature reserves already cover a total of almost 15% of the area of the country. We examined the data on the actual situation of nature reserves using the method of GAP analysis (geographic approach to protection of biological diversity). The result is as follows: China′s nature reserves have formed a comparatively integrated system of protection; however, the nature reserve network lacks a suitable overall arrangement. Some important or endemic ecosystems, the habitats of some endangered animals and plants, and the provenances of some rare and important resources, are not included in the reserves yet. We suggest that the focus should shift to the conservation of whole ecosystems instead of specific species. We suggest to enlarge the areas of existing nature reserves, upgrade some important local nature reserves to national grade, and set up some trans-boundary reserves together with neighbouring countries. According to different situation, the reserve may be established in diverse forms, such as seasonal reserves for migrant birds, large reserves in western China, and small reserves or protected spots in thickly populated eastern areas.


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