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Table of Content
    Volume 25 Issue 9
    20 September 2017

    Botanical gardens play important roles in ex situ conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity. Start from the left upper corner, from the left to right, from the upper to bottom, they are Beijing Botanical Garden of CAS (photoed by Qingwei Li), Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden (photoed by Qiyi Shen), Missouri Botanical Garden (photoed by Xiangying Wen), Fairylake Botanical Garden of Shenzhen and CAS (photoed by Bijian Liu), Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of CAS

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    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  0-0. 
    Abstract ( 151 )   PDF (16026KB) ( 475 )   Save
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    Challenges and opportunities for botanical gardens in a new era
    Chunlin Long, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  915-916.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017257
    Abstract ( 725 )   HTML ( 21 )   PDF (212KB) ( 1040 )   Save
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    On the Mandate of Botanical Gardens
    Additional remarks on “Three ‘What’: mission of a botanic garden”
    De-Yuan Hong
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  917-917.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017176
    Abstract ( 445 )   HTML ( 12 )   PDF (125KB) ( 1441 )   Save
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    Botanical gardens’ challenge—correspondence with Academician De-Yuan Hong’s “Three ‘What’: mission of a botanic garden”
    Zaifu Xu
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  918-923.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017118
    Abstract ( 822 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (426KB) ( 702 )   Save
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    The paper praises and explores De-yuan Hong’s “Three ‘What’: mission of a botanic garden (BG)”, which explores which plants have been collected, what plant resources have been developed for use, and which threatened plants have been saved. The number of BGs has increased from 110 to 200 since 1980s, and they have collected about 20,000 species of native plants, or 2/3 of China’s flora, which is of course much higher than 1/3 of the world’s flora that are cultivated in more than 2,000 BGs worldwide. In this case, the author suggests that Chinese BGs would rater collect and protect a huge number of plant species than pay more attention to threatened plants they have important values for scientific research, economic use, or spiritual and cultural importance with the current limited resources. However, on the other hand, research on efficient conservation must be strengthened by BGs as the number of newly threatened species is equal to the decreasing number of threatened species since the 1980’s. This has led to the protecting rate of national emphasized species still pace up and down on 80% in Chinese BGs. As the national level, the author hopes that the relevant government departments will pay more attentions to improve the imbalance between the richest plant diversity and the most unique environment areas and the gaps that BGs have in our country, and advance support for BGs to carry out research on efficient plant conservation ex situ in BGs.

    “Science, art and responsibility”: the scientific and social functional changes of a 500-year history of botanical gardens. I. Artistic appearance
    Hongwen Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  924-933.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017172
    Abstract ( 383 )   HTML ( 19 )   PDF (1669KB) ( 904 )   Save
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    The modern botanical gardens that originated in mid-16th century with the rise of natural sciences and gardening arts during the late European renaissance, reached its heyday during the 18th century when Western colonizers explored, studied, collected, and spread plants all over the world. The 500-year history of botanical gardens is full of human curiosity through the exploration of the mysteries of nature and exotic plants, a gradual cognitive history of human exploration of nature, the use and transformation of nature, and harmonious coexistence with nature. This process in the history of humans begins in a chaotic and disordered plant kingdom and results in classified cognition. The paper attempts to analyze the progress of scientific research and the changes of social functions in the world of botanical gardens in the past 500 years from the dimensions of science and art, and uses history as a mirror to examine the future development and historic undertakings of Chinese botanical gardens. This article starts with artistic appearance to provide an overview of the 500-year development process of the world’s botanical gardens, while focusing on milestone events of the history in order to provide reference of thinking for Chinese botanical garden community.

    Plant exploration research and botanical garden vitality
    Shan’an He, Yin Gu
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  934-937.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017183
    Abstract ( 372 )   HTML ( 9 )   PDF (344KB) ( 657 )   Save
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    Promoting plant culture communication in a botanical garden from a natural history perspective
    Huajie Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  938-944.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017150
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    The natural history cognitive tradition that Theophrastus, John Ray, Gilbert White, Carl Linnaeus, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir belong has facilitated the birth and development of botany, ecology, and conservative biology, and when science is increasingly specialized, it seems to inspire experts of botanical gardens to promote plant cultures communication. Restarting and incorporating traditional natural history in the operation of a botanical garden will help balance the tension between anthropocentrism and non-anthropocentrism, scientist and the public perspective, public and personal knowledge, introduced and indigenous species, and domestication and wildness. Every decision in botanical gardens should prioritize conservation and highlight native species. Meanwhile, guided tours of plants should not be restricted to areas of botanical gardens with fixed borders, and the guides of botanical garden and visitors could be able to walk on local trails to look at wild plants, enjoy the ecological landscape, and experience the beauty of nature. However, this suggestion requires reforming the administrative arrangement and staff training of most botanical gardens.

    The role of botanical gardens in reintroduction of plants
    Hai Ren
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  945-950.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017181
    Abstract ( 490 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (417KB) ( 715 )   Save
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    In order to effectively protect rare and endangered plants, botanical gardens have moved from ex situ conservation to the combination of ex situ conservation and reintroduction. Its living collections, knowledge, skills, and facilities can be used in the process of plant reintroduction. Early plant reintroduction practices have focused on increasing the survival rate of seedlings or seeds by means of horticulture, and later emphasized population recovery and plant reintroduction in the context of ecosystem restoration. In recent years, emphasis has been placed on plant reintroduction in the context of global change. Nowadays, plant reintroduction research and practice at botanical gardens is mainly focused on factors affecting reintroduced individuals, genetic diversity associated with reintroduction, the impacts of global change on reintroduction, and the criteria for successful reintroduction. With human disturbance and global change, botanical gardens need to take into account integrating in situ conservation, ex situ conservation, and reintroduction to effectively protect plant diversity.

    Botanical gardens support urban sustainable development: a case study from the Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden
    Yonghong Hu, Shuting Yang, Jun Yang, Gilles Vincent, Xiaoya Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  951-958.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017186
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    As a window into the world and a symbol of urban civilization, the botanical garden plays an important role in scientific research, conservation, science communication, cultural transmission, as well as leisure and entertainment. Its function also evolves and develops with time. Nowadays, it becomes more and more important for botanical gardens to take sustainable development into consideration so as to support urban sustainable development. In this paper, we reviewed the definition of the botanical garden, analyzed the history, function, and evolution of the botanical garden to find universal rules for development of botanical gardens. We also discussed challenges and opportunities that botanical gardens may face through urban development, and problems that need to be addressed in the process of integrating sustainability into botanical gardens. Lastly, we use the Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden as an example to briefly discuss the role of the botanical garden in supporting urban sustainable development in the process of promoting scientific research, science communication, and international development. We hope this can provide some ideas for coordinated urban development.

    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Effects of negative density dependence and habitat filtering on the functional diversity of seedlings in the subtropical forest of Gutianshan
    Yunfeng Song, Shengwen Chen, Wei Wang, Jianping Yu, Haiyuan Qian, Yunquan Wang, Lei Chen, Xiangcheng Mi, Haibao Ren, Duo Ye, Jianhua Chen, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  959-965.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017053
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    How forest communities maintain their biodiversity has been challenged ecologists during the last few decades. Negative density-dependence and habitat filtering have been proposed as key players in community assembly. However, few studies have explored how negative density dependence and habitat filtering impact seedling dynamics over time. To test the relative roles of these two mechanisms in community assembly, we analyzed the temporal trends of functional α and β diversity in seedling communities in the 24 ha Gutianshan forest dynamics plot during 2006-2007. We found that functional α diversity within communities significantly increased over time except for functional α diversity associated with stomatal density. Functional β diversity significantly increased with time for five traits (such as wood density, specific leaf area, leaf nitrogen content, leaf phosphorus content and stomatal density) between communities. Our results suggest that negative density dependence can promote functional α diversity at local scales, while habitat filtering can partly explain functional β diversity.

    Predicting modes of seed dispersal using plant life history traits
    Zhiwen Guo, Jingming Zheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  966-971.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017019
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    Mode of seed dispersal is an important trait for understanding geographical distributions, population dynamics, and community composition of plant species. However, data of dispersal modes are scarce for Chinese plant species. Previous studies have shown that growth form, plant height, fruit type, and seed mass have strong correlations with seed dispersal modes, thus predictions using modelling could be an alternative to gain this information. We collected information on growth forms, plant height, fruit types, seed mass, and dispersal modes from 360 kinds of Chinese angiosperm plants, and built a neural network model (NNET), decision tree (TREE), Fisher linear discriminant model (LDA), and support vector machine model (SVM) to predict seed syndromes from these four traits. For each model, an 80% sample (288 species) was randomly drawn from dataset as the training sample, with remaining 20% of data was used as a test sample. Results showed that all four models achieved rather good predictions, and the average total correctness rate for the NNET, TREE, LDA, and SVM was 78.90%, 77.09%, 77.81%, 78.14%, respectively. The neural network model had the highest correctness rates for different dispersal modes, i.e., zoochory (81.32%), autochory (74.90%), and anemochory (81.45%). This paper establishes the basis for the prediction of seed dispersal modes.

    Comparative study on reproductive success of Corydalis sheareri (Papaveraceae) between alkaline limestone soil and red soil habitats in a karst area
    Zhihuan Huang, Qifeng Lu, Yingzhuo Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  972-980.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017163
    Abstract ( 372 )   HTML ( 14 )   PDF (1265KB) ( 925 )   Save
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    The discontinuous distribution between alkaline limestone soil with high calcium content and acidic red soil with low calcium content is characteristic of karst areas, and strongly affects plant species composition in natural communities. Whether the soil types affect plant reproductive success, however, remains unknown. Two populations of Corydalis sheareri, a species commonly occurring in alkaline limestone soil and acidic red soil, were investigated. The soil properties of the two habitats were examined, and flowering phenology, floral traits, floral visitor types and their behavior, breeding system and reproductive success were compared. Organic matter, total nitrogen, total calcium, and pH value were higher in the limestone soil, while soil moisture content was lower than that found in the red soil. Floral longevity was not significantly different between plants from the two habitats. However, plants found in the limestone soil were shorter in height and bloomed one week later with a shorter flowering period (4 weeks) than those found in the red soil (6 weeks). Floral traits (inflorescence size, flower length, opening size, spur length and stigma diameter) were not significantly different between the two habitats. Corydalis sheareri was obligately xenogamous, with sexual reproduction dependent on insect pollinators. The major floral visitor was Anthophora melanognatha, a long-tongued nectar collecting bee. Bee visit frequency and seed set per flower were not significantly different between the two habitats, but fruit set per plant in the limestone soil was significantly lower. Our results indicated that, no difference in the seed set could be explained by similar pollinator abundance, while the differences of flowering phenology and fruit set could be caused by differences in the soil properties between the two habitats.

    Spatio-temporal variation of benthic diatom diversity and community structure in a sandy intertidal zone of the Nanji Islands, China
    Yuhang Li, Wandong Chen, Houcai Cai, Zhongmin Sun, Kuidong Xu
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  981-989.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017052
    Abstract ( 382 )   HTML ( 8 )   PDF (1202KB) ( 680 )   Save
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    To know the status and 20 years’ variation of benthic diatom biodiversity and community structure in intertidal sandy sediment in the Nanji Islands National Marine Nature Reserve (NINMNR) of China, we investigated community composition and seasonal variations of marine benthic diatoms between November 2013 and August 2014 in the intertidal zone of the Huokun’ao sandy beach in the NINMNR, and compared this to historic data obtained from intertidal sandy sediments of the Nanji Islands. A total of 120 benthic diatom species belonging to 49 genera were identified. Among these, 17 species were classified as dominant species, including Fallacia litoricola, Diploneis smithii and D. parca. The Shannon diversity index (H?) values of benthic diatoms varied between 2.388 and 3.455. The peak of H? appeared in spring, and the lowest value occurred in fall. Spatially, the highest H? value was present in the middle tidal zone and the lowest was found in the high tide zone. The result of analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) showed there were significant differences in the benthic community between the high, middle and low tidal areas, while no significant differences were observed between the four seasons. The result of BIOENV suggested that salinity was the most important factor regulating the benthic diatom community. The present study and historic data indicate that the community structure of benthic diatoms in the sandy sediments of Nanji Islands changed markedly over the past few decades. Compared with data obtained from three surveys conducted between 1981 and 1993, the number of diatom orders has decreased from 16 to 14, while the number of families has increased from 24 to 31, and the number of genera and species has significantly increased from 29 to 49 and from 55 to 120, respectively. The increase of diatom taxa is likely due to the enhanced intensity of taxonomic study. Nonetheless, the average taxonomic distinctness index (Δ+) values decreased from 79.79 to71.41. Strikingly, large attached diatoms recorded in the past have been replaced by small attached forms as well as epipelons. This could be the result of intense human activities and the long-term effects of over-discharged organic matter.

    Changes in the numbers of Kam fragrant glutinous rice varieties in the Dong regions of Guizhou Province
    Qiyi Lei, Jiangju Zhou, Jing Luo, Wenhua Zhang, Jun Sun, Chunlin Long
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  990-998.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017119
    Abstract ( 421 )   HTML ( 5 )   PDF (755KB) ( 1016 )   Save
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    The Kam (Dong people) fragrant glutinous rice is a group of sticky rice varieties, which have been widely cultivated in Dong areas with great success. Revealing the history and status of the diversity of Kam fragrant glutinous rice is helpful for the timely identification of conservation strategies and implementation plans for preserving these germplasm resources, with respect to the economic development and traditional culture in Dong ethnic areas. The authors and their collaborators carried out research on germplasm diversity of Kam fragrant glutinous rice in Dong areas of Guizhou for 12 years using multiple approaches including ethnobotany, cultural anthropology, and ecology. Results showed that Kam fragrant glutinous rice has been widely grown in the Dong areas for many years. From the beginning of the Yongzheng period of the Qing Dynasty to the foundation of New China, the Dong areas of Guizhou have suffered three large-scale movements transforming glutinous rice into non-glutinous rice, which resulted in greatly reduced plantation areas of Kam fragrant glutinous rice and the number of landraces. At present, there are about 100 glutinous rice landraces in Congjiang, Liping, and Rongjiang counties, a decrease of 72.5% as compared to the 363 landraces investigated in the early 1980s. Even in the Dong villages such as Huanggang and Gaoqian where the Kam fragrant glutinous rice landraces have been maintained carefully, their plantation areas and landrace numbers have been reduced by more than 50%, and this trend is becoming more and more evident. The expansion of hybrid rice over a large scale has greatly influenced the reduction of local landraces. Especially in recent years, the rapid development and transition of social, economic, and cultural aspects of the Dong communities have threatened the Kam fragrant glutinous rice landraces, which are quickly disappearing. The maintenance of the diversity of varieties of Kam fragrant glutinous rice was closely related to the production, life, and traditional culture of the Dong people. It is, therefore, necessary to adopt strategies and measures suitable for the development of the economy and traditional culture for the conservation of these plants in Dong ethnic areas.

    Assessment of forest conservation in the Cangshan Nature Reserve based on propensity score matching
    Bing Chen, Fangzheng Liu, Yubo Zhang, Jinhong Du, Wei Wang, Junsheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  999-1007.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017086
    Abstract ( 442 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (3223KB) ( 869 )   Save
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    The establishment of protected areas is one of the most common measures of biodiversity conservation. Regular assessment can help improve management and promote conservation in protected areas. According to administrative divisions, we divided the Cangshan Nature Reserve into three parts: Dali City, Eryuan County and Yangbi County, as sub-study areas. The evaluation was based on propensity score matching and paired-samples t-test. Elevation, slope, distance to the nearest settlement, and distance to the nearest road were four chosen covariates. Since the Cangshan Nature Reserve was upgraded to the national level in 1994, we compared forest changes between 1995 and 2015. Partial correlation analysis was carried out between each covariate and forest change to analyze the impact factors. Results indicated that in Dali City, the forest change value inside the Cangshan Nature Reserve was significantly higher than that found outside. Forest coverage inside the Cangshan Nature Reserve in Dali City was the highest among all regions. The forest change rates both inside and outside the Cangshan Nature Reserve in Eryuan County were higher than the other two counties. There was no significant difference in forest change value between areas inside and outside of the nature reserve in Eryuan County. In Yangbi County, the forest change rates both inside and outside of Cangshan Nature Reserve were the lowest among three counties, but the forest change value found within 10 km outside of the nature reserve was significantly higher than that found in areas beyond 10 km, which indicates that the existence of the Cangshan Nature Reserve performed positive neighborhood leakage in surrounding areas within 10 km. The four covariates all affected forest change in different areas in a variety of ways. The propensity score matching and sub-regional methodology for the assessment of the Cangshan Nature Reserve provided a new technical method and example for other conservation assessment studies.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Behavioral diversity of semi-captive hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) on the basis of the PAE coding system
    Zhiyuan Ning, Guixin Dong, Hong Tang, Daoying Lan, Huijian Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  1008-1018.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017099
    Abstract ( 445 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (1271KB) ( 882 )   Save
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    Diversity of animal behavior, as an essential part of biodiversity, is closely related to the ex situ conservation and behavior management of rare animals. We recorded the processes, contents, and surrounding habitat, derived from behaviors of semi-captive hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) living in Guangzhou Chimelong Safari Park between December 2015 and August 2016. Both instantaneous scan sampling and focal animal sampling methods were used. The behavioral data were collected and coded based on the “posture-act-environment” (PAE) coding system which concerns posture, act, environment and the ecological function of behaviors. All observed behaviors of hamadryas baboons were classified and systematically encoded to construct the PAE behavior spectrum, and behavioral diversity was characterized simultaneously. A total of 18 postures, 120 acts and 208 behaviors were distinguished and the relative frequency of each behavior in relation to gender and age was described. Based on the ecological function of behaviors, these recorded behaviors were divided into 18 categories, including forage, eliminate, thermo-regulate, pair, mate, parent, affinitive, superior, threaten, aggression, submission, communicate, aggregate, rest, locomotive, play, beg, and miscellaneous behaviors. This ethogram extends previous behavioral lists and ethograms of non-human primate species constructed by our predecessors. Furthermore, two categories of behavior (play and beg) were enhanced in the non-human primates’ PAE behavior coding system. The characteristics of these two categories of behaviors were described and discussed, and hence, they are proposed to be new adaptive behavior to the captive environment. This research also probed the ecological function and adaptable significance for most behavior categories, separately. Finally, the index of behavioral diversity among different sex-age classes of semi-captive P. hamadryas were calculated on the basis of PAE coding system. Our results suggest that the behavioral diversity among different sex-age classes of semi-captive P. hamadryas were very close to one other at the overall behavioral level, and the more subdivided the behavioral segmentation was, the more obvious the displayed differences. It also proves that the utilization of the PAE coding system to classify, subdivide, and standardize the behavior of animals will improve the study of behavioral diversity.

    Species composition and diversity of marine organisms from benthic trawling in Daya Bay of the northern South China Sea
    Jinghuai Zhang, Yang Gao, Xiaojun Shi, Xiangli Lü
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (9):  1019-1030.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017103
    Abstract ( 617 )   HTML ( 2 )   PDF (4579KB) ( 948 )   Save
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    Based on data from benthic trawling in Daya Bay between 2004 and 2015, the temporal and spatial characteristics of species composition and diversity were analyzed. A total of 429 species of marine animals were identified, belonging to 10 phyla, 16 classes, 175 families, and 309 genera. Species numbers varied between 75-114 in Daya Bay between 2004 and 2015. Chordata, Arthropoda, and Mollusca were the dominant phyla from 2004 to 2015, respectively. Species numbers showed a decreasing trend from 2004 to 2015. In the spring, the species number was higher in the western part of Daya Bay than the eastern region before 2007. More recently, the species number was higher in the mouth and the eastern parts of Daya Bay than the northern and western regions. In the summer, the species numbers increased in the southwestern region of the bay before 2008, but after 2009 results showed that the species number was higher in the mouth of the bay than the inner region. Timoclea imbricata or Paphia undulata were the first dominant species in spring. In summer, the first dominant species varied before 2007, but Turritella bacillum was the most dominant species after 2008. In autumn, Timoclea imbricata or Turritella bacillum was the first dominant species. The average Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H'), Pielou’s evenness index (J'), and species richness index (d) varied between 1.46-4.05, 0.30-0.89 and 2.49-6.69, respectively. Diversity decreased in Daya Bay between 2004 and 2015, especially in the northwestern area, mainly due to heavy anthropogenic activities. In recent years, the species resources of some areas of Daya Bay contribute mostly to the function of species diversity of the whole bay in the past, and benthic ecosystems have become more fragile.

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