Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (2): 22310.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022310

Special Issue: 昆虫多样性与生态功能

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial distribution of species diversity of solitary wasps (Vespidae) and its responses to environmental factors in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province

Muqing Lin1,2, Yingming Zhang3, Fang Ouyang1, Zufei Shu3, Chaodong Zhu1,2,4, Zhishu Xiao1,2,*()   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents in Agriculture, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2. College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3. Guangdong Chebaling National Nature Reserve Administration Bureau, Shaoguan, Guangdong 512500
    4. Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
  • Received:2022-06-08 Accepted:2022-11-21 Online:2023-02-20 Published:2022-12-31
  • Contact: *Zhishu Xiao, E-mail:


Aims: In order to better guide the functional zoning of nature reserves, it is necessary to conduct scientific investigation and assessment of basic biodiversity data from each nature reserve and its surrounding areas. Solitary wasps are important natural predators of agricultural and forestry pests and are also important environmental biological indicators. In this study, we aimed to assess the relationship between spatial distribution of species diversity on solitary wasps (Vespidae) and functional zoning in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province.

Methods: From 2018 to 2020, we investigated the diversity and distribution of Vespidae wasps and their driving factors in a typical subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Nanling using artificial trap-nests and km-grid protocols (a total of 100 survey grids with a grid size of 1 km × 1 km) across the whole region and its surrounding areas in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve.

Results: In this study, a total of 4,156 wasp trap-nests and 9,973 brood cells were obtained, and 9 wasp species were identified, distributed in 89 grids, and the distribution map of their species richness and abundance was drawn. The results indicated that elevation, the distance to the nearest settlement, and enhanced vegetation index (EVI) may act as the key environmental factors affecting species richness, abundance, and distribution of the wasp community. Species richness, the nest number, and brood cells of Vespidae wasps decreased significantly with increasing elevation, and species richness and abundance were much higher when the sites were closer to the settlement. However, the α diversity index of the wasp community demonstrated a pattern with an initial increase and then decrease with EVI. The overall β diversity, species turnover, and the nestedness of the wasp community was 0.21, 0.05, and 0.16, respectively, which indicated that the nestedness was the main distribution pattern of the wasp community in the nature reserve. Distance redundancy analysis demonstrated that species turnover was significantly influenced by elevation, whereas the nestedness was not affected by any environmental factor involved in this paper. The abundance of nests or brood cells outside the nature reserve were significantly higher than those in the other three functional zones, while all α diversity indices (species richness, Shannon diversity, Simpson diversity, and Pielou evenness) indicated no significant differences amongst the four functional zones. This suggested that the wasp communities had similar species composition and no obvious distribution boundary across all the functional zones in this nature reserve.

Conclusion: Based on the grid survey in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, this study mapped the spatial distribution of wasp diversity and then revealed the relationship between the wasp diversity and the functional zoning in the Nanling subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest. Our study provides a scientific basis for the long-term monitoring and conservation management of insect biodiversity in protected areas.

Key words: trap-nests, solitary wasps, species diversity, spatial distribution, elevation, enhanced vegetation index, protected areas