Biodiv Sci ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (4): 22685.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2022685

• Technology and Methodology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Importance of collection strategy on detection probability and species diversity of epiphyllous liverworts

Xue Yao1, Xing Chen1, Zun Dai1, Kun Song2,*(), Shichen Xing1, Hongyu Cao1, Lu Zou1, Jian Wang1,3,*()   

  1. 1. School of Life Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241
    2. School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241
    3. Shanghai Insitute of Eco-Chongming (SIEC), Shanghai 202162
  • Received:2022-12-17 Accepted:2023-03-24 Online:2023-04-20 Published:2023-04-20
  • Contact: *E-mail:;


Aims: Epiphyllous liverworts mainly grow on the leaf surface of vascular plants in tropical and subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests, which are a complex group of bryophytes. Due to their special physiological and ecological characteristics, epiphyllous liverworts have great potential to become an indicator of climate change. To achieve this goal, detailed information on species diversity and distribution is required. In order to explore whether the experience and sampling intensity of observers significantly affects the detection probability and species diversity of epiphyllous liverworts in field surveys, the present study conducted systematic sampling and comparative analysis of the epiphyllous liverworts in the Wuyanling National Nature Reserve.

Methods: Through three repeated collections by four collectors with different collection experience at the same time (30 minutes per person) and in the same area (Tieluji to Huangjiadai), this study analyzed the differences between the number of leaves with epiphyllous liverworts and liverwort diversity among the four observers.

Results: There are 36 species of epiphyllous liverworts obtained from 11 genera and 5 families. One species (Makinoa crispata) was newly recorded in the area and reported as epiphyllous species for the first time. The observer’s experience has no obvious impact on the detection probability of epiphyllous liverworts, but has a significant impact on the species diversity, especially for the diversity of general species and dominant species. It is speculated that this difference is mainly caused by the collection strategy of different observers. Meanwhile, this study also showed that the species diversity of epiphyllous liverworts increased with the increase of sampling intensity, and the collection results jointly participated by the four observers reflected a high sampling adequacy.

Conclusion: The results show that for epiphyllous liverworts, a group that is often considered difficult to collect and identify, with necessary pre-collection experience training, non-professional observers also can perform conduct surveys of epiphyllous liverworts.

Key words: climate change, bryophytes, sampling method, Wuyanling National Nature Reserve, species diversity