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Table of Content
    Volume 30 Issue 10
    20 October 2022
    Biodiversity Science (formerly Chinese Biodiversity), launched in 1993, is a monthly peer-reviewed journal that specifically addresses the issues of biodiversity. It has become the most important journal in the field of biodiversity science in China. This special issue reviews the progress of the journal, and condenses 30 key questions of biodiversity research in China through a questionnaire survey, and thoroughly summarizes the latest progress and applications of new technologies in variety of fields of biodiversity, as well as China’s outstanding achievements in biodiversity inventory and monitoring, endangered species conservation, protected area and ecosystem restoration, etc.
      
    Editorials
    Celebrating Biodiversity Science 30th anniversary: A retrospective evaluation
    Yurong Zhou, Huili Li, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22618.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022618
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    Aims: We have examined the major advancements in Biodiversity Science from 2013 to 2022 in order to celebrate its 30th anniversary and improve its capacity to serve the development of biodiversity science in China.
    Progress: Over the past 10 years, a total of 56 special issues/features have been published to achieve a high quality and to advance the development in biodiversity research and conservation in China. With the development and needs of the subject, new categories have been established, including Editorial, Bioinventory, Data Paper, Conservation and Governance, and Biocultural Diversity. Among them, categories like Data Paper and Bioinventory are to encourage data sharing, Editorial to introduce hot topics, and Forum to encourage academic contending. Over this time, the number of research areas of the journal has increased from 61 to 78. Approximately 90% of the papers in the journal focus on biodiversity conservation, environmental sciences/ecology. The papers of botany, zoology and microbiology accounted for 41.79%, 47.48% and 4.61% of the total, respectively. The keywords of the published articles were grouped into nine subfields according to a bibliometric analysis. These subfields included genetic diversity, community structure, camera-trapping, the Convention on Biological Diversity, national parks, plant diversity, taxonomy, and geographical distribution. A significant amount of biodiversity talent has contributed to the journal, with 4,665 authors. The top 20 authors are mainly from associated institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, Peking University, etc. There are 1,525 papers published in the journal during 2013 and 2022. Of these, 1,211 papers have been cited 13,507 times by journal papers (excluding thesis papers and conference papers) in total, with an average of more than 11 times of each article. They were also widely downloaded and the download capacity increased from 66.4 thousand times in 2012 to 238.5 thousand times in 2021. Five articles have been honored as “The Excellent Research Article Award” from China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) or “The 100 Most Influential Domestic Academic Papers” in China. The highly cited and downloaded papers mainly focus on national parks, camera-trapping, the red list, multifunctionality, and biological invasion. The impact factor and total cites of the journal have ranked highly in the field of biology. According to the World Journal Clout Index (WJCI) Report of Scientific and Technological Periodicals, the journal is the only Chinese journal among global conservation biology journals, ranked 23/48 in 2019 and 25/49 in 2020, respectively.
    Prospects: Biodiversity Science has made a great contribution to the development of biodiversity science in China and become one of the most important journals in biodiversity conservation. Finally, we discuss how to continuously lead China’s biodiversity research and conservation in the future, challenges and countermeasures for creating a world first class journal, as well as how to improve science communication.

    Thirty key questions for biodiversity science in China
    Jian Zhang, Hongzhi Kong, Xiaolei Huang, Shenglei Fu, Liangdong Guo, Qinghua Guo, Fumin Lei, Zhi Lü, Yurong Zhou, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22609.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022609
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    Aim & Method: On the 30th anniversary of the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the establishment of the journal Biodiversity Science, we conducted questionnaire surveys from Chinese biodiversity researchers to gather the crucial questions in biodiversity science, and finally collected 763 questions from 281 participants.
    Results: By summarizing these questions and using the 100 fundamental questions of British Ecology Society as the reference, we narrowed down these questions into 30 key questions, which is grouped into 7 subjects: evolution and ecology (6 questions), populations (4 questions), communities and diversity (7 questions), ecosystems and functioning (3 questions), human impacts and global change (4 questions), methods and monitoring (4 questions), and biodiversity conservation (2 questions). The first five subjects mainly focus on the important processes and mechanisms of speciation and biodiversity maintenances, the relation between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and the consequences of global change in biodiversity; the sixth subject focus on biodiversity monitoring, prediction and data sharing; the last subject covers the key issues in conservation and the connections between nature and human health.
    Prospect: Although some biases certainly exist in the selection of these questions, we hope that the 30 key questions could stimulate critical thinking and promote in-depth discussions among Chinese biodiversity researchers.

    Reviews
    Theoretical advances in biodiversity research
    Shaopeng Wang, Mingyu Luo, Yanhao Feng, Chengjin Chu, Dayong Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22410.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022410
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    Background & Aims: Biodiversity is a key feature of ecosystem complexity. Understanding the origination and maintenance of biodiversity has been a major task of theoretical ecology research. Here we reviewed recent advances in theoretical studies on biodiversity.
    Progresses: We first summarized recent progress in modern coexistence theory and process-based community assembly theory. We then synthetized different approaches for inferring the presence and strengths of species interactions. Lastly, we introduced the general framework of eco-evolutionary models and their applications in biodiversity research.
    Prospects: We ended with a brief discussion on future developments of biodiversity theory, particularly in integrating processes across scales and predicting biodiversity responses to global changes.

    Advances on the origin and evolution of biodiversity
    Cheng Xue, Boka Li, Tianyu Lei, Hongyan Shan, Hongzhi Kong
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22460.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022460
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    Aims: The origin and evolution of biodiversity is one of the most important scientific questions in the field of life sciences. The accumulation of multi-omics data and the development of related analytical techniques have greatly promoted our understanding and research on the origin and evolution of biodiversity, thereby making it possible to clarify the processes and reveal the mechanisms of biological evolution events. On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the inaugural of Biodiversity Science, this paper briefly retrospects the important research progress of the origin and evolution of biodiversity in recent years, aiming to help the readers comprehend the present development on this topic.
    Progresses: In the past decade, research on the origin and evolution of biodiversity has made many significant advancements, including the reconstruction of the tree of life, the spatiotemporal distribution pattern of biodiversity, the concepts of species, speciation, and adaptive evolution, and the origin and diversification of new characters. Based on these advancements, phylogenetic relationships among many taxa were clarified; some historical causes of biodiversity distribution patterns were revealed; some new species concepts and speciation models were proposed; and some molecular mechanisms of new characters and functions were revealed.
    Prospect: We believe that the more accurate reconstruction of the tree of life, in-depth mining of genomic data, and the multidisciplinary integration would be the main trends in biodiversity research.

    Biodiversity conservation research in protected areas: A review
    Wei Wang, Yue Zhou, Yu Tian, Junsheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22459.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022459
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    Background & Aims: The establishment of protected areas (PAs) is one of the most important measures to protect biodiversity. Generally speaking, recent studies on biodiversity conservation in PAs have focused on key ecosystems and rare and endangered species, and explored the status and changes of these conservation objects. There have been a series of scientific debates on issues such as the number and size of PAs, how many important ecosystems and species can be protected in PAs, and whether PAs effectively protect biodiversity. However, there are still few systematic reviews of the above-mentioned research issues; thus, this paper systematically covers research progress in these fields in recent years, from the spatial layout of PAs and their relationship to the distribution of biodiversity, to biodiversity change and the conservation-effectiveness of PAs.
    Advances: Studies on the spatial layout of PAs and biodiversity distribution generally focused the status of biodiversity, mainly investigating topics we label as “how much is enough?”, “representativeness and conservation gaps”, and “where to protect?”. Based on the analysis of biodiversity changes in PAs, scholars from different countries have conducted substantial research on conservation-effectiveness assessment at the global, national, and individual-PA scale, and gradually developed a method of pairwise analysis inside and outside of PAs to improve the accuracy of assessments.
    Prospects: We conclude by proposing a potential future studies on biodiversity conservation in PAs, which mainly include: (1) Integrating studies on conservation status and biodiversity change in PAs; (2) Studying the optimal spatial layout of PAs under multi objectives; (3) Strengthening the identification, investigation, and monitoring of major conservation objects in PAs; (4) Improving the quality and connectivity of PAs; and (5) Exploring the relationship between management measures and conservation effectiveness of PAs. We hope this paper can provide a reference for the formulation and implementation of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, especially in the construction and optimization of PAs in the next 10 years.

    Progress and application of IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    Yan Xie
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22445.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022445
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    Aim: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN Red List) has become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species, a critical indicator of the health of biodiversity and a powerful tool to catalyse action for biodiversity conservation and policy decision. The purpose of this paper is to comprehensively introduce the development and application of the IUCN Red List, to promote Chinese species assessment and wide application in China.
    Review Results: (1) The history of the IUCN Red List. During the phase of Red Data Book of Endangered Species, it was largely dependent on individual experts’ personal judgement to make decisions on threatened categories. From 1991, the criteria gradually became quantified and unified for all taxon groups. Since IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1 published in 2001, the categories and criteria has been kept stable and become widely applied around the world. Until now, more than 140,000 species (among them, 10,846 species are distributed in China) have been evaluated at the global level, over 55,000 species evaluated at China country level, and over 100 countries/regions have developed their regional/national Red List.
    (2) Global criteria and assessment. The category system covers all species in the world, among which, three categories regarded as “threatened”, i.e., Critical Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) or Vulnerable (VU), must be evaluated by the five set of criteria. The current global level assessment work is mainly completed by the IUCN Species Survival Committee (SSC) and its partners, and there are strict requirements for the assessment.
    (3) National and regional criteria and applications. Compared with the global application, the category and criteria are applicable to regional applications, only the assessment results should be adjusted if the species population communicates with neighboring regions (or countries).
    (4) Assessment status of China Red List. The first comprehensive assessment began in 2000 for 10,211 species, and the China Red List of Species was published in 2004. The second comprehensive assessment began in 2008, and the official release began in 2013. By the end of 2021, over 55,000 species assessments were completed, including all terrestrial vertebrates and higher plants, some marine fishes, invertebrates, and large fungi. Yunnan Province has issued the first provincial red list.
    (5) Application of the Red List. The application of Red List continues to grow rapidly, both globally and in China. The Red List Index is used to measure biodiversity changes over time. The Red List is also applied for decision-making on species conservation priorities and key priority conservation areas, implementation of international conventions, formulating (revising) key protected species list of countries (regions) and protected area management and effective allocation of resources and public awareness raising.
    (6) Major discussions on Red List application. Since the publication of the Categories and Criteria, major discussions are on the methodology of obtaining data. While a few experts believe that some criteria are flawed and need to be improved, and some others calls for maintaining a long-term relative stable of criteria for comparisons over time.
    (7) Recommendations on sustainable mechanism and application in China. We recommend to establish China Red List Committee, develop a professional website for China Red List, build capacity of Red List assessors, establish mechanism for receiving and reviewing assessment reports, and strengthen international cooperation to promote application and development of global and China Red List.

    Theoretical and practical research on conservation of Wild Plants with Extremely Small Populations in China
    Yue Xu, Runguo Zang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22505.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022505
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    Aims: Wild Plants with Extremely Small Populations (WPESP) are plant species with high risk of extinction that are in urgent need of conservation. This concept has become a hotspot of biodiversity conservation in China since it was first proposed. In 2010, China officially launched the Implementation Plan of Rescuing and Conserving China’s WPESP (2011-2015), which initiated conservation research efforts and achieved successful progress.
    Methods: We conducted a topic search on Web of Science and on China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) with “extremely small population*” and “plant” as the search terms. We reviewed the research results and achievements from academic papers, dissertations, and conference papers in order to evaluate the conservation of WPESP in China.
    Results: WPESP research provides an important theoretical basis to guide conservation practice. We systematically reviewed research on the conservation of WPESP in recent years from six aspects: (1) the survey and monitoring of population, community and habitat, (2) adaptation, (3) genetic diversity, (4) reproductive biology, (5) endangered mechanisms, and (6) dynamic models. In this paper, we reviewed WPESP conservation progress from five aspects: (1) in situ conservation, (2) ex situ conservation and germplasm conservation, (3) reintroduction, (4) artificial propagation, and (5) technical regulation system construction. We also proposed several priorities for future conservation research.
    Conclusions: Based on current theoretical and practical research, we propose five priorities for future conservation research of WPESP in China. We suggest that the conservation list should be adjusted and improved periodically. Researchers should highlight the observation and prediction of population structure, reinforce research on the formation and recovery mechanisms of small populations and conduct long-term systematic studies of specific species. The WPESP concept should be promoted at international levels to increase its influence. We hope this review may provide a reference for national biodiversity protection and ecological civilization construction.

    Bio-inventory in China: Progress and perspectives
    Jianping Jiang, Cheng Du, Bing Liu, Ke Wang, Lei Cai, Qiang Li, Xiaolei Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22531.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022531
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    Background: Bio-inventory practices, including discovering and describing species, establishing reliable biological classification systems, compiling authoritative and timely species catalogues, and digitizing and sharing biodiversity information, are of great significance for biodiversity studies, biodiversity resource management, science-based policy-making, and social and economic development.
    Review results: In this article, based on a comprehensive review on literature and public databases, we summarize the progress of bio-inventory work on vertebrates, insects and other invertebrates, plants, and fungi in China in recent years. We also share perspectives for future bio-inventory work. Available data show that in China there are at least 698 recorded mammal species, 1,450 bird species, 586 reptile species, 611 amphibian species, 1,591 freshwater fish species, 38,493 higher plant species (including 35,379 vascular plant species), and about 27,900 fungi species, but there are no species catalogues for all Chinese insects and other invertebrates. In the last decade, 5 new families, 86 new genera, 2,090 new species and 374 new records of vascular plants, and 4,679 new fungi species belonging to 36 classes, 140 orders, 438 families and 1,372 genera, have been reported in China.
    Perspectives: Bio-inventory is growing in importance at the global and regional levels, and encouraging progress has been made in this field in China. However, new species descriptions for invertebrates and fungi, catalogues of many organismal groups, and digitization and integration of biodiversity information are especially needed in future research.

    Research progress on insect diversity
    Mingqiang Wang, Arong Luo, Qingsong Zhou, Jingting Chen, Tingting Xie, Yi Li, Douglas Chesters, Xiaoyu Shi, Hui Xiao, Huanji Liu, Qiang Ding, Xuan Zhou, Yiping Luo, Yuanyuan Lu, Yijie Tong, Zhengyu Zhao, Ming Bai, Pengfei Guo, Sichong Chen, Akihiro Nakamura, Yanqiong Peng, Yanhui Zhao, Shuhua Wei, Xiaolong Lin, Huayan Chen, Shixiao Luo, Yanhui Lu, Liang Lu, Jianping Yu, Xin Zhou, Yi Zou, Hao Lu, Chaodong Zhu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22454.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022454
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    Background & Aims: We reviewed progress on insect biodiversity research over the past 30 years and further analyzed the trends, focusing on varied study systems (e.g. forest, grassland and agriculture etc.) and important functional insect groups, such as pollinators, herbivores and predators.
    Progresses: Declines of insect abundance and diversity are being reported worldwide. Anthropogenic disturbance, climate change, and other factors contribute to this crisis.
    Strategies & Prospects: Studies of insect biodiversity have expanded from early comparisons of species richness on composition to multiple dimensions of diversity. Current studies include both in-depth work on morphological diversity and much deeper consideration of genetic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity. Moreover, the studies’ scale has expanded from local to global. The development of morphometrics and phylogenetic bioinformatics further contributes to understanding evolution and global patterns in diversity. We also need to pay more attention to topics on integrative taxonomy on functional insect groups, functional diversity, insect diversity within canopy, and species interaction networks.

    A review of recent advances in the study of geographical distribution and ecological functions of soil fauna diversity
    Shenglei Fu, Manqiang Liu, Weixin Zhang, Yuanhu Shao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22435.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022435
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    Aims: Understanding the distribution and drivers of soil fauna diversity as well as their ecological functions have become areas of cutting-edge research in modern geoscience and ecology. Here, we briefly introduce the latest progress in this field, discuss present research limitations and uncertainties, and offer promising research directions in future studies of soil fauna.
    Progresses: Many studies have described the global distribution of representative soil fauna taxa diversity and abundance, such as that of earthworms. Research on soil fauna distribution and ecological function in China has also flourished with many large scale, intensive sampling studies in the past 10 years (especially for earthworms and nematodes). Based on a literature review, we observed that there were two main distribution patterns of soil fauna diversity across latitudes. Diversity was found to be highest either at low-latitude tropical zones or at mid-latitude temperate zones; while changes in soil fauna abundance and diversity can be consistent, non-related, totally different, and even opposite. Precipitation, plant productivity and soil organic matter were the critical drivers of soil fauna distribution, but their influences varied with soil faunal taxon. The major ecological functions of soil fauna include improving soil physical structure, facilitating nutrient cycling and organic carbon stabilization, and enhancing plant health. The concept of multifunctionality of soil fauna has been proposed by soil ecologist to fully measure these multi-dimensional ecological functions, but it still faces many challenges.
    Prospect: The drivers of soil fauna distribution are not simply predicted from the variation pattern of soil faunal community characteristics across latitudes, longitudes or altitudes. Rather, we suggest that drivers of the soil fauna distribution should be explored within a multi-dimensional spatial-temporal framework based on a combination of geological and ecological history as well as “latitude & longitude-altitude-distance to coast”. The distribution pattern of soil fauna may critically influence their potential ecological functions; however, the prediction and simulation of soil fauna distribution mainly relied on data-driven empirical models, and the results were not conclusive. Thus, the application of theories such as metabolic ecology deserves more attention. Research on the relationship between soil fauna diversity and function is in the preliminary stages; focusing on functional diversity and exploring the redundancy mechanism of taxonomic diversity could link soil fauna diversity and function. We propose to understand soil fauna diversity and function under specific condition of space and time, as well as the context of the whole soil food web and its connection with plants. There are two promising directions for further research: (1) illustrating the large uncertainties that human activity and climate change may bring to soil fauna studies; (2) developing precision manipulation approaches of soil fauna community to ultimately link soil fauna multifunctionality with human well-being.

    Progress on microbial species diversity, community assembly and functional traits
    Cheng Gao, Liang-Dong Guo
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22429.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022429
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    Background: Microbes, collectively bacteria, fungi, archaea, and viruses, are the organisms that are widely distributed on earth, with a huge number of individuals and high diversity of species and genes. In order to adapt to various habitats, microbes have developed many life strategies, such as saprotroph, parasite and symbiont, and consequently contribute broadly to biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem succession and stability, environmental remediation, and human health. Research on microbial diversity had been limited by traditional monitoring techniques. Recently, benefiting from the development of high-throughput sequencing techniques and bioinformatics, understanding of microbial diversity has been significantly advanced.
    Results: This study reviews the progress on the diversity distribution pattern and maintenance, community assembly and functional trait of microbes. Altitudinal distribution patterns and drivers of bacterial, archaeal, and fungal diversity have been demonstrated. Selection, dispersal, speciation and drift processes are important for the community assembly of bacteria, archaea, and fungi. Bacteria and fungi are diverse in functional traits, such as morphology, physiology and biochemistry, growth and propagation, dispersal and genome. Future study in microbial diversity should focus on fungal metagenomics, relationship between microbial diversity and ecosystem function, and ecosystem function of microbial interaction network.

    Progress of marine biodiversity studies in China seas in the past decade
    Jun Sun, Yuyao Song, Yifeng Shi, Jian Zhai, Wenzhuo Yan
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22526.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022526
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    Background: China possess a high marine biodiversity. Under global climate changes, studies on marine biodiversity changes in Chinese waters grow rapidly. Over the last decade, Chinese scientists made great progress on studies of marine biodiversity in China.
    Review Results: In this paper we summarized the significant progresses made on studies of marine biodiversity in China at the genetic, species, and ecosystem levels over the last decade and conducted a bibliometric analysis by using the VOSviewer software. The results showed that scientists in China had found new species through use of more accurate and rapid classification methods or tools, like molecular detections, flow cytometry, and other new techniques. Within the framework of multidisciplinary integration, biodiversity and the environmental was considered holistically, which will provide more accurate data for the restoration of marine ecosystems in future. At present, the study of Chinese scientists on marine biodiversity is still on the step of catching up the cutting edge, while we already made a obviously progress in some new hotspots, such as deep sea, seamounts, and some extreme environmental marine biodiversity studies. The discovery of new taxon had constantly updated the original knowledges, and made a great progress in the monitoring of typical marine ecosystems and the remediation of some invasive species. Due to the high biodiversity and complete monitoring data in China’s offshore waters, it is necessary to carry out more comprehensive marine ecological models to analyze and study these integrated spatial-temporal data. By exploring the biodiversity changes and their interaction under the multiple stresses, this provides the helps for optimizing the conservation and management of marine biodiversity in China sea waters.

    Progress and prospect of China biodiversity monitoring from a global perspective
    Hui Wu, Xuehong Xu, Xiaojuan Feng, Xiangcheng Mi, Yanjun Su, Zhishu Xiao, Chaodong Zhu, Lei Cao, Xin Gao, Chuangye Song, Liangdong Guo, Donghui Wu, Jianping Jiang, Hao Shen, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22434.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022434
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    Background & Aim: Analyzing biodiversity status requires multi-spatial scale, continuous monitoring across different ecosystems due to its heterogenous nature in both space and time. Therefore, monitoring networks are necessary for biodiversity conservation research. Biodiversity monitoring networks at the global, regional, and national scales, represented by GEO BON and APBON, have flourished. China has established a long-term monitoring network for ecosystems and species at the national scale. and the China Biodiversity Observation and Research Network (Sino BON) was launched in 2013 with strong support from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Finance.
    Review Results: Sino BON includes 10 subnetworks specialized at monitoring animals, plants and microbes and an additional network for near-ground remote sensing, which covers 30 main sites and 60 affiliated sites in China. Currently, Sino BON has created a research platform for multi-trophic interactions among soil microorganisms, insects, large mammals, underground forests to forest canopies. This platform provides an understanding of biodiversity change and its driving factors at the national level and may be used in protecting biodiversity and sustainable utilization of biological resources.
    Perspectives: For further progresses, monitoring technology, monitoring areas, data standards and integrated information platforms require further development.

    Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio): Twenty years of exploring community assembly mechanisms and prospects for future research
    Xiangcheng Mi, Xugao Wang, Guochun Shen, Xubin Liu, Xiaoyang Song, Xiujuan Qiao, Gang Feng, Jie Yang, Zikun Mao, Xuehong Xu, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22504.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022504
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    Background & Aim: Since 2004, the Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network (CForBio) has established 23 large forest dynamics plots along a latitude gradient ranging from cold temperate forests to tropical forests in China. The forest dynamics plots include about 1,893 species, representing one-sixth of the known tree diversity in China. With > 700 papers and > 400 papers published in international journals, CForBio researchers have made significant contributions toward understanding mechanisms of forest community assembly. This review summarizes the progresses achieved by CForBio researchers, including knowledge of the spatiotemporal patterns of plant communities, the roles of habitat filtering, biotic interactions, effects of dispersal limitation and regional effects in structuring plant communities, and the application of new technologies in understanding community assembly.
    Review Results: (1) Habitat filtering and dispersal limitation jointly affect the diversity patterns such as species-area relationship and β diversity, but their relative effects vary among plots and across scales. (2) Habitat filtering generally plays an important role in forest community assembly. However, it is difficult to quantify its relative importance. (3) Conspecific negative density dependence (CNDD) is prevalent in these CForBio plots across latitudes. In addition, the strength of CNDD is found to be mediated by plant mycorrhizal type, and varies with life history, functional traits and environmental change. (4) Dispersal limitation predominantly shapes community structure at local scales, whereas regional effects, such as regional pool size and geological history, strongly determine spatial patterns of biodiversity among communities over broader biogeographic regions. (5) New technologies provide novel ways to advance studies of community assembly from both macro and micro-perspectives. On one hand, remote sensing enables us to monitor forest community biodiversity from local to large scales in a cost-effective way. On the other hand, transcriptomics and metabolomics enable us to precisely infer molecular mechanisms of community assembly.
    Perspectives: This review also discusses the limitations in current community assembly studies and proposes some issues and potential topics to be considered for future studies. We discuss the vital role of CForBio in promoting the application and future development of community assembly studies, including (1) the spatiotemporal scale problem; (2) the multi-dimensional (taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity) and multi-trophic biotic interactions; (3) the advantages of interdisciplinary and multipath approaches such as the “observational evidence-controlled experiment- ecosystem model” methodology; (4) the effect of global change on community assembly; and (5) the applications of community assembly findings for addressing forest management challenges. In conclusion, the long-term forest biodiversity monitoring is fundamental for a comprehensive understanding of community assembly and serves as an important platform for bridging studies on theories of assembly and on forest management challenges.

    Wildlife monitoring and research using camera-trapping technology across China: The current status and future issues
    Zhishu Xiao, Wenhong Xiao, Tianming Wang, Sheng Li, Xinming Lian, Dazhao Song, Xueqin Deng, Qihai Zhou
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22451.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022451
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    Background: Innovation in the application of intelligent sensors, artificial intelligence, and information technology has greatly increased the potential for global biodiversity conservation and restoration.
    Aims: Considering the significant advances in wildlife monitoring using infrared cameras at home and abroad, combined with a literature review, this paper aims to assess the current status and relevant topics from wildlife camera-trapping monitoring research in China since 2011. Combined with important research cases at home and abroad to explore the cutting-edge issues of camera-trapping monitoring research, this paper will provide suggestions for the future of camera-trapping monitoring research in China.
    Main issues: The main contents of this paper are as follows: (1) We conducted and summarized a literature review of wildlife camera-trapping monitoring research in China during the past 30 years (1991-2021); (2) By reviewing major research cases in China since 2011, we assessed five primary topics such as technical methods, species discovery and inventory, morphology and behavioral research, ecological research, and conservation and management; (3) Utilizing recent research cases abroad, we evaluated cutting-edge trends in the field of infrared camera monitoring research; and (4) We provide relevant suggestions for the future development of wildlife camera-trapping monitoring research in China.
    Conclusions: Through our review, this paper underscores the innovative trend of infrared camera technology application and development at home and abroad in wildlife monitoring and research during the past decade. We provide a reference basis for China’s future development in this field, so as to better serve the construction of China’s biodiversity monitoring and research network as well as the construction of protected areas systems centering on national parks. Finally, we promote the construction of a national ecological civilization by providing a scientific basis for making decisions in ensuring ecological security and biosafety.

    The outlook and system construction for monitoring Essential Biodiversity Variables based on remote sensing: The case of China
    Yu Ren, Shengli Tao, Tianyu Hu, Haitao Yang, Hongcan Guan, Yanjun Su, Kai Cheng, Mengxi Chen, Huawei Wan, Qinghua Guo
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22530.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022530
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    Background: Maintaining biodiversity is crucial to human beings. In recent years, the concept of Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) has provided new insights into large-scale and long-time biodiversity monitoring. Looking at EBVs from a national monitoring perspective, some EBVs are anticipated to correspond with remote sensing-derived variables since remote sensing is the potential methodology able to offer globally qualified data with a high spatial and temporal resolution. However, the academic community still lacks consensual remote sensing variables that can correspond with EBVs solidly.
    Aims: This study aims to (1) review the current researches of remote sensing on EBVs; (2) propose a new criterion called “repeatability” on the basis of the current four remote sensing biodiversity product prioritization criteria; (3) construct a list of remote sensing products for EBVs in China based on these criteria.
    Problems & Prospects: First of all, there is a lack of systematic research on EBVs in China. Second, the potential of domestic satellites is not exploited enough. Third, some EBVs remote sensing products are not yet “repeatable”. In the future, there is a need to promote cooperation among scientists in the fields of ecology, remote sensing, and aerospace to further promote scientific research on the combination of EBVs and remote sensing.

    Research advances of plant invasion ecology over the past 10 years
    Yanjie Liu, Wei Huang, Qiang Yang, Yu-Long Zheng, Shao-Peng Li, Hao Wu, Ruiting Ju, Yan Sun, Jianqing Ding
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22438.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022438
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    Background & Aims: Alien plant invasion has significantly threatened native biodiversity, ecological security, socio-economic development, and human health. Consequently, exploring the mechanisms of alien plant invasion and its ecological impacts are of great importance to the ecologically sustainable development of our country. Both questions are also key topics in the field of invasion ecology. Over the past decade, ecologists have conducted much research and achieved fruitful outcomes, providing theoretical guidance for the prevention and management of invasive alien plants and biodiversity conservation.
    Progresses: Based on domestic and international studies in this field over the past decade, the present article reviews the progress of plant invasion ecology, focusing on the following three aspects of the field. First, we present the roles of species characteristics, biotic and abiotic environments on alien plant invasion. Second, we review the impacts of alien plant invasion on native ecosystems. Third, we briefly introduce the term ‘native plant invasion’ as an analog to alien plant invasion, as well as applications of multi-omics technology in the area.
    Prospects: The review looks ahead to further developments in invasion ecology, including that (1) multiple species experiments rather than single species experiments are more suited to obtaining gerneralizable findings; (2) the geographical scale is increasing, such as from local scale to latitudinal gradient pattern; (3) more studies are integrating multiple invasion theories, rather than one hypothesis, into a unified framework.

    Complex relationships and feedback mechanisms between climate change and biodiversity
    Xin Jing, Shengjing Jiang, Huiying Liu, Yu Li, Jin-Sheng He
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22462.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022462
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    Background and Aims: Climate change and biodiversity loss are two major changes that human society is experiencing. Climate change affects all aspects of biodiversity and is a major driver of biodiversity loss; in turn, biodiversity loss exacerbates climate change. Therefore, halting or even reversing climate change and biodiversity loss is a global issue that needs to be addressed by human society. However, we lack a clear understanding of the complex relationships and feedback mechanisms between climate change and biodiversity. Here, we summarize the research on climate and biodiversity change in the last decade by focusing on studies investigating the responses and feedback of biodiversity to climate change at different organizational levels, spatial scales, and diversity dimensions.
    Progress: Our results showed that most studies focus on the direct impacts of climate change on biodiversity, involving different organizational levels and dimensions and trophic levels of biodiversity. Studies on the indirect impacts of climate change were rare, and we suggested that mechanistic studies need to be strengthened. The mechanisms and quantification of the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem multifunctionality were challenges for current research. There was no consensus on how biodiversity contributes to ecosystem response to climate change; the positive and negative feedback effects of biodiversity in the context of climate change were a blind spot in domestic and international research.
    Prospects: The future direction and key scientific issues that need to be solved in the field of climate change and biodiversity change are numerous. We identify 4 main areas of future research: understanding (1) the impacts of multi-factor climate change on biodiversity, (2) how mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change can benefit biodiversity conservation, (3) how the theory of biodiversity and ecosystem function can be applied to the real-world ecosystems and (4) what is the contribution of biodiversity conservation to carbon neutrality goals.

    A review of ecosystem restoration: Progress and prospects of domestic and abroad
    Feng Li, Chaonan Cheng, Rui Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22519.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022519
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    Background: Climate change and increased human activity lead to ecosystem degradation, loss of biodiversity and reduced capacity to sustain the biosphere, as well as significantly constrain sustainable socio-economic development. Ecosystem degradation continues to be a global concern, and extensive conservation and restoration efforts have been implemented worldwide to address this problem.
    Progresses: In this paper, we first explore the concepts and theories of ecosystem restoration and how they developed. Secondly, we summarize key elements associated with ecosystem restoration, e.g. ecosystem services and values, biodiversity conservation, climate change and carbon storage, nature reserves, monitoring systems and adaptive management, and equity and multi-participation. Then, we review the problem of ecosystem degradation and the extent of restoration efforts in China’s forests, grasslands, rivers and wetlands, and marine and coastal zones. We explore the progress and shortcomings of three measures, in particular, China’s ecological conservation red line scheme, ecosystem restoration in protected areas and ecological protection and restoration in national space planning.
    Prospect: We conclude this paper by exploring integrated conservation and systematic land management approaches to address ecosystem degradation. We discuss the policies and channels of diversified financing of ecosystem restoration, exploratory practices in wilderness ecological conservation and restoration, applied research in urban ecosystem restoration, and ecosystem restoration for the conservation and maintenance of biodiversity to inform further research and practical application of ecosystem restoration efforts in China.

    New progress in biocultural diversity studies
    Yanan Chu, Chen Lin, Wenhui Mao, Chunlin Long
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22463.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022463
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    Background & Aims: As the basis of maintaining nature and human society, biocultural diversity has been a broad topic of concern by many countries and international organizations. Because of its rich connotations, many studies on biocultural diversity have been conducted on different continents. Experiences and results from previous research will benefit efforts at conserving biodiversity and constructing eco-civilization. The aims of this review are to introduce the concept of biocultural diversity and research methods associated with it, summarize the progress of research on biocultural diversity, and to provide reference to its related fields.
    Progress: The concept, research methods and research findings of biocultural diversity are introduced in this article. Research progress on biocultural diversity is reviewed in the literature. Four major contents of biocultural diversity have been emphasized, including the complex relationship between biodiversity and cultural diversity, traditional knowledge significant to the conservation of biocultural diversity, the carrier function of cultural landscapes, and the quantitative assessment methods of biocultural diversity. Previous studies have shown that differentiation is the common premise for the formation of biodiversity and cultural diversity, whose characteristics include common spatial overlap, temporal co-evolution, and positive interaction. As a key component of biocultural diversity, traditional knowledge is of great significance in building ecological consciousness, managing biological resources and conserving traditional agricultural germplasm resources. As the spatial carrier of biological culture, cultural landscapes serve important functions for food security, biological resources conservation, cultural inheritance and human habitation. The improved assessment methods provide the ability to monitor and predict the status and prospect of biocultural diversity, which can be used to guide conservation actions. In summarizing past studies, this review assesses possible development trends of biocultural diversity.
    Prospects: Four topics within the field of biocultural diversity are proposed for future development: (1) Multidisciplinary comprehensive quantitative analysis and cross-cultural dynamic research should be applied in studies at different levels. (2) Develop research models that reveal the mechanism of interaction between biological and cultural diversity. (3) Study how the theory and method of biocultural diversity may be applied to guide agricultural production and other practical activities. (4) Study how biocultural diversity may contribute to work on ecosystem services, ecological compensation, and sustainable development.

    Application of genomics technology in biodiversity conservation research
    Shanlin Liu, Na Qiu, Shuyi Zhang, Zhunan Zhao, Xin Zhou
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22441.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022441
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    Background: Research techniques in molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology and genetics have been accelerated by rapid development of modern genomic technologies. These advances have rapidly evolved the field of biodiversity research, once a branch of natural history focusing on morphology, into an integrated life science. Modern biodiversity studies can now investigate and link element of ecological systems, the species within them, and their genetic diversity. DNA related technologies, among other omics techniques, have continued to develop and launch new sequencing platforms, leading to a reduction of DNA sequencing costs that has already outstripped Moore’s Law, which also facilitates a series of breakthroughs in the research fields of biodiversity.
    Prospects: Here, we introduce emerging trends in DNA-based omics techniques applied in biodiversity research, including species-level genomics as well as genetic diversity and community-levels species diversity. The former includes genomes obtained based on single individuals and genetic diversity of focal populations in both spatial and temporal dimensions, while the latter includes molecular identification approaches, such as metabarcoding, eDNA, iDNA etc. These new methods can be applied in biodiversity estimation for various communities, as well as in monitoring and conservation of flagship species and interspecific interactions.

    Reconstructing community assembly using a numerical simulation model
    Huijie Qiao, Junhua Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (10):  22456.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022456
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    Background: The formation of ecological communities has occurred through a long process of evolution. The current community composition we have observed is not only determined by the ecological traits of the species itself but also affected by environmental changes, human activities, and various random events. Time scales and experimental constraints mean we cannot fully observe the process of community assembly, and can only speculate on this process through fragmented data. Simulations can be used to test aspects of community assembly thanks to their relative efficiency, controllability, and traceability.
    Aim: We review efforts to simulate of community assembly and the approaches taken to combine different explanations for assembly. We note advantages, disadvantages, and prospects of simulation for study of community assembly. To introduce numerical simulation into the study of community assembly, it is necessary to extract the factors and rules that affect the assembly pathways and that can be modeled within the requirements of a chosen simulation model.
    Process: Robert Paine used virtual species to build community food web structure, and discussed the relationship between food web complexity and species diversity from a purely mathematical perspective approximately 50 years ago. Many subsequent studies, such as exploring the impact of isolation and sub-networks in complex food webs, and evaluating the impact of network isolation on ecological stability through food web complexity and other related theories, are typical cases of using numerical simulation at to consider the impact of interspecific interactions and the complexity-stability relationship. At the cross-community scale, May et al. modelled the abundance and distribution of individuals of different species in a spatially defined landscape, defining key attributes of multiple communities (total individuals, population density, and intraspecific degree of spatial aggregation, etc.), deducing the relevant indicators of biodiversity and comparing the performance of the biodiversity-related indicators of multiple community structures under different sampling modes and intensities. For protected area planning, numerical simulations can use artificial intelligence to prioritize protected areas, and quantify the trade-offs between the costs and benefits of regional and biodiversity conservation. On regional or global scales, the relationship between species niche breadth, dispersal capacity, environmental change rate and each of species extinction and new species formation was analyzed. We confirmed that topography and climate drive the evolution of species and the formation of species diversity along the latitudinal gradient of niche breadth and species diversity for bird communities in South America over the past 800,000 years. We also modelled the formation of species in the Ordovician, late Pliocene and Pleistocene, and the discussion of the impact of topographic factors on species extinction.
    Prospect: The change of biodiversity can be a long-term and complex process. Understanding how these processes change over time requires the integration of multidisciplinary theories and research methods such as macroevolution, paleontology, biogeography, and community ecology. The study of large-scale biodiversity patterns has reached a global scale, and it is becoming harder and harder to find the drivers of biodiversity patterns via simple correlation analysis. In fact, macroecology is now shifting its focus from finding correlations between ecological phenomena and environmental factors to understanding, explaining, and predicting observed patterns of biodiversity from a causal perspective. Simulation provides an opportunity to observe community assembly.


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