Volume 31 Issue 5   20 May 2023
Tri-spine horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus), a most ancient marine invertebrate organism, once widely distributed in the coastal waters south of the Yangtze Estuary in China. However, it has experienced dramatic range reduction and population decline since the 1980s. Therefore, the protection of horseshoe crab resources and its habitat is urgent. In this issue, Bao et al (22407) conducted a preliminary survey of the distribution of horseshoe crabs in the northern South China Sea, and determined the potential habitat of the Tri-spine horseshoe crab in the Beibu Gulf. (Photo provider: Lifeng Zhuang from Guangdong Horseshoe Crabs Conservation Research Team)
    • Original Papers: Plant Diversity
      Species-area relationship and species richness determinants of coastal endemic plants in the Fujian Islands
      Yanqiu Xie Hui Huang Chunxiao Wang Yaqin He Yixuan Jiang Zilin Liu Chuanyuan Deng Yushan Zheng
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22345.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022345
      Abstract ( 91 )   PDF (791KB) ( 67 )   Save
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      Aim: Fujian Province is made up of numerous islands that are rich in endemic plant resources. Conducting research on their distribution patterns and mechanisms of diversification can provide a basis for conservation and protection of coastal endemic plants. Our aim is to investigate the distribution patterns and mechanisms of species richness of coastal endemic plants in Fujian islands. 

      Methods: This study investigated the species–area relationship of coastal endemic plants in 53 islands of Fujian Province as well as the impact of 10 environmental factors on plant species richness from three sources: landscape, human disturbance, and climate. Differential responses by various growth forms of plants, such as trees, shrubs, and herbs, to environmental factors were also discussed.

      Results: The species–area relationship between coastal endemic plants and different growth forms of plants showed a trend of increasing species richness with increasing area. The area, shape index, and perimeter area ratio of environmental factors of the landscape were the main factors that explain the abundance of coastal endemic plants and different growth forms of species on Fujian islands. Both the coastal endemic plants and their differing growth forms increased as the area and shape index increased, while the coastal endemic plants species richness as well as shrub and herb richness decreased with an increase in the perimeter area ratio. Further, the various growth forms exhibited differential species richness responses to island environmental factors. Apart from landscape factors, climate had the highest interpretation rate for trees, reaching 9.82%. 

      Conclusion: Compared to other island ecosystems, the species richness of coastal endemic plants and different growth forms in the Fujian islands is strongly correlated with island area, but are less sensitive to island habitats. Landscape environmental factors contributed more to the interpretation rate than climate and human disturbance. Previous studies have found that island environmental factors are significantly correlated with habitat heterogeneity. For example, the larger the island, the more irregular its shape, and the lower its perimeter area ratio, the higher the habitat heterogeneity. Therefore, the high level of habitat heterogeneity in this study may be the underlying mechanism that explains the changes in coastal endemic plant abundance with landscape environmental factors.

      Effects of simulated warming on seasonal dynamics of herbaceous diversity in temperate secondary forests in Northeast China
      Zhehan Chen Jin Yin Ji Ye Dongwei Liu Zikun Mao Shuai Fang Fei Lin Xugao Wang
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  23059.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023059
      Abstract ( 45 )   PDF (824KB) ( 27 )   Save
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      Aims: Climate warming mainly caused by human activities has led to changes in terrestrial plant diversity and community structure. Forest herb layer, as the main contributor of plant diversity in forest ecosystem, has a significant response to climate warming, however, relevant studies are still lacking. This study explores the changes of herbaceous community in temperate forests in the context of climate warming, including diversity, community structure, and species composition, in order to provide scientific basis for the response of forest herbaceous layer to climate warming. 

      Method: This experiment was carried out in 2021 and 2022 on a simulated warming platform built by Qingyuan Forest Ecosystem Research Station of Chinese Academy of Sciences, which used an infrared ray to warm the surface soil by 2℃ during the growing season. 

      Results: The results showed that there was no significant change in herbaceous diversity under warming conditions, but the community diversity index of each season showed a decreasing trend. After warming, the overall coverage and abundance of the herbaceous community did not change significantly, but the composition and structure of the herbaceous community changed significantly. Specifically, the response trend of different dominant species to warming was different. Among the dominant species throughout the year, the response of Brachybotrys paridiformis was the most obvious, as its importance value, abundance, and coverage increased significantly, while that of Meehania henryi decreased significantly. Cardamine leucantha and Hylomecon japonica had no significant response. Lastly, the importance value of Allium monanthum, which is the seasonal dominant species, was significantly decreased, while that of Adoxa moschatellina was significantly increased. 

      Conclusion: Warming has no significant effect on herbaceous diversity in the forest in this study, but it may lead to the advancement of the phenological period of some species, change the competition between species in the community for resources such as light, or affect the development of functional traits of some species. Furthermore, it may change the importance value, abundance, and coverage of dominant species in different seasons, and lead to significant changes in the composition and structure of the herbaceous community.

      Original Papers: Animal Diversity
      Species and functional diversity of birds in the Tibetan Plateau based on specimens from the Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences collection
      Xiaocheng Chen Pengzhan Zhang Bin Kang Linshan Liu Liang Zhao
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22638.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022638
      Abstract ( 249 )   PDF (1482KB) ( 161 )   Save
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      Aims: Species diversity and functional diversity are the two main research contents of biodiversity. Studying species diversity and functional diversity in different regions can provide important theoretical support for biodiversity conservation.

      Methods: In this study, the passerine birds in eleven eco-geographical regions of the Tibetan Plateau collected by the Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences were taken as the research object, and the data of bird species and traits were combined to calculate three species α-diversity indices (species richness, Shannon entropy and Pielou evenness), three functional α-diversity indices (functional richness, functional evenness and functional divergence), species and function β-diversity and their respective turnover and nestedness components. The relationship between species diversity and functional diversity was analyzed.

      Results:The species α-diversity of birds was higher in the southeast and lower in the northwest for the Tibetan Plateau. Functional richness and functional evenness showed clear spatial differences, and the average of species richness and functional richness were low in the whole region. Functional divergence was higher in the whole region. Species β-diversity was higher than functional β-diversity, but both of them had high values. Species β-diversity was mainly composed of turnover components, and the proportion of nestedness and turnover components were similar in functional β-diversity. Functional richness was positively correlated with species richness and Shannon entropy. There was a significant correlation between species and functional β-diversity, and a significant correlation between the contribution ratio of species and functional turnover components.

      Conclusion: The above results indicate that birds in the regions with higher functional richness occupy a larger functional trait space, while the higher functional evenness and functional divergence indicate that birds could utilize food resources more evenly and effectively in these regions. The relationship between bird diversity and the ecosystem could be well characterized by combining species and functional α-diversity and β-diversity.
      Food source characteristics and diversity of birds based on feeding behavior in residential areas of Beijing
      Luqin Yin Cheng Wang Wenjing Han
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22473.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022473
      Abstract ( 160 )   PDF (3119KB) ( 254 )   Save
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      Aims:Urban areas can provide important habitats for birds. Residential green spaces can play an important role in urban green spaces and may provide valuable resources for urban birds. Food diversity and quantity can be one of the factors that could be limiting bird survival. Therefore, by considering the food preferences of birds, this study aims to determine the relationship between birds and their food sources in Beijing residential areas. Furthermore, this study seeks to determine what factors may influence bird feeding behavior in residential areas.  

      Methods: Forty residential areas were selected as survey plots and surveyed monthly from June 2020 to May 2021. A generalized linear model was used to evaluate the influencing factors of bird feeding in residential areas, and linear regression was performed on the diversity index, abundance and the distribution of bird feeding sources.

      Results: (1) The feeding behavior of 2,242 birds (35 species, 14 families) were recorded. We observed that bird richness was at its highest in spring, followed by autumn, winter and summer, then abundance was at its highest in spring, followed by winter, autumn and summer, and the Shannon-Wiener index was at its highest in autumn, followed by spring, winter, summer. (2) A decrease in food sources was observed in the following: insects (33.87%), samara (18.33%), berries (9.77%), cones (8.16%) and grass seeds (5.17%). (3) The direct utilization of plants by birds was 60.4%, while the indirect utilization was 39.6%. The Shannon-Wiener diversity index of food source plants decreased in autumn (3.1612), winter (2.9651), spring (2.9203) and summer (2.1763). (4) The species of food source is the most critical environmental factor that determines birds feeding behavior in residential areas. Birds with more abundant food sources have larger populations and wider distribution ranges.

      Conclusion: Plant species in residential areas can be highly diverse and can offer a wide range of food sources for multiple species of birds throughout their entire phenology between the early spring and autumn. It is necessary to plant more native tree species and fruiting plants, reduce hedgerows, and advocate near-natural management measures with low disturbance.

      Original Papers:Animal Diversity
      Diversity of oviposition and pollination behaviors of Ceratosolen spp. in female phase figs of subgenus Sycomorus
      Manjuan Huang Xuemin Wang Baige Miao Yanqiong Peng
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  23060.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023060
      Abstract ( 64 )   PDF (1161KB) ( 57 )   Save
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      Aims: In monoecious Ficus species, fig wasps lay eggs in the ovaries to propagate their offspring while also pollinating female flowers to generate seeds after they reach the female phase figs. On the other hand, in dioecious Ficus, fig wasps lay eggs in the ovaries of male figs and pollinate female flowers in female figs, indicating their differential reproductive tasks in the male and female figs. Our study aims to investigate interspecific differences and diversity in the oviposition and pollination behaviors of pollinating fig wasps and quantify the time involved in different behaviors in female phase figs, a subject that has been scarcely studied.
      Methods: We selected four partners belonging to Ceratosolen wasps and subgenus Sycomorus figs, comprising both monoecious and dioecious fig species. Initially, we determined the pollination modes by collecting anther/ovule ratios of Ficus species, observing pollination structures and behaviors of pollinating fig wasps. The length of wasp ovipositors and flower styles were measured under the microscope with a micrometer to verify their matching. Additionally, we observed and quantitatively record the searching, oviposition and pollination behaviors of Ceratosolen spp. in female phase figs using a Digital Microscope.
      Results:Our study found that monoecious Ficus racemosa, dioecious F. auriculata, F. hispida and F. semicordata were actively pollinated by their respective Ceratosolen pollinating fig wasps, which exhibited an active pollination mode. The length of ovipositors and flower styles were found to be matching, with pollinating fig wasps in monoecious figs laying eggs in some female flowers for offspring reproduction and pollinating some other female flowers to produce seeds. In dioecious figs, pollinating fig wasps laid eggs in male figs to reproduce offspring and pollinated female flowers in female figs to produce seeds. Moreover, the searching, oviposition, and pollination behaviors of Ceratosolen spp. in female phase figs were diverse. In monoecious figs, pollinating fig wasps primarily laid eggs in the first six hours after entering the figs and then pollinated female flowers, with a short time cost per pollination behavior. However, in dioecious male and female figs pollinating fig wasps pollinated female flowers at the end of each oviposition behavior and then extracted the ovipositors before repeating a similar behavior. As pollinating fig wasps oviposited more times, they also pollinated female flowers more times. Nevertheless, irregularity was observed in the pollinating fig wasps’ behavior in the female figs of F. hispida and F. semicordata.
      Conclusion:Our study found that the time cost of per oviposition for Ceratosolen spp. was longer than that of pollination, and the time costs of searching, oviposition and pollination behaviors varied in different reproductive systems and sexes. Our results shed light on the diversity and different patterns of pollination and oviposition behaviors of fig wasps in female phase figs, providing a valuable reference for studying the behavioral diversity of other pollinators.

      Original Papers: Animal Diversity
      Pollination difference between Apis cerana cerana and Apis mellifera ligustica during the late autumn and winter
      Fan Wu Shenyun Liu Huqiang Jiang Qian Wang Kaiwei Chen Hongliang Li
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22528.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022528
      Abstract ( 113 )   PDF (1239KB) ( 83 )   Save
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      Aims:The pollination behaviors of Apis cerana cerana (Acc) and Apis mellifera ligustica (Aml) have a significant meaning in maintaining ecosystem stability and improving crop yield and quality. However, their pollination behaviors are different. The aim of this study is to analyze the differences of pollinating habit and plant diversity between the two species under low temperature during the late autumn and winter periods.

      Methods: We observed the pollination process of Acc and Aml, and collected the pollen during the late autumn and winter periods. The pollen morphology was analyzed by ordinary and scanning electron microscope, and further determined based on the gene ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (rbcl) amplified and DNA barcode. Finally, the diversity of pollinating plants was compared according to the pollen species during the late autumn and winter.

      Results:Both Acc and Aml can pollinate the local plants during the late autumn and winter periods, but Acc had better adaptability and pollination frequency in the morning from 8:30 to 9:30 (P < 0.05). For different plants, Acc and Aml can pollinate many kinds of plant. Acc tended to collect pollen of Humulus scandens, Rosa chinensis, Eriobotrya laoshanica, and Hedera nepalensis var. sinensis, while Aml was partial to collect pollen of Ternstroemia gymnanthera, Chrysanthemum boreale, and Zinnia baageana.

      Conclusions: In general, Acc and Aml can pollinate many kinds of plant during autumn and winter, and Acc have more extensive plant source. The investigation of pollination diversity and differences between Acc and Aml during the late autumn and winter periods will be helpful to study the pollination rules and preferences of honeybees, and provide theoretical for ecological protection in Hangzhou City.

      Edge effect in plantation patches based on moth diversity
      Manwei Duan Xiang Li Yang Zhou Minxin Zhao Xiuling Sun Bing Han Gang Zhang Zihao Quan Kai Li
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  23074.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023074
      Abstract ( 4 )   PDF (1511KB) ( 0 )   Save
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      Aims: Afforestation though patch planting is one of the main ways of plantation construction in China. As a result, a large number of edge environments have emerged between different patches in the forest. The unique characteristics of these edge environments and their effects on biodiversity are worthy of attention. The purpose of this study is to explore its biodiversity performance characteristics. 

      Methods: This study was based on the four different combinations of tree species, specifically the patches of Populus tomentosa forest and Styphnolobium japonicum forest, Styphnolobium japonicum forest and Koelreuteria paniculata forest, Juniperus chinensis forest and Styphnolobium japonicum forest, Salix matsudana forest and Eucommia ulmoides forest in Beijing Plain. The research selected the moth population in these forests as study objects and analyzed the species number, species composition and diversity of moth using non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), analysis of similarities (Anosim), and species diversity index. Based on the survey of vegetation characteristic factors, Pearson correlation analysis was used to investigate the relationship between vegetation factors and moth community characteristics. 

      Results: A total of 4,428 moths were collected, representing 144 species of 24 families. (1) The composition of moth species differed between the edges and the patches, with unique species in the edge accounted for 13.59%–18.32% of the total species in the sample plot. (2) The diversity index of edge species was generally found to be slightly higher than or between that pure forest patches. The dominance index of the edge of Salix matsudana forest and Eucommia ulmoides forest was significantly higher than that of Eucommia ulmoides forest patch, while the Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Margalef richness index were significantly higher than that of Salix matsudana forest patch. Moreover, the Pielou evenness index of the edge was significantly lower than that of Eucommia ulmoides forest patch. (3) The moth Simpson dominance index was found to be negatively correlated with the average height and coverage of vegetation and the number of moth species was positively correlated with the average height and coverage of vegetation. (4) The four types of edge effects were all positive (IH' > 1), and the edge effect intensity of the edge of Salix matsudana forest and Eucommia ulmoides forest was the lowest (IC = 0.915185808). 

      Conclusion: Some certain groups of moths inhabit marginal habitats, which contribute to the higher biodiversity found in patch plantations. The edge effects of paths composed of different tree species exhibit distinct biodiversity characteristics, and there is a possibility of dominant species outbreaks. This study can provide guidance for future subsequent afforestation and stand management.

      The current situation of horseshoe crabs in the offshore waters of northern South China Sea with analysis of the potential habitat distribution of juvenile Tachypleus tridentatus in Beibu Gulf
      Yuyuan Bao Yinkang Li Wuying Lin Zhiqin Zhou Xiaobo Xiao Xiaoyong Xie
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22407.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022407
      Abstract ( 271 )   PDF (7013KB) ( 242 )   Save
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      Aims: The horseshoe crab population in the areas surrounding China have declined dramatically due to overfishing, environmental pollution, and habitat loss. In 2019, Tachypleus tridentatus was listed in the IUCN Red List as Endangered category. However, the current literature on horseshoe crabs within China is inadequate, adversely affecting the conservation of the species. This paper aim to assess the current situation of horseshoe crabs in the offshore waters of the northern South China Sea and determine the potential distribution of the T. tridentatus in the Beibu Gulf.

      Methods: In 2018 and 2019, trawl surveys were used in the adult horseshoe crab survey in the northern coastal waters of the South China Sea, with a total of 99 sampling sites. For the investigation of juvenile T. tridentatus population in the intertidal zones, 10 and 14 investigation points were set up in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Using our survey results, a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model was used to analyze the potential habitat of juvenile T. tridentatus along the Beibu Gulf.

      Results: In the survey, 18 horseshoe crabs were found at only 15 of the 99 sites. Among them, 9 horseshoe crabs were found at 7 sites in 2018 and 9 at 8 sites in 2019. The abundance of juvenile T. tridentatus in the Beibu Gulf was determined to be 0.01–0.33 ind./100 min 2019 and 0.01–0.65 ind./100 m2 in 2020. According to the results of the MaxEnt model, 18.39% of the intertidal zone along the Beibu Gulf coast is highly suitable for juvenile horseshoe crabs.

      Conclusions: Adult horseshoe crabs in the offshore waters of northern South China Sea are sparsely distributed and mainly concentrated in the Beibu Gulf. Of the areas along the coast of Guangxi in the Beibu Gulf, Suixi County in Guangdong and Xinying Bay in Hainan are the most highly suitable areas for horseshoe crab larvae. Therefore, we should focus on strengthening the protection of these areas.

      Diversity and community characteristics of free-living nematodes in plateau salt lakes in Nagqu City, Tibet
      Helu Zhang Meihong Zhao Shichun Sun Xiaoshou Liu
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22533.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022533
      Abstract ( 37 )   PDF (8417KB) ( 6 )   Save
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      Aim: Being considered effective indicator species, free-living nematodes have great application potential in ecological monitoring. Therefore, the study of free-living nematodes in the Tibetan Plateau salt lakes may be of great importance to improve the benthic communities and ecological environment assessment systems for plateau salt lakes. The aim of this study is to assess diversity and community structure of free-living nematodes. 

      Methods: Quantitative investigations of free-living nematodes and their relationships with environmental factors were conducted by collecting sediment samples in 11 plateau salt lakes, including Kyêbxang Co, Dagze Co and Yibug Caka etc. in Nagqu City, Tibet Autonomous Region, China, from July to August 2020. 

      Results: Total average abundance of free-living nematodes was 13.98 ± 22.21 ind./10 cm2. The abundance of free-living nematodes in euhalines (32.31‰–49.85‰) (19.33 ± 29.99 ind./10 cm2) was higher than those in oligohalines (0.64‰–4.70‰) (12.43 ± 4.18 ind./10 cm2) and mesohalines (10.20‰–11.82‰) (3.67 ± 0.73 ind./10 cm2). A total of 21 genera, belonging to 17 families, of free-living nematodes were identified, with Procephalobus, Trilobus, Miranema as the dominant genera, among which Procephalobus was the most abundant, accounting for 47.1% of the total free-living nematode that were identified. The dominant feeding type of free-living nematodes were algal feeders (59.7%), which was closely related to the abundance of primary producers and diatom abundance. 

      Conclusion: Differences in free-living nematode abundance and community structure in the plateau salt lakes in Tibet were mainly related to spatial variations in sediment organic matter content, bottom water salinity, and sediment water content. Salinity had no significant effects on the abundance of free-living nematodes. However, differences in community structure were positively correlated to salinity. In addition, the most abundant genera in the study lakes were different when compared to other lakes with high salinity. This could possibly be due to specific climatic characteristics, environmental stress, and human disturbance in the site and should be confirmed with further studies.

      Original Papers: Biosecurity and Nature Conservation
      Assessing of protection effectiveness and spillover/leakage effects of the national nature reserve group of Funiu Mountain area in Henan Province based on the NPP and human disturbance index
      Qingdong Dong Chaonan Chen Yanhong Li Tixia Zhao Zixin Sun Zhe Zhang Lianqi Zhu
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22503.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022503
      Abstract ( 84 )   PDF (1303KB) ( 55 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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      Aims: The scientific and accurate assessment of the protection effectiveness of nature reserves is of great significance for reducing biodiversity loss. However, inadequate consideration of environmental differences inside and outside nature reserves and spillover/leakage effects will lead to biased assessment results. This paper aims to evaluate the protection effectiveness and spillover/leakage effects of the national nature reserve group of Funiu Mountain area in Henan Province and their influencing factors.
      Method: In this study, three national nature reserves including Funiu Mountain National Nature Reserve (NNR), Baotianman NNR, and Nanyang Dinosaur Eggs Fossil Cluster NNR in Funiu Mountain area were selected. The propensity score matching model and average treatment effects were used to evaluate the effectiveness of protection and spillover/leakage effects of net primary production (NPP) and resisting human disturbance. The one-way analysis of variance was used to identify and discuss the influencing factors for these.
      Results: (1) In terms of NPP, the protection effectiveness of Funiu Mountain NNR and Nanyang Dinosaur Eggs Fossil Cluster NNR was significant from 2000 to 2010, with leakage and spillover effects occurring, respectively. From 2011 to 2020, the protection effectiveness of Funiu Mountain NNR and Baotianman NNR was poor, and leakage effects occurred. (2) In terms of resisting human disturbance, the effectiveness of Funiu Mountain NNR from 2000 to 2010 was good. However, the effectiveness of the Nanyang Dinosaur Eggs Fossil Cluster NNR was poor. From 2011 to 2020, the three NNRs showed significant reduction in human disturbance, and spillover effects occurred. (3) When the NPP background value was low and the temperature and precipitation were high, the nature reserves had better NPP protection effectiveness and were prone to spillover effect; when the population density was low and the GDP level was high, the nature reserves had better effectiveness in resisting human disturbance and were prone to spillover effect, whereas the effectiveness was poor and prone to leakage effect.
      Conclusion: The protection effectiveness and spillover/leakage effects differ among different natural reserves in different periods in the Funiu Mountain area, and natural and socio-economic factors significantly impact this. The propensity score matching model and spillover/leakage effects provide a new technical idea for the overall protection assessment of the nature reserves.

      Original Papers:Biosafety and Nature Conservation
      The spatial pattern and driving factors on the prevalence of red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) in island cities: A case study of Haitan Island, Fujian
      Hong Chen Xiaoqing Xian Yixue Chen Na Lin Miaomiao Wang Zhipeng Li Jian Zhao
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22501.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022501
      Abstract ( 25 )   PDF (1746KB) ( 11 )   Save
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      Aims: The red imported fire ant (RIFA), Solenopsis invicta, is one of the world’s worst invasive species, both environmentally and ecologically. In this study, we analyzed the spatial pattern of RIFA and the interactive mechanism of driving factors of its population density in island cities, in order to protect the island ecosystem. 

      Methods: We use the Haitan Island as an example, the biggest island in Fujian Province, to analyze the spatial pattern of RIFA populations using Kernel density estimation and spatial autocorrelation models. We also used geographical detector to elucidate the individual and interactive effects of both environmental factors (8 types) and socio-economic factors (10 types) on RIFA prevalence. 

      Results: Our results show that the spatial density of RIFA populations in the study area is characterized by uneven distribution, with the highest population density occurring in farmland (high-high aggregation), followed by landscaping and greening land (high-low and low-low aggregation), and the lowest density around residential areas. There are positive spatial autocorrelations within the population range. The q value for the explanatory power of 18 influencing factors on the spatial differentiation ranged from 0.014 to 0.278. Overall, there are differences between the effects of the two types of factors on RIFA occurrence, and the mean q value of the socio-economic factors are higher than those of the environmental factors. The socio-economic factors that have the greatest impact on RIFA occurrence are rural population size (q = 0.278) and township area (q = 0.268). The impact of soil classification (q = 0.172) and average annual precipitation (q = 0.149) are stronger than other environmental factors. The interaction between township area and distance to nearby scenic spot, and average annual precipitation and distance to nearby scenic spot, have the greatest influence on the occurance of RIFA (q = 0.466). The superposition of environmental and socio-economic factors positively enhance the occurance of RIFA. 

      Conclusion: Our study indicates that agricultural cultivation, seedling introduction in urban greening construction, and transportation significantly affect the spatial pattern of RIFA pravalence in island cities. As far as its prevention and control strategy is concerned, we should not only implement strict plant quarantine regulations on imported seedlings and cargo, but also take locally-appropriate measures to effectively reduce the population size and prevent the spread of RIFA.

      Original Papers: Biosecurity and Nature Conservation
      Invasion status and control measures for alien plants within the Gaoligong Mountains
      Yu XIAO ran yuLI Jinming Hu Yupeng Geng He-Xiang DUAN tao zhengRen Shen-Bi FENG Zhi-Cheng JIANG Jiahua Li pin ZHANG
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  23011.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023011
      Abstract ( 85 )   PDF (760KB) ( 47 )   Save
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      Aims: The Gaoligong Mountains are crucial biodiversity hotspots in China serving as southwest China's vital ecological security barrier. The impact of climate change and anthropogenic activity has led to a severe invasion of alien plants in the Gaoligong Mountains, posing significant threats to their ecological integrity and biosecurity. This study seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the invasion status of alien plants and propose relevant control measures to safeguard the eco-security of the Gaoligong Mountains.

      Methods: This study conducted systematic field investigations and combined information from previous literatures, to reveal the current invasion status of alien plants. The distribution range, recording frequency, distribution status, and impact were compiled to evaluate the invasion grade of each invasive plant in the Gaoligong Mountains.

      Methods: This study conducted systematic field investigations and combined information from previous literatures, to reveal the current invasion status of alien plants. The distribution range, recording frequency, distribution status, and impact were compiled to evaluate the invasion grade of each invasive plant in the Gaoligong Mountains.

      Results: The study identified 225 alien plants from 50 individual families in the Gaoligong Mountains. Among these species, 214 species were categorized as alien invasive plants and 11 as alien cultivated plants. The Compositae family accounted for the highest proportion, which was 17.29%, followed by Fabaceae (14.02%), Euphorbiaceae (7.01%), and Amaranthaceae (6.54%). Most invasive and naturalized plants originated in the Americas, accounting for 67.76% (145 species), followed by Asia (17.76%). The numbers of species assessed as risk grade 1 and 2 were 15 and 27, respectively, and some species had a high invasion risk despite not currently causing apparent harm.

      Conclusion: The taxonomic compositions, and origins of alien plants in the Gaoligong Mountains are complex, and their geographic origins characterize their invasion grade Management of alien invasive plants should be species-specific according to their invasion grade to improve comprehensive control efficiency. These results could significantly contribute to better management practices for alien plants in the Gaoligong Mountains and provide valuable information for the Gaoligong Mountains National Park.

      Data Paper
      Developing a dataset on the diversity and dynamic changes of mammals and birds recorded using camera traps in Laojun Mountain National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China
      Benping Chen Jianwu Chen Zhengwen Ling Xu Yang Xin Chen Shengqiang Li Biao Yang
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22566.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022566
      Abstract ( 70 )   PDF (646KB) ( 30 )   Save
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      Species cataloging is the basis of biodiversity research and conservation, and wildlife diversity monitoring is essential for updating local species cataloging data. At present, infrared cameras have become one of the most widely used and effective methods for monitoring large and medium-sized terrestrial mammals and understory birds. The Laojun Mountain National Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province is the first national nature reserve in China to make efforts to protect the Sichuan partridge (Arborophila rufipectus), Phasianidae birds, and evergreen broad-leaved forest ecosystem. In this study, we used infrared camera monitoring to identify the distribution of mammal and bird species in the reserve from April 2013 to September 2020 and develop a comprehensive camera-trapping dataset of Laojun Mountain. For each camera site, the dataset includes the geographic coordinates of observations, number of mammals and birds identified, number of independent observations, a list of observed mammal and bird species (including distribution among elevations, area of distribution, grid occupancy and relative abundance index in different years, etc.), and infrared photos of observed species. This dataset is the first comprehensive summary of species distributions in the reserve since the infrared camera monitoring work began. This work provides an important basis for scientific decision-making of targeted conservation and management of China’s natural resources.
      Application of environmental RNA technology in aquatic biological monitoring
      Miao Li Chen-Yang YAO Xiaoyong Chen
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  23062.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023062
      Abstract ( 213 )   PDF (773KB) ( 173 )   Save
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      Background & Aims: Biological monitoring is a core component of biodiversity conservation, and an important tool for assessing the progress of conservation efforts. Traditional aquatic monitoring methods are often based on specimen collection and morphological identification, which are time-consuming and ineffective practices. Additionally, these methods are unable to conduct the type of large-scale, continuous ecological surveys that are required for many conservation initiatives. There is therefore an urgent need to find a new approach to monitoring to meet today’s growing biodiversity surveillance needs.

      Progresses & Challenges: As molecular biology tools have improved, environmental RNA technology has been introduced into the field of aquatic biomonitoring and applied to species monitoring, biodiversity assessment, and pathogen detection, showing significant potential to meet conservation needs. However, the development of environmental RNA technology is still at the proof-of-concept stage, and there are many technical drawbacks, including limited understanding of environmental RNA ecological processes, the inconsistent application of the technology and, the lack of a transcriptome database that limits its ability to be used in aquatic biomonitoring.

      Review Results: In this review, we first give a brief introduction to environmental RNA technology. We then introduce the analysis process of environmental RNA technology and discuss in detail what information should be noted in the sample collection and preservation process, the environmental RNA extraction and cDNA synthesis process, PCR amplification and sequencing, and analysis of results. Next, we present the current status of the application of environmental RNA technology in three areas: species monitoring, biodiversity assessment, and pathogen detection. Further, we also discuss problems associated with environmental RNA technology in practical applications. Finally, we summarize the strengths and weaknesses of environmental RNA technology. We identify two primary advantages of environmental RNA technology: (1) environmental RNA technology can further improve the accuracy of biomonitoring; and (2) environmental RNA technology can reveal additional relevant information, such as the structural composition of populations, the physiological status of organisms, and the health of ecosystems. The shortcomings of environmental RNA technology are as follows: (1) the ecological processes of eRNAs released into the environment are unclear, which may lead to false positive and false negative errors; (2) the application of environmental RNA technology is not standardized, which makes it impossible to compare the results between different studies; and (3) the lack of a transcriptome database will limit the further development of environmental RNA technology in aquatic biomonitoring. In order to make full use of environmental RNA technology, these shortcomings must be addressed as soon as possible.

      Going Forward: In the future, in order to properly apply environmental RNA technology in the field of aquatic biomonitoring, researchers should focus on the following aspects in their research: (1) to clarify the ecological processes of environmental RNA in the aquatic environment to reduce the probability of false positive and false negative errors; (2) to develop a standardized analysis process for environmental RNA technology so that the data obtained from aquatic biomonitoring using these approaches are accurate, reproducible and comparable; (3) to continuously improve the transcriptome database so that environmental RNA technology can be used for more biological assessments; and (4) to further expand the application of environmental RNA technology in aquatic biomonitoring, such as the use of environmental RNA technology to conduct research on the physiological conditions of aquatic organisms, population ecology and ecosystem health evaluation.

      Whole genome resequencing approach for conservation biology of endangered plants
      Zhaoyang Jing Keguang Cheng Hengshu Yongpeng Ma Pingli Liu
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22679.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022679
      Abstract ( 251 )   PDF (1082KB) ( 252 )   Save
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      Background and Aims: Increasing attention is focused on global change and loss of biodiversity. Genetics is an important tool in the conservation of threatened species, which have greatly promoted our understanding of diverse areas in conservation biology. However, some key scientific issues in conservation biology, including evolutionary history, endangered mechanism, genetic basis of adaptive evolution and inbreeding depression, are remain to be understood. Spurred by technological advances in high-throughput sequencing, conservation genomics are developed by using of new genomic techniques to solve problems in conservation biology, providing new approaches to deep understanding of the key issues in conservation biology. This paper briefly summarizes the important research progress in the conservation genomics based on whole genome resequencing, aiming to promote the conservation biology of threatened plant in China.

      Progresses:Whole genome resequencing, being the highest genomic resolution among current methods in conservation genomics, has made many significant advancements, including classification of phylogenetic relationships between unresolved taxa, the reconstruction of population structure, genomic diversity, demographic history, adaptive evolution and inbreeding depression. Based on these advancements, conservation taxa and conservation units are identified, the evolutionary history and endangered causes of species are revealed and the genetic basis of adaptive evolution and inbreeding depression are partly revealed.

      Prospect: As whole-genome resequencing provides deep insights into the key issues in conservation biology, with the improvements of even higher throughput and lower cost, whole-genome resequencing will be a routine task in conservation biology studies.
      Research advances on the ecology of Sousa chinensis
      Liming Yong Yuke Zhang Liyuan Zhao Qianhui Zeng Longshan Lin Minhao Gao Hao Cheng Xianyan Wang
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  22670.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022670
      Abstract ( 164 )   PDF (1110KB) ( 135 )   Save
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      Background & Aims: The Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) has been listed as the Grade 1 National Key Protected Animal in China. As the top predator of the inshore marine food chain, S. chinensis is an indicator species of the health status of the inshore ecosystem. Due to the important ecological, scientific and cultural values, it is also used as the flagship species for marine biodiversity conservation. Since the 1990s, the studies on S. chinensis have gradually risen, and developed to a new period in recent years along with the application of 3S (RS, GPS, GIS), ecological models, and molecular biological techniques. We summarized the studies of S. chinensis from the aspects of population ecology, behavioral ecology, molecular ecology and the threats that the species faced so far, aiming to clarify the advances in the ecological studies and the contributions to conservation of S. chinensis.
      Summary: Ecological information such as distribution and quantity of S. chinensis population known globally in the world has been investigated by domestic and foreign scholars using line-transect sampling and capture-mark-recapture methods. In the context of species conservation, studies on habitat selection preference, habitat quality evaluation and potential habitat prediction of S. chinensis were performed. The rules of foraging behavior and reproduction behavior of S. chinensis were preliminarily understood, and the ecological significance of other behaviors were also explored. With the application of molecular biotechnology, the genetic differentiation of S. chinensis and its vulnerability to climate change have been preliminarily revealed. Human activities such as marine construction projects, underwater noise, marine pollution, and fishery activities are still the main threats to S. chinensis.
      Perspectives: Based on the summary of existing studies, we propose the following prospects for the future ecological research and conservation of S. chinensis : (1) Establish a dynamic baseline database at the national level to better track the population dynamics and habitat environment changes of S. chinensis. (2) Establish a habitat identification and conservation evaluation system, and carry out identification and hierarchical management of critical and potential habitats of S. chinensis. (3) Study the habitat selection mechanism from the ecosystem level, combined with the ecological model to explore the carrying capacity of the current habitat to the S. chinensis, and further explore the impact of habitat hydrological factors, biological resources and human activities on the habitat selection of S. chinensis. (4) Construct a genetic resource database for S. chinensis, and explore the links among natural selection, ecological impact and genetic evolution, so as to reveal the molecular mechanisms of species evolution, adaptation and endangerment. (5) In order to effectively deal with the impact of global marine environmental changes on the S. chinensis, it is recommended to establish a scientific research cooperation platform and protection management network among the S. chinensis distribution countries.

      Effects of grazing on bees and its application to ecological restoration
      Qiu-Jie ZHAO Huijun GUO Guangtao MENG Mingchuan Zhong Jun Yin Zhuo-Cheng LIU Pinrong Li Li CHEN Yi TAO Sheng QIU Hong Wang Yanhui Zhao
      Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (5):  23037.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023037
      Abstract ( 124 )   PDF (673KB) ( 128 )   Save
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      Background & Aims :Overgrazing poses a dominant threat to the biodiversity of most grassland communities. Bees are the primary pollinator group in the grassland ecosystem. Grazing has generally negative effects on bee diversity by affecting floral and nesting resources in grassland communities. However, in communities with long grazing history and reasonable grazing management, grazing may have a positive or neutral impact on bee diversity. Therefore, how grazing affects bee diversity and its role in ecological restoration needs further study.  

      Progress: In this study, we integrate the recent literature and research practice, and propose that the efficacy of bee restoration can be more accurately assessed through the integration of bee species richness, functional diversity, phylogenetic diversity and full plant-pollinator interaction networks, which provide comprehensive and quantitative information on the structure and function of grassland communities. For grasslands with low degradation, bees can be gradually recovered by effective grazing management, which uses the natural recovery potential of the communities. For grasslands with greater degradation, it is necessary to accelerate the bee restoration through active interventions on the basis of grazing management, such as sowing wildflower species that cannot migrate into the restoration area without assistance and enhancing the availability of nesting habitat for bees. To ensure that bees can obtain enough floral rewards in different flowering periods, the selection and combination of the sown flower species should take into account their roles in the pollination network, floral traits and flowering phenology.

      Perspective: It is of great practical significance to investigate the mechanism of bee loss in different types of grasslands in southern and northern China, and to guide the development of targeted ecological restoration strategies for bees.
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