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Table of Content
    Volume 29 Issue 5
    20 May 2021
    Bovidae is the family with the highest species richness in ungulates. As large herbivores, bovine species play important roles in terrestrial ecosystems. China harbors a highly diverse community of wild bovine species. Chen et al evaluated the distribution of 28 bovine species and the population status of 15 bovine species in China based on published camera-trapping studies (for details see pages 668–679 of this issue). The pictures show some wild bovine species of China, from top left in an anticlockwise order: Tibetan antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii), gaur (Bos gaurus), Qinling takin (Budorcas bedfordi), Chinese goral (Naemorhedus griseus), Chinese serow (Capricornis milneedwardsii), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Przewalski's gazelle (Procapra przewalskii), Tibetan gazelle (P. picticaudata), and Sichuan takin (Budorcas tibetanus). (Photograph credit: Sheng Li, Tianpei Guan, Guanghong Cao, Jiazi Liu, Chunping Luo, and Lan Wu)
      
    Original Papers: Original Papers
    Patterns and environmental drivers of Ranunculaceae species richness and phylogenetic diversity across eastern Eurasia
    Yichao Li, Yongsheng Chen, Denis Sandanov, Ao Luo, Tong Lü, Xiangyan Su, Yunpeng Liu, Qinggang Wang, Viktor Chepinoga, Sergey Dudov, Wei Wang, Zhiheng Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  561-574.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020246
    Abstract ( 712 )   HTML ( 51 )   PDF (3126KB) ( 427 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Ranunculaceae, one of the basal clades in eudicots of angiosperms, has a variety of medicinal plants and is of high conservation value. However, large-scale patterns in species richness and phylogenetic diversity of Ranunculaceae based on high-resolution distribution data and their environmental determinants remain poorly understood. We aims to: (1) establish a Ranunculaceae distribution database in eastern Eurasia, estimate the species diversity and phylogenetic diversity pattern of different life forms, and explore the formation mechanism of the pattern; (2) analysis the relationship between species diversity and phylogenetic diversity of Ranunculaceae, and determine the diversity hot spots to provide basis for Ranunculaceae conservation planning.
    Methods: Here, we established the first species distribution database for 1,688 Ranunculaceae species across eastern Eurasia by compiling distribution data from regional and local floral records from across China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and Russia at a spatial resolution of 100 km × 100 km. Using this database, we mapped large-scale patterns in species richness and phylogenetic diversity for species with different life forms and explored the mechanisms underlying these patterns. We also quantified the relationship between species richness and phylogenetic diversity and identified hotspots of Ranunculaceae phylogenetic diversity.
    Results: We found a latitudinal gradient in both species richness and phylogenetic diversity and revealed that Ranunculaceae in eastern Eurasia have particularly high levels of species and phylogenetic diversity in mountainous areas. Contemporary climate, habitat heterogeneity, and climate changes since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) all influenced spatial patterns in species richness and phylogenetic diversity, but their relative contributions varied across life forms. Phylogenetic diversity at mid and high latitudes was higher than expected when controlling for species richness, which suggests that these latitudes may represent a paleo-biodiversity hotspot of Ranunculaceae.
    Conclusion: Consequently, these regions should be considered a key conservation priority for this important family.

    Relationship between functional traits and genome size variation of angiosperms with different life forms
    Chen Shao, Yaoqi Li, Ao Luo, Zhiheng Wang, Zhenxiang Xi, Jianquan Liu, Xiaoting Xu
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  575-585.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020450
    Abstract ( 639 )   HTML ( 40 )   PDF (1391KB) ( 301 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The genome size between species, especially in angiosperms, can be extremely diverse. Here, we compiled genome size data for 11,215 angiosperm species from 2,226 genera and 245 families to explore the relationships between four functional traits (i.e. seed mass, maximum plant height, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations) with genome size in angiosperms from different life forms (i.e. annual herbs, perennial herbs, and woody plants).
    Method: We used the 1C-value of DNA content as a measurement for genome size. Genome sizes were obtained from the latest version of Kew Plant DNA C-values Database and Genome Size in Asteraceae Database (GSAD). We also complemented our taxon sampling with data from the literature over the past 10 years. We obtained life form and functional trait from Flora of China, Flora of North America and the Seed Information Database (SID). We used the most recent updated time-calibrated phylogeny published by Smith and Brown in 2018, and pruned it to the 6,612 species from our species list. We used two indices (i.e. Blomberg’s K and Pagel’s λ) to test for the prescence of a phylogenetic signal for the evolution of angiosperm genome size. We performed a standardized major axes (SMA) Model II and focused on the relationships between genome size and the four functional traits. We also conducted a principal components analysis (PCA) to explore trade-offs between functional traits and genome size in angiosperms with different life forms.
    Results: The genome size for most angiosperms was small and few species had large genomes. The median value of angiosperm genome size was 1.58 pg with perennial herbs having the largest median genome size (2.5 pg), followed by annual herbs (1.55 pg), and then woody species (1.14 pg). Variation of the genome size was greatest in perennial herbs distributed over a wider range than woody species and then annual herbs. Tests for phylogenetic signals with genome size indicated that evolution was non-random. The value for Blomberg’s K was 0.031 (P < 0.001) and the value for Pagel’s λ was 0.943 (P < 0.001. There was also a significant difference between functional traits and genome size among the three different life forms. Our results from the standardized major axes regression found that there was a significant relationship between seed mass with genome size in herbs but not woody plants. However, the relationship of maximum plant height was significant with genome size in woody plants but not herbs. There were no significant correlations between leaf nitrogen or phosphorus concentration with genome size except for leaf nitrogen concentration in woody plants. When looking at the relationship between four functional traits with genome size, we fund a negative correlation between seed mass and maximum plant height with genome size, and saw no significant correlation with leaf nitrogen or phosphorus concentration which is consistent with the SMA results.
    Conclusion: Our study highlights that the correlation between functional traits and genome size vary between herbaceous and woody species and suggests that trade-offs between genome size, life forms and functional traits might play an essential role in ecological adaptation and evolution of angiosperms.

    Characterization of complete chloroplast genome in Firmiana kwangsiensis and F. danxiaensis with extremely small populations
    Qifeng Lu, Zhihuan Huang, Wenhua Luo
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  586-595.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020263
    Abstract ( 344 )   HTML ( 22 )   PDF (3973KB) ( 189 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Firmiana kwangsiensis and F. danxiaensis are endemic plant species with narrow distribution and small population in southern China, which have important ecological and economic value. However, our knowledge of the chloroplast genome level of F. kwangsiensis and F. danxiaensis are still limited. Also, the phylogenetic relationships among the Firmiana genus remain unclear.
    Methods: The genome skimming sequencing data of F. kwangsiensis and F. danxiaensis were obtained by using the high-throughput sequencing, and the complete chloroplast genomes were assembled and then the structures were analyzed by bioinformatics methods.
    Results: The results revealed that complete chloroplast genomes of the F. kwangsiensis and F. danxiaensis show a typical quadripartite structure of 160,836 bp and161,253 bp in length, consisting of a large single copy region (89,700 bp and 90,142 bp) and a small single copy region (19,970 bp and20,067 bp) that were separated by a pair of inverted repeat regions (25,583 bp and 25,522 bp each). The annotation results showed that chloroplast genomes of both species contain 131 genes, including 86 protein-coding, 37 transfer RNA (tRNA), and eight ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes. In F. kwangsiensis, 26 forward repeats, two reverse repeats, 21 palindromic repeats, 23 tandem repeats, and 98 simple sequence repeats were found, and 23 forward repeats, five reverse repeats, 21 palindromic repeats, 30 tandem repeats, and 107 simple sequence repeats were found in F. danxiaensis. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that five Firmiana species were clustered into two branches with strong supports. Firmiana kwangsiensis, F. pulcherrima and F. colorata formed a branch, and the F. kwangsiensis was a sister relationship to F. pulcherrima in this branch, the other branch was F. danxiaensis and F. major.
    Conclusion: The structures, gene arrangement and repeat sequences in F. kwangsiensis and F. danxiaensis chloroplast genome were high similar. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that five Firmiana species were clustered into two clades, F. kwangsiensis was closely related to F. pulcherrima, and F. danxiaensis was closely related to F. major. In addition, the SSRs in this study will provides important genetic information for phylogenetic, evolution for Firmiana species.

    Contrasting biodiversity of invasive herbs inside and outside nature reserves in Guizhou
    Chaodan Guo, Jinfang Zhu, Xiaoyan Liu, Caiyun Zhao, Junsheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  596-604.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020292
    Abstract ( 272 )   HTML ( 23 )   PDF (1249KB) ( 202 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Nature reserves are important barriers against invasive species. Human activities, however, can increase the risk of species invasions in these reserves and beyond. Comparative studies on the biodiversity and distribution patterns of invasive plant species within and outside nature reserves, as well as differences among nature reserves, may help elucidate the level of resistance among nature reserves and reveal the factors driving these differences.
    Methods: We surveyed the invasive herbs from 380 plots of four national nature reserves (Chishui Alsophila, Xishui, Fanjingshan, and Mayanghe), in Guizhou Province. We contrasted the diversity of invasive herbs inside and outside the four nature reserves using a two-way analysis of variance, and explored differences in species composition with non-metric multidimensional scaling. Redundancy analysis was used to evaluate the key anthropogenic factors to explain these differences.
    Results: A total of 46 invasive herbs were recorded and classified into 37 genera and 18 families. At each of the four reserves, between 7 and 20 invasive herb species were identified inside the reserve and between 10 and 24 invasive species were observed outside the reserve. The richness, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, and Simpson dominance index of invasive herbs outside Chishui and Fanjingshan nature reserves were significantly higher than those inside nature reserves, while there were no significant differences between invasive herbs inside and outside Xishui and Mayanghe nature reserves. Pielou’s evenness index inside Fanjingshan Nature Reserve was significantly higher than that outside the reserve, but no differences in evenness were found in the other nature reserves. In terms of invasive herb species composition, no significant differences inside and outside the four nature reserves were discovered. Redundancy analysis results showed that the residents and the length of roads were the key anthropogenic factors underlying the distribution pattern of invasive herbs.
    Conclusions: Our results suggest that different reserves have different resistance to plant invasion, which results from differences in anthropogenic activity. We recommend that restriction of human activities in and around nature reserves can help to prevent the spread of invasive plant species.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    The distribution pattern and biodiversity conservation of freshwater crabs in Hainan Island
    Xiyang Hao, Cha He, Kelin Chu, Zhixin Shen, Qiang Zhao, Wei Gao, Da Pan, Hongying Sun
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  605-616.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020326
    Abstract ( 537 )   HTML ( 41 )   PDF (2144KB) ( 471 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The biodiversity of tropical islands is a popular topic in global biodiversity conservation research. Hainan Island is the largest tropical island in China. Freshwater crabs are a keystone species for freshwater ecosystems in Hainan Island. The aims of this study were thus to identify the distribution pattern and assess the threat status of freshwater crabs in Hainan Island.
    Methods: In this study, we used field surveys and conducted a literature review to investigate the species diversity and conservation status for freshwater crabs in Hainan.
    Results: Our results indicate that the diversity hotspots for freshwater crab species on Hainan Island are located in the south-central mountainous area (especially Bawangling, Yinggeling, Mihouling, Wuzhi Mountain, Diaoluo Mountain and Jianfengling). Freshwater crab diversity is higher in the central and southern mountains and lower in the plains. According to the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, 16.7% of freshwater crab species on Hainan Island are threatened. Diversity conservation effectiveness analyses demonstrate that the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park system as leading part of Hainan’s protected area system is better than the previous system (which was several fragmented nature reserves) for covering the potential distribution areas of freshwater crabs. Overall, conservation status for freshwater crabs in Hainan Island is favorable, but some species are threatened.
    Conclusion: The establishment of the national park system is expected to provide unprecedented opportunities for the conservation of freshwater crab species diversity in Hainan Island. Monitoring freshwater biological diversity based on the distribution pattern of species diversity will promote the long-term protection and sustainable development for freshwater ecosystems on Hainan Island.

    Original Papers: Ecosystem Diversity
    Assessing the effectiveness of water retention ecosystem service in Qinling National Nature Reserve based on InVEST and propensity score matching model
    Ming Cao, Junsheng Li, Wei Wang, Juyi Xia, Chunting Feng, Gang Fu, Wenjie Huang, Fangzheng Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  617-628.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020271
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    Aims: Nature reserves (NRs) play an important role in ensuring ecosystem services such as water retention, which are of great significance for the sustainable use of regional water resources. However, the main factors influencing the effectiveness of water retention in NRs are still unclear, which is not conducive to the effective management of NRs and the achievement of regional sustainable development goals. Therefore, the aims of this research are to explore: (1) the overall situation of water retention services in Qinling Mountains; (2) the conservation effectiveness of water retention services in NRs; and (3) the key influencing factors of the conservation effectiveness of water retention services in NRs.
    Methods: Here, we used the InVEST model to calculate the water retention between 2010 and 2015 in Qinling Mountains related to 19 national nature reserves. Based on the propensity score matching approach, we assessed the conservation effectiveness of these nature reserves in ensuring the ecosystem service of water retention. We then used the random forest regression model to identify the factors that mainly affect the conservation effectiveness.
    Results: The results showed that the water retention ecosystem service in Qinling Mountains generally reduced between 2010 and 2015. Compared with the matched samples outside the NRs, most reserves (63.16%) showed significant positive effects on water retention (N = 12, P < 0.05), while some reserves (26.32%) showed significant negative effects (N = 5, P < 0.05). There were also two reserves (10.52%) that had no significant effects on water retention (N = 2, P > 0.05). In addition, the conservation effectiveness of reserves in ensuring water retention was mainly affected by changes in precipitation and funding investment.
    Conclusions: (1) Between 2010 and 2015, the water retention rate was reduced remarkably in Qinling Mountains, but the NRs had achieved positive effectiveness in mitigating the reduction of water retention in general; (2) Changes in precipitation play a dominant role in sustaining the ecosystem service of water retention; and (3) The management factors also affect the conservation effectiveness to certain extent, in which the amount of investment is the most important. Therefore, we suggest increasing capital investment in the future to improve the conservation effectiveness of water retention service of NRs.

    Reviews
    Principles, error sources and application suggestions of prevailing molecular dating methods
    Yangkang Chen, Yi Wang, Jialiang Li, Wentao Wang, Duanyu Feng, Kangshan Mao
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  629-646.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020273
    Abstract ( 1095 )   HTML ( 23 )   PDF (1669KB) ( 972 )   Save
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    Background & Aims: Molecular dating methods have been applied widely in recent years and provide an indispensable and detailed evolutionary timescale for macroevolutionary researches, particularly for studies on the evolutionary history of biodiversity patterns. Bayesian methods and Markov chain Monte Carlo methods can accommodate multi-dimensional and various type of data and parameter settings, which have helped the node-dating methods implemented in softwares such as BEAST, PAML-MCMCTree to become the most widely used molecular dating methods. One of the advantages of Bayesian frameworks is that they can employ complex models to consider a variety of uncertainty factors to make more accurate estimations of evolutionary divergence times.
    Progress: We review the principles and main types of Bayesian molecular dating methods and use Bayesian node-dating methods as an example to discuss potential errors in molecular clock models, selection and placement of fossil calibrating points, frequency of sampling, and setting a prior distribution for node calibrations based on fossils. We further describe advantages associated with different Bayesian time tree reconstruction software packages, the discussing principle of node age, and the comparison method of time tree under different models. We also provide suggestions for overcoming the challenges of overestimation and underestimation bias of node ages. Integration of the output of various Bayesian methods and models and selection of the best among them often improve the reliability of molecular dating results.
    Prospect: Researchers should explicitly assess the relationship between model output of time tree construction and model parameter settings, which increases transparency and provides documentation and reference for future researches. We recommend that future research simultaneously focus on updating fossil records and improving molecular dating methods.

    UAV-based hyperspectral images and monitoring of canopy tree diversity
    Yan Xu, Congling Zhang, Ruijiao Jiang, Zifei Wang, Mengchen Zhu, Guochun Shen
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  647-660.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021013
    Abstract ( 344 )   HTML ( 28 )   PDF (5236KB) ( 196 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Background & Aims: The species diversity of canopy trees is important for the function and service of natural forest ecosystems. To be able to formulate reasonable biodiversity conservation strategies, it is important to understand patterns of forest canopy diversity through time. However, the development of high-precision forest canopy diversity monitoring at a regional scale is slow due to a limitation in diversity information collection methods. A lot of biodiversity patterns may substantially change due to climate change and human disturbance. However, updating these changes in biodiversity cannot be done in a timely manner. In recent years, the development of canopy hyperspectral image collection based on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and analysis technology has provided an opportunity for the development of new tools for canopy diversity monitoring.
    Progresses: Here, we propose using the hyperspectral image of forest canopy for biodiversity monitoring and conservation, development of UAV aerial photography and spatial positioning technology, and the development of hyperspectral image processing technology with deep learning. We use the existing literature to discuss the research status, feasibility, advantages, and disadvantages of using UAV hyperspectral imaging for monitoring of species diversity of forest canopy trees. We believe that canopy hyperspectral images provide indispensable and abundant information for forest biodiversity monitoring. The combination of UAVs and hyperspectral cameras makes it possible to automate the collection of canopy diversity information with both high frequency (e.g., weekly) and high precision (e.g., decimeter- or centimeter-level) at the regional scale. At the same time, the leap in image processing technology made possible through deep learning enables the extraction of individual and species information from canopy hyperspectral images with extremely high precision.
    Prospects: Hyperspectral images have rich spectral and spatial information, which greatly improves the identification accuracy of plant species. The combination of UAVs and hyperspectral cameras greatly reduces the difficulty and cost for acquisition of this data. Applying deep learning methods to hyperspectral image processing can effectively collect species diversity information contained in hyperspectral images, and accelerate the research on forest canopy diversity monitoring on a large-scale. However, due to an insufficient sample size of hyperspectral data for species and a limitation in common deep learning models not being fully optimized for hyperspectral images remains a challenge. Future challenges for research include: how to build the hyperspectral species database, how to combine the characteristics of hyperspectral data, and how to optimize the automatic species recognition algorithm.

    Research Bulletin
    Bird diversity and nestedness on fragmented woodlots in Huaxi University Town, Guizhou Province
    Jinfeng Zheng, Rong Tang, Shuang He, Yuehong Chen, Su Wu, Kai Zhang, Yu Xu, Xiao Zou
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  661-667.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020336
    Abstract ( 384 )   HTML ( 13 )   PDF (1452KB) ( 321 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aim: To examine the impact of habitat fragmentation stemming from urbanization on bird diversity and distribution patterns.
    Methods: We surveyed bird assemblages on 26 fragmented woodlots with areas of 0.3-290.4 ha in Huaxi University Town, Guizhou Province from April to August between 2017 and 2019. We surveyed birds by establishing line transects in each woodlot, with transect length roughly proportional to the woodlot area. We surveyed each line transect 10 times over the course of the study period, and recorded birds detected within 50 m of either side of the line transects.
    Results: In total, we recorded 78 bird species belonging to 11 orders and 37 families. Species of Oriental origin, Palaearctic origin, and widespread species accounted for 56.4%, 32.1%, and 11.5% of observations, respectively. We observed one species endemic to China. After excluding birds detected as fly-overs (e.g., swallows and swifts), non-forest dwelling birds (e.g., waterbirds), and birds that were only recorded once in the survey, we found that the number of bird species in different woodlots ranged from 12 to 55 species, with an average of 23.2 ± 10.5 species per woodlot. Linear regression analysis showed that bird species richness was significantly positively correlated with woodlot area, with larger woodlots having higher bird richness. A metric of isolation, measured as the distance to the nearest neighboring woodlot, had no significant effect on bird species richness. The analysis of nestedness, based on the metric WNODF (weighted nestedness metric based on overlap and decreasing fill), conducted on the species-by-site abundance matrix, revealed that the observed WNODF for sites of birds was significantly lower than expected from the null model, indicating that bird assemblages were anti-nested among the woodlots.
    Conclusion: Our results suggest that plant richness, food resources and breeding conditions in small woodlots may be diminished compared to larger woodlots, making it difficult for some bird species to meet their survival needs. However, the relatively short distance between woodlots in our study sites combined with the stronger dispersal ability of birds may mask the biological importance of isolation. The anti-nested structure of bird communities may be the result of larger differences in species composition between woodlots being driven by environmental filtering, interspecific competition, or priority effects, but further research is needed to determine the likely causal mechanism of anti-nestedness. Nevertheless, given that rapid urban expansion has caused substantial habitat fragmentation in recent decades in our study area, we recommend that habitat integrity should be prioritized and maintained in urban planning when possible, and that fragmented woodlots of different sizes be protected.

    Data Paper
    Distribution and population status of bovine species in China based on bibliometric analysis
    Xing Chen, Tianpei Guan, Wenle Jiang, Dandan Li, Kong Yang, Sheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  668-679.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020393
    Abstract ( 744 )   HTML ( 27 )   PDF (2573KB) ( 638 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Bovine species are the most abundant ungulates. They are widely distributed all over the world and are an important part of terrestrial ecosystems. According to historical records, there have 33 bovine species recorded in China. Since the mid 20th century, however, anthropogenic activities related to human population expansion and socio- economic development have dramatically transformed the environment, with a significant impact on the habitat of many bovine species in China. A systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the distribution and status of bovine species in China is still lacking, which may halt bovine biodiversity conservation.
    Method: We took advantage of fast-growing records of species distribution data and systematically searched related papers (n = 432) published in various academic journals between 2008 and August 31, 2020. We extracted relevant data that included study sites, species identified, and relative abundance, which allowed us to analyze and evaluate the distribution and population status of bovine species in China. We also used IUCN species distribution data and generated a heatmap of bovine species diversity in China.
    Results: (1) There were 28 bovine species recorded in these papers including national levels I (n = 16) and II (n = 11) key protected animals, involving 20 priority conservation areas. Red serow (Capricornis rubidus) is a new record in China. (2) The bovine species diversity was found to be highest in Tibet and Gansu (n = 11), followed by Xinjiang (n = 10), Qinghai (n = 7), Sichuan (n = 6), Inner Mongolia (n = 6) and Yunnan (n = 6). (3) The most widely distributed species at the province level is Chinese serow (Capricornis milneedwardsii, n = 16), followed by Chinese goral (Naemorhedus griseus, n = 11) and blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur, n = 8); (4) Six bovine species that lacked distribution and population data are mainly distributed in Qinghai, Xinjiang and Yunnan, including Altai argali (Ovis ammon), Kazakhstan argali (Ovis collium), gayal (Bos frontalis), wild yak (Bos arnee), banteng (Bos javanicus) and Burmese goral (Naemorhedus evansi); (5) There are new distribution records on Chinese goral, red goral (Naemorhedus baileyi), Chinese serow, blue sheep, Siberian ibex (Capra sibirica) and wild yak (Bubalus arnee) outside the distribution range published by IUCN, which need timely revision and updated.
    Conclusion: Our analysis provides an objective evaluation of distribution and population status of bovine species in China. Species that have been less studied or surveyed should be the priority of future conservation research. To better evaluate species distribution status, we strongly recommend that data holders publish or share any species distribution data obtained from recent regional surveys.

    Bioinventory
    Biodiversity of macrozoobenthos in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province
    Zusheng Yi, Yuanjun Huang, Hui Yi, Xinwang Zhang, Wenjun Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  680-687.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020304
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    Aim: Zoobenthos are important components of local biodiversity, food webs, and biogeochemical circulation processes, and are important water quality indicators. Despite their recognized importance, current research on freshwater macrozoobenthic fauna in forested inland water bodies (reservoirs, lakes, streams) in China is lacking. To better understand macrozoobenthic communities and their ecosystem services in these habitats, we choose a typical subtropical forest reserve, the Chebaling National Nature Reserve for investigation.
    Methods: We conducted a two-year (2019-2020) systematic field survey across nine sampling sites of different substrates in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province. These sites encompassed experimental, buffer, and core zones, and elevations stretched from 345 m to 751 m. The surveyed habitats included forested rivers, mountain streams, ponds, reservoirs, paddy fields, and ditches, which contained substrates comprising rock, gravel, sand, hardened riverbed, and silt. We applied multiple methods to survey the various habitats, including dip netting in shallow water, brushes and tweezers to isolate attached species under rocks, and baits and shrimp cages to capture species in deep water. During field surveys, we measured species composition and their population levels. We then analyzed metrics of species composition, spatial distribution, environmental indicators, and ecosystem function.
    Results: In total, we identified 57 species of macrobenthic fauna (belonging to 4 phylum, 6 classes, 18 orders, and 38 families) in the reserve. Eighty percent of species were arthropods, and 90% of arthropods were aquatic insects and their nymphs. We recorded 22 species and 8 families of nymphs in Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), which constituted 38% of all captured species. Nymphs of EPT (Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera) species constituted 22% of all species. We commonly recorded Semisulcospira libertina in various flowing water bodies, along with a considerable population of pristine water indicator species in the low-altitude experimental area.
    Conclusion: Macrozoobenthic fauna in Chebaling National Nature Reserve comprised species typical of subtropical forest freshwater ecosystems. Large proportions of species that favored flowing water conditions were recorded in sites with various water bodies and elevations, and were even recorded in disturbed sites (i.e., in both experimental areas and artificial water bodies). Most species were water quality indicators that reflected the major water forms and overall quality of the reserve. The high diversity of aquatic predatory insects we recorded indicates that there is a sufficient amount of small prey in the ecosystem. Furthermore, our results suggest that the diverse and abundant macrozoobenthos can serve as considerable source of prey to predators in the reserve. Overall, our results provide data to inventory zoobenthic species and perform environmental assessments, which can further be enhanced by continued long-term monitoring of zoobenthos in the Chebaling National Nature Reserve.

    Forum
    Work efficiency of IPBES and the effectiveness of scientific functions
    Fengbin Dai, Yang Wu, Yuxue Pan, Boya Zhang, Yu Tian
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  688-692.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020250
    Abstract ( 256 )   HTML ( 14 )   PDF (477KB) ( 221 )   Save
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    Background: The first work programme of IPBES has received extensive attention from the international community, laying down its important role as the first intergovernmental mechanism in the field of biodiversity. Since its establishment, IPBES has successively released a series of assessment reports and summary for policymakers, which have attracted widespread attention from the international community. Therefore, its fairness, impartiality, scientificity and transparency have always been the focus of attention from all walks of life, and directly determine the credibility and future development of IPBES assessment report. In order to effectively improve the scientificity and efficiency of IPBES deliverables, IPBES conducts internal and external reviews regularly to identify problems, optimize institutional settings, and guide future work plans.
    Problems: IPBES has made significant progress in improving its organizational structure, rules and procedures, promoting the generation of new knowledge, and the effective management of financial resources. However, there are certain shortcomings in transparency, science and policy linkage, discipline and geographical balance, and policy support. And there are deficiencies in stimulating the enthusiasm and capacity of member states.
    Recommendations: To further exert IPBES’s special intergovernmental status and role in the future to promote scientific functions, especially to strengthen the interaction between science and policy, it is needed for IPBES to promote multi-stakeholder participation, to form a stable financial system, and to enhance the transparency of its working mechanisms. As to China, it is suggested to strengthen the domestic interpretation of the IPBES assessment report, increase publicity, and strengthen the selection of multidisciplinary experts to fill up the domestic vacancies in the research field.

    Erratum of the article from author Ruyun Zhang et al (2019)
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (5):  693-695. 
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