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Table of Content
    Volume 29 Issue 6
    20 June 2021
    The evolution of mating system for alpine plants plays an important role in their adaptation to harsh environments. According to sources of male gametes, plant mating system could be divided into three types: selfing, outcrossing and mixed mating systems. Outcrossing of insect-pollinated plants mainly depends on flower visiting behavior of insects. Based on the common garden in Shangri-La Alpine Botanical Garden, Hu and her colleagues (for details see pages 712721 of this issue) observed the flower visitors of Rorippa elata, an endemic Brassicaceae species to the Hengduan Mountains. Furthermore, they performed a set of manipulative experiments to quantify the natural variation of mating system and the extents of reproductive assurance in R. elata. The picture shows the four main visitors of R. elata (from left to right, from top to bottom): Syrphidae, Halictus, Musca domestica, and Calliphoridae insects. (Photos provided by Zhengyan Hu)
    Original Papers:Plant Diversity
    Effects and conservation assessment of climate change on the dominant group—The genusCinnamomum of subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests
    Run Zhou, Xiuqin Ci, Jianhua Xiao, Guanlong Cao, Jie Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  697-711.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020482
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    Aims: The Chinese subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest is facing great threats, caused by global climate change, and its protection needs to be solved urgently. Cinnamomum is the dominant genus for the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest. Cinnamomum is fundamental to the stability of the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest ecosystem due to its large number of individuals, large coverage, high biomass, and strong living ability. Here, we predict the potential spatial distribution pattern (potential distribution area and species richness hotspots area) for Cinnamomum under five periods of bioclimatic, overlay the nature reserves on species richness hotspots to evaluate the conservation status of Cinnamomum, and make reasonable suggestions for the nature reserves, national parks, and other protected areas.

    Methods: In this study, we collected occurrence data for 47 species of Cinnamomum in China and bioclimatic data during five periods (i.e. Last Interglacial (LIG), Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), Mid Holocene (MH), current, and future). Using the bioclimatic data, we predicted the potential distribution and species richness hotspots of Cinnamomum using the maximum-entropy (MaxEnt) model, and overlay the nature reserve on species richness hotspots of Cinnamomum to evaluate the conservation status, especially in the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest nature reserves.

    Results: The change in the potential distribution area for Cinnamomum was not significant among the five time periods. However, the area of potential distribution for this group has contracted and expanded in the mountains and plains, especially at the border between subtropical and temperate regions. The hotspots for species richness did change significantly among the five periods. Among these periods, the potential distribution area of Cinnamomum during the LGM was the largest, and 96%, 88%, and 37% higher than the LIG, MH, and current time period, respectively. For the future scenarios (~2080 years), the area of species richness hotspots will contract 8.4% for representative concentration pathways (RCP) 2.6 and 10.0% for RCP8.5. With the increase of greenhouse gas emissions, the degree of contraction will be sharper. Through conservation assessment, species richness hotspots of Cinnamomumare mainly located in southeastern Sichuan, southern Guizhou, Guangxi, and Guangdong provinces. Only 7.5% of species richness hotspots are distributed in nature reserves.

    Conclusions: The distribution center of Cinnamomum is mainly located in southeastern Sichuan and southern China, and the future climate change will have a negative impact on species richness hotspots for this genus. Therefore, the management and planning for the nature reserve, national park, and other protected areas should consider southeastern Sichuan and southern China as areas in need of more protection.

    The mating system and reproductive assurance of Rorippa elata (Brassicaceae) across latitude
    Zhengyan Hu, Quanjing Zheng, Qiyong Mu, Zhiqiang Du, Lin Liu, Yaowu Xing, Ting-Shen Han
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  712-721.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021056
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    Aim: The strategies of reproductive adaptation for alpine plants have long been a hot topic in evolutionary ecology, but there is still a lack of quantitative measures for reproductive traits under natural conditions. Here, we investigated reproductive adaptation of Rorippa elata, an endemic Brassicaceae species in one of the world's temperate biodiversity hotspots, the Hengduan Mountains (HDM).

    Methods: We established a field-based common garden experiment at Shangri-La Alpine Botanical Garden in Yunnan. During 2019‒2020, we transplanted a total of 633 R. elata plants for 150 accessions across latitudes and performed manipulative field experiments. First, we collected several life history-related traits of R. elata, including germination rate, flowering time, over-winter survival rate, and pollination-relevant characteristics. We then carried out a set of four experimental treatments to characterize natural variation of the mating system in R. elata, including (1) strict selfing rate by bagging inflorescences before flowering; (2) common outcrossing rate by emasculation and open pollination; (3) strict outcrossing rate by emasculation and artificial pollination among accessions; and (4) natural reproductive rate under open pollination. For each treatment, we counted seed setting rate per fruit per accession and used this information to assign a mating system type for each R. elata accession. Furthermore, we also quantified the extents of pollen limitation and reproductive assurance.

    Results: Our results showed that the main visitors of R. elata flowers were insects of Syrphidae, Halictus, Musca domestica, and Calliphoridae. Among these, insects of Syrphidae visited flowers most frequently and insects of Calliphoridae had the longest staying time per visiting. According to life history observations in the common garden, we demonstrated that R. elata plants germinated in early spring followed by a long period of reproductive growth throughout the synchronization of both high temperature and precipitation in HDM. They then entered into dormancy with living sprouts belowground during cold and dry winter. Correlation analysis of latitude with seed setting rate and over-winter survival rate showed that latitude was negatively correlated with the reproductive ability but positively correlated with the over-winter survival rate of R. elata. Comparative analysis of seed setting rates among experimental treatments found that R. elatapossessed a mixed mating system, with selfing dominant and intermediate types accounting for 45.5% and 39.4% of accessions, respectively. Furthermore, most R. elata accessions showed signs of reproductive assurance, but to different extents, with the highest in selfing dominant accessions (0.163) and the lowest in intermediate accessions (0.011).

    Conclusions: Our findings reveal the reproductive strategies of R. elataat the population level and underscore a trade-off between reproduction and survival along a latitudinal gradient. The mixed mating system with variable reproductive assurance likely plays an important role in the stability of reproduction. Collectively, our results highlight the important contributions of reproductive strategies for alpine plants during their adaptation to mountain environments.

    Dating whole-genome duplication reveals the evolutionary retardation of Angiopteris
    Ting Wang, Zengqiang Xia, Jiangping Shu, Jiao Zhang, Meina Wang, Jianbing Chen, Kanglin Wang, Jianying Xiang, Yuehong Yan
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  722-734.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020484
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    Aim: Whole-genome duplication (WGD) plays a positive role in speciation in vascular plants and is considered to be an important mechanism for species adaptation to the extreme environments. Dating whole-genome duplication events in different species is essential for understanding the adaptive evolution of organisms. However, the role that these mechanisms play in vascular plants, especially ferns, is still poorly understood.

    Method: Based on the synonymous substitution rates (Ks) and absolute dating of the WGD event, this study used three different transcriptome sequences of Angiopteris fokiensis to analyze the contribution of polyploidy to the evolution of plants, and the silent substitution rate. Gene annotation and functional enrichment were carried out to elucidate the biological processes, molecular function, and cellular component for the genes retained after the WGD.

    Results: We found that there was at least one WGD event in A. fokiensis at 159-165 Mya, and most duplicated genes were often related to nutrient metabolism, signal transduction, adaptive regulation and anatomical structure development. The silent substitution rate of A. fokiensis is 1.66 × 10‒9 synonymous substitutions per site per year. Based on the above results, we speculate that the WGD event was associated with gymnosperms flourishing and the emergence of core angiosperms, or the Toarcian extinction event. The retention of particular genes after the WGD may have promoted genetic and morphological innovation in Angiopteris, thus helping it adapt to the drastic changes in environmental conditions. At present, A. fokiensisis the slowest evolving group of land plants except gymnosperms, which may relate to the long generation time, large genome and stable living habitat.

    Conclusion: In this study, we analyzed the whole-genome duplication history and the patterns of retention of duplicated genes in A. fokiensis, suggesting that WGD events are of great influence in promoting the adaptation to extreme environmental changes of plants with slower evolutionary rates. These results provide more inspiration for understanding the adaptive evolution of other land plants.

    Patterns and drivers of species richness of early spring annual ephemeral plants in northern Xinjiang
    Aixia Wang, Jingjing Ma, Huidie Gong, Guoan Fan, Mao Wang, Hongmei Zhao, Junhui Cheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  735-745.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020331
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    Aims: Identifying factors that determine plant diversity remains an important issue in community ecology and biogeography. Many studies have demonstrated that plant diversity is tightly associated with a suite of environmental factors, such as elevation, contemporary climate, paleoclimate, soil nutrient availability, and aboveground biomass (AGB). However, their effects and relative importance on plant diversity is still unknown due to lack of comprehensive study.

    Methods: To assess relative importance of elevation, contemporary climate, paleoclimate, soil nutrient availability and AGB on early spring annual ephemeral plant(s) (ESAE), we surveyed species richness of ESAE across 32 sites in 2017 and 2018 in northern Xinjiang. We used general linear models to explore relationships of mean species richness (SR) of ESAE with elevation, climate (including annual mean temperature, precipitation in winter, precipitation from February to May, and anomaly of precipitation from February to May since the Last Glacial Maximum), soil nutrient availability (pH, soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorus (TP), the ratio of SOC to TN (C : N); the ratio of SOC to TP (C : P), the ratio of TN to TP (N : P), and AGB. We then adapted partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM) to measure the relative importance of each of these variables in regulating SR of ESAE.

    Results: We found that SR of ESAE exhibited a significant unimodal pattern with increasing elevation, annual mean temperature, precipitation from February to May, anomaly of precipitation from February to May since the Last Glacial Maximum, soil pH, C : N, and AGB, but a U-shaped pattern with increasing precipitation in winter. Elevation, climate, and soil nutrients availability could influence SR of ESAE by altering AGB either directly or indirectly. Among these factors, climate was the most important factor in regulating SR of ESAE, followed by AGB, elevation, and soil nutrient availability, respectively.

    Conclusion: Elevation, soil nutrients availability, climate and aboveground biomass had significant effects on species richness of EASA via their direct and indirect effects, but climate was the most important factor in regulating diversity of EASA.

    Growth differences and characteristics of root and leaf morphological traits for different mycorrhizal tree species in the subtropical China: A case study of Xingangshan, Jiangxi Province
    Yuanli Ouyang, Cancan Zhang, Xiaofan Lin, Lixin Tian, Hanjiao Gu, Fusheng Chen, Wensheng Bu
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  746-758.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020368
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    Aims: Exploring the intraspecific and interspecific variations in plant functional traits is not only beneficial for understanding plant adaptation to different environmental factors, but also helpful as a reflection on the ecological strategy. However, the adaptation strategies of root and leaf morphological traits in the growth process of different mycorrhizal tree species need to be explored.

    Methods: We studied seven arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) tree species and seven ectomycorrhizal (EM) tree species in the Biodiversity-Ecosystem Functioning Experiment China Platform (BEF-China). We studied the characteristics of root and leaf morphological traits of different mycorrhizal tree species by measuring the following morphological traits and growth indices: specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, specific root length, average diameter, the growth rate of tree height, the growth rate of basal diameter, and fine root biomass.

    Results: We found that when compared with AM tree species, EM tree species had lower specific leaf area, average diameter of absorbing root, and growth rate (including tree height and basal diameter). EM species had a higher leaf dry matter content. There were no significant differences in the specific root length and fine root biomass between the two types of mycorrhizal tree species. There were significant differences in specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, the growth rate of tree height, the growth rate of basal diameter and fine root biomass between tree species, mycorrhizal types and the interaction between the two. Additionally, tree species, root functional type, mycorrhizal type and the interaction between tree species with root functional types and mycorrhizal types had significant effects on root functional traits. The intraspecific variation of the aboveground growth indices of EM tree species was greater than that of interspecific variation, whereas the intraspecific variation was similar to the interspecific variations of the above-ground indices of AM tree species. Furthermore, the intraspecific variation was greater than the interspecific variation of fine root biomass for all tree species. Although the above-ground growth for two types of mycorrhizal tree species had a faster growth rate, they usually showed low leaf dry matter content. AM tree species had a high specific root length for absorbing roots, while EM tree species had a high average diameter for transporting roots. Low specific root length of the absorbing roots greatly increased the fine root biomass for all the tree species.

    Conclusions: Therefore, there was a certain synergistic effect between root and leaf morphological traits on plant growth above ground. Transporting roots mainly played an important role in the above-ground growth of EM tree species. Whereas absorptive roots mainly were related to the above-ground growth of AM tree species. However, below ground growth was mainly related to the absorptive root for all tree species.

    Animal Diversity
    Predicting the spatial distribution of three Astragalusspecies and their pollinating bumblebees in the Sino-Himalayas
    Yuhan Shi, Zongxin Ren, Weijia Wang, Xin Xu, Jie Liu, Yanhui Zhao, Hong Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  759-769.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020268
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    Aims: The spatial distribution for plant species that rely on animal pollination for reproduction is influenced by the geographical distribution of their pollinators. Predicting the impact that future climate change will have on the geographical distribution of plants and their pollinators is significantly important for the conservation of biodiversity.

    Methods: In this study, we conducted a field investigation to map out the distribution for three Astragalus species (A. camptodontus, A. pullus, andA. strictus) and their dominant pollinating bumblebees (Bombus). We collected 543 species distribution points for Astragalusand Bombusas well as 13 environmental factors from online database. Using the MaxEnt, we simulated suitable distribution changes for the three Astragalus species and two species of bumblebees (B. friseanusandB. rufofasciatus) under two climate change scenarios for 2100 (ssp245 and ssp585). We also combined with three possible migration situations into the models, i.e. full dispersal, no dispersal and only Bombus dispersal.

    Results: We found that three Astragalusspecies are mainly pollinated by bumblebees and the most suitable distribution for Astragalus and Bombusis the Sino-Himalayas. It is predicted that by 2100, their suitable distribution will expand northwest, while distribution areas in the southeast will decrease. When the plant-pollinator interaction was included in the models, potential range size of the three Astragalusspecies was reduced by 15.83%-83.98%. Under low-emissions scenario (ssp245), the spatial match of three Astragalus species and their pollinating bumblebees is predicted to increase. However, under a high-emissions scenario (ssp585) the spatial match of A. camptodontus, A. pullusand their dominated pollinators B. friseanusis predicted to decrease. If species lack full dispersal ability or only Bombus disperse, the spatial match of A. strictusand its dominated pollinators B. rufofasciatusis predicted to decrease. Climate change and species dispersal ability may cause spatial mismatch between the Astragalusand their pollinating bumblebees. Our simulation shows that the environmental factors affecting the distribution of Astragalus and Bombus are different, but elevation is the most important factor.

    Conclusion: Given the importance of pollinators for the life cycle of many plant species, our study could be used to better understand the potential effects of climate change on the spatial distribution of plants and their pollinators, particularly on species that with limited geographical range.

    Using surveillance cameras to analyze the activity pattern of the Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) and the efficiency of camera trap monitoring
    Xuesong Han, Zhengyi Dong, Ge Zhao, Xiang Zhao, Xiangying Shi, Zhi Lü, Hongqi Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  770-779.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020388
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    Aim: The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is a flagship species for global freshwater ecosystems. As one of the most widely distributed Palearctic mammals, the otter used to inhabit most provinces in China. However, after decades of relentless hunting and habitat degradation, the Sanjiangyuan Region is now one of last strongholds for this species in China. Currently, there still remains an enormous knowledge gap in basic information about this species. Available field information has mostly been acquired through camera trapping, and the reliability of this method is still being questioned considering the revealed underperformance in the monitoring for otters.

    Method:Research was conducted in Yushu City, Qinghai Province. We deployed surveillance cameras and camera traps in five monitoring sites with high otter occurrences from Oct. 2018 to May 2020. Using data collected from the surveillance cameras, we analyzed daily and annual activity patterns for the Eurasian otters in the region. To better understand the breeding period for otters, we analyzed the temporal distribution of all breeding related events. Furthermore, using surveillance cameras as reference, we evaluated the efficiency (detection rate, captured duration) and accuracy (behavior/topic, individual number) of camera traps for otter monitoring.

    Results:Surveillance cameras recorded 1,033 independent events of the Eurasian otters, and 597 of them were captured by camera traps (Oct.-May). The otters were highly active from 17:00 to 09:00 (+1 day) and there was a higher capture frequency from December to June (+1 year). Most breeding related events were captured from October to April (+1 year). Camera traps detected 69.18% of otter occurrence events, which was positively correlated with an increase in event duration (0-49 s). The temporal distribution of events captured by camera traps showed a significant linear relationship with surveillance camera records, but the durations were significantly shorter. Finally, only 56.28% of the events captured by camera traps provided enough information to discern the otter's behavior; for events with more than one individual, only 49.35% of the camera trap records accurately captured otter's number.

    Conclusions:The daily and annual activity patterns of the Eurasian otters in Yushu City were proven in accordance with the precious research conducted in other inland riverine ecosystems. By analyzing breeding related events, we found that the breeding season of the Eurasian otters in Yushu begins with mating behavior starting in October and ending with the dispersal of cubs by June. Although 30.82% of the events were missed by camera traps, they still accurately documented the daily and annual activity patterns of the Eurasian otters. However, because of the amount of missed information, camera traps are not the most reliable method for further quantitative behavioral studies on Eurasian otters.

    Ecosystem Diversity
    Evaluation indicator system for the recreational sustainability management of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau national park cluster
    Conglin Zhang, Mengzhen Chu, Huizhi Zhang, Haijuan Qiao, Baorong Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  780-789.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020401
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    Aims: The establishment of an evaluation indicator system of recreational sustainability management is extremely important for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau national park cluster to guide scientific planning and construction, promote recreational sustainability management, regulate the behaviors of market subjects and visitors, and protect the important and fragile ecological environment.

    Methods: Based on scientific investigation of the potential construction area of national park cluster, taking demands as orientation, the demand of national park cluster for recreational sustainability management evaluation indicator is analyzed. Guided by global consensus, the applicability of Global Sustainability Tourism Criteria for Destinations in national park cluster is discussed. Guided by experience, the management emphases of recreational sustainability of national parks in major countries is summarized.

    Results: The recreational sustainability management evaluation indicator system for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau national park cluster has been established, including five first-level indicators of system construction, economy, society, culture and ecological environment, 15 second-level indicators and 34 third-level indicators.

    Conclusion & suggestions: The recreational sustainability management evaluation indicator system for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau national park cluster has regional, representative, systematic and pragmatic characteristics. The application of the Recreational Sustainability Management Evaluation Indicator System for the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau national park cluster needs to be supported by monitoring and statistical systems. However, the foundation of these two fields in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau national park cluster is relatively weak. In order to apply the evaluation indicator system of recreational sustainability management, it is suggested to improve related monitoring and statistics systems. On the one hand, priority should be given to monitoring number of visitors, rare and endemic species, water environment quality, vegetation coverage, authenticity, and integrity of cultural heritage in the national park cluster potential construction area. On the other hand, it is necessary to give priority to strengthen the statistical work on the visitor attributes, visitors' satisfaction, local community satisfaction, the contribution of recreation to local economic and social development, and the waste disposal rate of recreation.

    Technology and Methodology
    The calculation of β-diversity for different sample sizes
    Yi Zou
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  790-797.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021011
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    Aims: Measuring differences in species composition between plots, i.e., β-diversity, is a common approach in ecological studies. In empirical studies, sample sizes between plots are often inconsistent. While species rarefaction curves can be used to calculate α-diversity for different sample sizes, commonly-used β-diversity indices do not take sample sizes into account. To overcome the limitation, this study introduced the species rarefaction-extended β-diversity index—the expected species shared (ESS) and its normalized format, with particular emphasis on the chord-normalized expected species shared (CNESS) index.

    Methods: Based on empirical data, this study demonstrated the application of CNESS using principal coordinates analysis (PCoA) under different sample size parameter (m), and compared results between the CNESS and a commonly used abundance-based index, the Chao-Jaccard index.

    Results: Simulation results showed that the PCoA results of the CNESS index and the Chao-Jaccard index were generally positively correlated and that the correlation was largely independent of m. By adjusting m, results of the CNESS can be tuned to focus on the species composition of both dominant and rare species, whereas the Chao-Jaccard cannot represent the relevant information. The CNESS index was not sensitive to the sample size, which offers advantages compared to the Chao-Jaccard index.

    Conclusions: ESS-based dissimilarity indices are abundance-based and are suitable for the calculation of β-diversity when sample sizes vary among plots, which is especially important when studying insects and other invertebrates that commonly have vast differences in the number of samples among plots. In order to comprehensively understand species composition differences between plots, calculation of CNESS results under different m values is recommended. As plots with a sample size smaller than m will be excluded in the calculation, in practice, a sufficient number of individuals are required for each plot to ensure the integrity of plot information under a large m.

    Bryophyte checklist of Anhui Province, China
    Xueqin Shi, Jian Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  798-804.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020314
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    Aims: Species checklist is the background data of the biodiversity of a region. A timely update of the list plays an important role in the protection of biodiversity and the promotion of basic data sharing. In order to summarize the research results of the taxonomy of bryophytes in Anhui Province in time, it is necessary to revise the list of bryophytes in the province.

    Method: Based on the collection and analysis of the published records, we updated the checklist of bryophytes in Anhui Province.

    Results: In total, the present checklist includes 777 species belonging to 253 genera in 95 families, with three hornwort species in three genera and three families, 185 liverwort species in 62 genera and 36 families, and 589 moss species in 188 genera and 56 families. Families with more than 25 species are Brachytheciaceae, Lejeuneaceae, Pottiaceae, Bryaceae, Hypnaceae, Mniaceae, Leucobryaceae, Entodontaceae and Meteoriaceae. Genera with more than 15 species are Brachythecium, Bryum, Entodon, Porella, Plagiochila, Hypnum, Fissidens, Plagiotheciumand Frullania. East Asian geographical element (44.40%) is the largest component of the bryophyte flora of Anhui Province, while temperate element is 31.53% (of which the northern temperate element is the most, accounting for 25.61%), and tropical element is 18.92% (of which the tropical Asia element is 10.30%). There are 55 species of China's endemic species, one endangered species, and eight vulnerable species in Anhui Province. The survey of bryophytes in Anhui Province shows regional imbalances.

    Conclusions: Our results suggests that, while extensive surveys are carried out, the revision of the checklist and specialized studies should be strengthened in Anhui Province. Furthemore, comparative studies of species diversity under temporal and spatial changes should be carried out in areas where conditions permit.

    Using camera traps to survey mammals and birds in Sichuan Xuebaoding National Nature Reserve
    Yunrui Ji, Yi Tao, Changlin Li, Diqiang Li, Ding Zhao, Fang Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  805-810.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020349
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    Aim: To investigate the diversity and spatial distribution of mammals and birds in Xuebaoding National Nature Reserve, camera traps were set up in the reserve from April 2017 to October 2018 and from April 2019 to October 2019.

    Methods: The reserve was divided into 1-km2blocks within a Geographic Information System. Blocks were set up according to habitat type, and each habitat type had a camera. However, some cameras were moved to adjacent blocks due to poor location and other reasons six months after initial placement. A total of 195 camera traps were set up in 152 sites within 123 blocks.

    Results: A total of 6,316 independent images were obtained over 30,792 camera-trapping days. Among them, 105 species were identified from camera trap images, including 27 mammal species belonging to 4 orders and 13 families, and 78 avian species belonging to 5 orders and 20 families. Among them, 7 species are listed in Class I national protected animals including Rhinopithecus roxellana, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, Moschus berezovskii, Budorcas tibetanus, Tetraophasis obscurus, Lophophorus lhuysii, and Aquila chrysaetos, while 12 species are listed as Class II national protected animals including Macaca thibetana, Tetraogallus tibetanus, etc. The results showed that the top five mammals with the highest photographic rate (PR) from high to low were Naemorhedus griseus, Pseudois nayaur, Sciurotamias davidianus, Sus scrofaand Arctonyx collaris. Additionally, the top five birds with the highest PR were Ithaginis cruentus, Lerwa lerwa, Tetraogallus tibetanus, Tragopan temminckiiand Lophophorus lhuysii. Additionally, livestock and human activities were recorded at 26 and 22 camera sites, respectively.

    Conclusions: The results indicate that there is wide diversity of wild animals in Xuebaoding National Nature Reserve, along with diversity of rare and endangered animals. For example, giant pandas are abundant and widely distributed in the reserve. However, our results show that pandas and livestock spatially overlap in some areas. Consequently, we suggest the reserve should strengthen the control of grazing livestock and raise the protection awareness of surrounding residents through community publicity.

    Camera-trapping survey of wild mammals and ground-dwelling birds in the Jiangxi Wuyishan National Nature Reserve, China
    Yingrong Guo, Wenjun Lan, Sicheng Zou, Rongbin Yuan, Xiaoyu Dong, Jirui Cao, Qingpei Yang, Qingni Song
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  811-818.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020307
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    Aim We aim to investigate the biological inventory of large and medium-sized mammals and ground-dwelling birds in the Jiangxi Wuyishan National Nature Reserve using camera-trapping techniques.

    Method: 52 camera-traps were placed between 531 m and 2,051 m a.s.l. from November 2016 to June 2018. The relative abundance index was used to evaluate the population sizes of different species.

    Results: A total of 8,908 independent photographs were taken with a sampling effort of 18,417 camera-days. We identified 20 wild mammal species (5 orders and 13 families) and 42 bird species (5 orders and 14 families). Of all the detected species, 2 species are listed as first-class National Protected Wildlife (Muntiacus crinifronsand Tragopan caboti), and 10 species are listed as second-class National Protected Wildlife (Ursus thibetanus, Elaphodus cephalophus, Capricornis milneedwardsii, and others). Four species were listed as Vulnerable and five as Near Threatened according to the IUCN Red List. Based on the relative abundance index, the three most abundant mammal species were Muntiacus reevesi, Macaca thibetana and Sus scrofa; and the three most detected bird species were Lophura nycthemera,Myophonus caeruleus and Garrulax pectoralis. The relative abundance index of species presents a unimodal pattern along the altitude gradient with the largest value being in the area of 800-1,200 m.

    Conclusion: These findings indicate Jiangxi Wuyishan Nature Reserve has high species diversity and rich rare and endangered species, especially in the mid-altitude areas. This study provides an important foundation for further biodiversity investigation and wildlife management measures of reserves.

    Camera-trapping survey on mammals and birds in a forest dynamics plot in Hainan Jianfengling National Nature Reserve
    Jinhua Mo, Yunrui Ji, Han Xu, Diqiang Li, Fang Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  819-824.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020350
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    Aim: To investigate changes of animal diversity and abundance, we set up camera traps in 79 plots in a 60 ha forest dynamics plot of Hainan Jianfengling National Nature Reserve from August 2016 to February 2019.

    Methods: The 60 ha forest dynamics plot was divided into 10,000-m2blocks. In each block, we choose a 400-m2plot where animal movement was expected across 79 plots.

    Results: A total of 27,848 camera-trapping days were accumulated and 15,320 independent images were obtained. We identified 46 species from camera trap images, including 16 mammal species belonging to 6 orders and 11 families, and 30 bird species belonging to 8 orders and 16 families. Polyplectron katsumatae, Arborophila ardens, Manis pentadactyla were listed as Class I National Protected Wildlife of China, and Macaca mulatta, Ratufa bicolor, Gallus gallus, Lophura nycthemera, Accipiter virgatus, Pitta soror were listed as Class II. The top five mammal species with the highest photographic rate from high to low were Atherurus macrourus, Dremomys pyrrhomerus, Leopoldamys edwardsi, Callosciurus erythraeusandMuntiacus vaginalis. The top five bird species with the highest photographic rate from high to low were Lophura nycthemera, Polyplectron katsumatae, Pitta soror, Arborophila ardensand Garrulax castanotis.

    Conclusions: Hainan Jianfengling National Nature Reserve is an important habitat for many rare, endangered species, and endemic species. However, comparisons between survey results and historical data suggests that carnivores may be extirpated from this area. Therefore, we suggest the reserve continuously monitor change of wildlife diversities and abundance in Hainan Jianfengling National Nature Reserve.

    Advances in the genetic regulating pathways of plant flowering time
    Xiaofeng Yang, Xiaomeng Li, Wanjin Liao
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  825-842.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020370
    Abstract ( 259 )   HTML ( 19 )   PDF (1668KB) ( 172 )   Save
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    Aims: Flowering time is critical for plant reproductive success. Plant species, especially which are widely distributed, are observed to exhibit significant differentiation in flowering time to maximize their fitness. In order to explore the molecular mechanism of adaptive differentiation of flowering time in plants, it is essential to clarify the regulating pathways of flowering. This paper summarizes the genetic pathways that regulate flowering time in various groups of plants, which can provide important reference for molecular mechanism research of adaptive differentiation of flowering time.

    Progresses: As a vital transition from vegetative growth to reproduction in plants, the flowering time has been reported to be regulated by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Based on researches of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and other taxa, six pathways that regulate flowering time have been identified. The light-dependent pathway, vernalization pathway, and temperature pathway refer to the regulation of flowering time in response to day length or quality of light, a long period of cold exposure, and external high or low temperature, respectively. While the gibberellin pathway, the age pathway and the autonomic pathway are the endogenous pathways. Signals from the six upstream flowering regulation pathways are transmitted to the downstream flowering integratorsFT (FLOWERING LOCUS T) andSOC1(SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1), assembled by these two integrators, and transmitted to the downstream flowering meristem where flowering initiates. In addition, most recent studies have shown that non-coding RNA and transposable elements also play important roles in the regulation of flowering time.

    Prospect: The researches on the regulation of plant flowering have studied more than a hundred years ago, forming many mature theories. However, there are still many controversial and unresolved problems, such as the expression ways of flowering genes, the special regulatory mechanism of flowering, and the adaptive significance of differentiated flowering time, which require further study.

    The formation and mechanism of plumage color diversity based on carotenoid pigmentation
    Boning Xue, Yanyun Zhang, Lu Dong
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  843-854.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020382
    Abstract ( 394 )   HTML ( 16 )   PDF (2988KB) ( 509 )   Save
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    Background & Aims: Animal coloration has long been a topic of interest. As one of the most colorful groups in the world, birds exhibit a wide diversity of plumage pigmentation patterns. Carotenoid, an important component contributing to vivid colors in many avian species, can be deposited in avian integument and produce red, orange, yellow, pink and purple coloration, which can serve as an honest signal of individual condition in mediating social and mating interaction. Therefore, carotenoid pigmentation is an ideal phenotypic trait for understanding the diversity of plumage coloration under a variety of evolutionary pressures and constraints. Most significantly, this complex coloration mechanism provides a variety of opportunities for the evolution of plumage coloration driven by natural and sexual selection. In this review, we highlight the current advances in the mechanisms underlying carotenoid-based coloration in four physiological processes involved in carotenoid coloration in birds. We also introduce the interaction of carotenoid pigment and microstructural coloration, and the ecological forces that drive the evolution of carotenoid coloration.

    Progresses: We summarized the biochemical pathways of dietary carotenoids absorption, transportation, metabolism and deposition in birds, all of which may affect feather coloration as condition-dependent traits. We further reported a biochemical modification pathway of the yellow dietary carotenoids and conversion to red ketocarotenoids in vivo, which gives birds more opportunities to become colorful. Still, the physiological and genetic mechanisms related to carotenoid processing remain uncertain. With the development of high-throughput sequencing technology, recent breakthroughs have revealed some genes that control carotenoid pigmentation, which has shed light on the molecular basis of carotenoid-based coloration. These genes, such as CYP2J19, BCO2, SCARB1, play an important role in the carotenoid coloration in feathers, and lay the foundation for our understanding of the genetic mechanism of carotenoids in the process of feather coloration.

    Prospects: This review provides a helpful foundation for understanding the biochemical mechanisms underlying bird coloration. In addition, we have put forward questions in the field that require urgent attention: (1) How do different physiological pathways interact to form and maintain the color diversity in birds? (2) What factors regulate the metabolism and deposition of carotenoids during the growth of bird feathers, which makes the occurrence of carotenoid plumage present a specific temporal and spatial pattern? (3) How does the plumage dichromatism caused by the difference in carotenoid coloration occur and maintain?

    Research advance in the diversity and ecology of Oncaeidae
    Rouxin Sun, Yanguo Wang, Mao Lin, Bingpeng Xing, Xiaoyin Chen, Peng Xiang, Chunguang Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (6):  855-864.  doi:10.17520/biods.2020362
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    Aims: Oncaeidae are small copepods that serve an important role in marine ecosystems, with high abundance and rich diversity. Studies on the taxonomic diversity of these species still have great deficiencies, and its ecological function status may be underestimated. To improve the understanding of Oncaeidae, this paper reviews the research progress of taxonomy, species diversity, distribution and ecology of Oncaeidae, and also discusses the difficulties and technological trends in research of global Oncaeidae diversity.

    Progresses: Since Giesbrecht's description of this taxon at the end of the 19th century, new species of Oncaeidae have been discovered and described. They are widely recorded in the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Mediterranean, and polar oceans, and occur in the upper, middle, and deep layers of the ocean. To date, 115 species have been described. Descriptions of species diversity of Oncaeidae in China started late, with only 11 species of Oncaeidae were recorded in the China Sea, and related ecological studies are relatively weak. Oncaeidae species are small in size with many morphological similarities, making it difficult to distinguish the many sister species and intrapesional types. Therefore, many studies complement traditional taxonomic identification methods with molecular biology techniques. These molecular techniques allow for the exploration of cryptic species, so as to improve the efficiency of species discovery and description. With recent deepening of the research, the distribution, feeding habits, population characteristics and behavior characteristics of Oncaeidae have received greater attention, resulting in an increasingly diverse body of taxonomic research for this group.

    Prospects: With the rapid development of marine science technology, as well as many advanced scientific research

    vessels and manned submersibles now being used for oceanographic studies, biological sampling of the ocean is constantly being enriched. This will promote the rapid development of taxonomic and biodiversity research in the waters around China, and further the taxonomic research of Oncaeidae, leading to new insights about the distribution and diversity of taxa in this group.

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