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Table of Content
    Volume 29 Issue 12
    20 December 2021
    The List of National Key Protected Wild Plants, updated on September 7th, 2021, plays a central role in plant conservation in China. The special collection of four papers in this issue illustrated the necessity, principle, and process of updating the List, as well as related conservation and management policies in China; compiled a complete list of gymnosperm species from China and assessed their risk of extinction. The photo of Cycas panzhihuaensis was taken in the Sichuan Panzhihua Cycas National Nature Reserve. This species belongs to Grade I of the National Key Protected Wild Plants. (Photographed by Zhixiang Yu)
    Special Feature: National Key Protected Wild Plants
    On the necessity, principle, and process of updating the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants
    Zhaoli Lu, Haining Qin, Xiaohua Jin, Zhixiang Zhang, Qingwen Yang, Deyuan Hong, Dezhu Li, Kaifan Li, Liangchen Yuan, Zhihua Zhou
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1577-1582.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021394
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    Aims: Recently, the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants has been updated after a long intermission since its first version issued 22 years ago. In this paper, we illustrated the necessity, urgency, principle, and process of updating the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants (LNKPWP).
    Methods: We reviewed the situation of plant conservation in China in last two decades and the process of updating the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants.
    Results: During the last two decades, the increase of human population and economy has had a deep effect on the conservation of plant diversity in China. Thirty species of higher plants in China were assessed as Extinct or Extinct in the Wild, and more than 3,800 species were assessed in threatened status in 2017 due to habitat loss or fragmentation, over-collection, and other factors. Because of this, it was crucial to update the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants (LNKPWP). The project to update LNKPWP began in 2018. Five basic and four supplementary principles of inclusion and exclusion of species in LNKPWP, were discussed and adopted during the process, especially the inclusion of endangered species, and species of important economic, cultural, ecological, and scientific interest. The updated LNKPWP received the approval from the State Council and became a legitimate appendix of the Regulation of Wild Plant Protection of China on 7th September, 2021. In total, there are 455 species and 40 taxa (families, genera or sections) in LNKPWP.

    Analysis and suggestions on policies and regulations on conservation and management of wild plants in China
    Zhihua Zhou, Xiaohua Jin
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1583-1590.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021364
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    Aims: China is the home to the world’s second-richest flora with approximately 36,000-41,000 species of higher plants. Plant conservation has reached great achievements in the last 40 years, especially with the publications of Regulation on Conservation of Wild Plants of China and the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants. These publications were issued by the central government two decades ago and recently have been amended with updates. Many national nature reserves and botanical gardens have been established to protect the national diversity of plant species, which formalized the in situ and ex situ conservation network. However, there are notable gaps between the conservation needs and the legitimate base in the new era of ecological civilization construction. This review surveys the achievements within botanical conservation and illustrates the gaps in policies and regulations on plant conservation in China. Congruently, we propose suggestions for revising the Regulation on Conservation of Wild Plants of China.
    Methods: We summarized the current conservation and management policies on wild plants in China and analyzed the central policies and measures from three facets, e.g., in situ conservation, ex situ conservation, and management on exploitation and utilization. The advantages and disadvantages of these policies and regulations have been analyzed and compared with wild animal management. Furthermore, relevant suggestions to revise the Regulation on Conservation of Wild Plants of China have been provided.
    Results: Our analyses indicated the revision of Regulation on Conservation of Wild Plants of China needs to be expedited to enhance in situ and ex situ conservation, including revising the definition of the term “wild plants” and “artificial propagation” to improve the management procedure for exploitation, to enhance the connection between international laws and domestic laws, and to refine the punishment rules.

    Conservation of gymnosperms in China: Perspectives from the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants
    Yong Yang, Chao Tan, Zhi Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1591-1598.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021403
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    Aims: We studied the distribution pattern of protected gymnosperms and conducted a comparison of taxonomic changes between the last version (1999) and the recently released version (2021) of the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants (LNKPWP ver. 2021). Our aim was to unveil the characteristics of protected species and identify the gap between protection and taxonomic studies of gymnosperms in China.
    Methods: We compiled all gymnosperm species listed in the 2021 List, conducted an analytic comparison using the Microsoft Access (ver. 2016), and generated maps of species’ distribution patterns using ArcGIS.
    Results: We found that the number of protected gymnosperms has increased in comparison to those listed in 1999, although some families and genera have been removed. To summarize: (1) at the family level, with the inclusion of Podocarpaceae and Ephedraceae the percentage of protected families has increased to 87.5% from 62.5%, with Gnetaceae being the only family that is not represented on the 2021 List; (2) at the genus level, the inclusion of three additional genera Ephedra, Podocarpus, Xanthocyparis and the exclusion of one genus Larix. The percentage of protected genera has increased to 67.6% of total gymnosperm genera in China in comparison to 62.2% on the 1999 List; (3) at the species level, the percentage of protected species is ca. 38.7% of total gymnosperm species in China in comparison to vs. 30% of the 1999 List. The protected species are not evenly distributed in the country, with more species in Yunnan, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, and Sichuan, whereas a number of northern provinces have no protected species, e.g. Xinjiang, Qinghai, Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong, and Beijing.
    Conclusions: To enhance the capability of species protection and law enforcement by relevant government departments, we suggest: (1) establish a specialist database as soon as possible, as well as revise and improve the action plans and protection techniques for each species; (2) establish a comprehensive photo bank of protected species to provide better technical support for species identification using cell phone applications; (3) establish and complete a reference database of DNA barcodes of each protected species to improve the speed and accuracy of their identification. We also suggest that the government should initiate projects to conduct targeted field investigations of gymnosperm species because the percentage of threatened gymnosperms is higher compared to other groups of threatened plants in China, essential biological data for gymnosperm species is lacking, and several taxonomic problems remain. The new investigation will lay an important foundation for a new round of red list assessment of gymnosperm species and assist in developing appropriate action plans for their protection.

    An updated red list assessment of gymnosperms from China (Version 2021)
    Yong Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1599-1606.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021342
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    Aims: It is important to conduct periodical red list assessments, understand the threatened status and threats, for effective species conservation. Here we report a new red list assessment of gymnosperm species native to China with a comparison between this new assessment and the earlier assessment released in 2013.
    Methods: We collected species data from published references and databases and adopted the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria ver. 3.1 for the red list assessment.
    Results: This new red list assessment of gymnosperms includes 274 species and infraspecies, belonging to 37 genera and 8 families, all of which are native to China. Compared with the red list version released in 2013, 2 families were reduced in priority, while 3 genera and 40 species and infraspecies increased in priority during this study. These changes are caused by updating recent taxonomic novelties and adding a few taxa missing in the previous assessment. Among the 274 assessed specific and infraspecific taxa, 139 were listed as threatened (including Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), and Vulnerable (VU)). Of the total assessed species, up to 50.7% are listed as threatened, which is similar to the proportion of the previous assessment. In addition, there are 27 species and infraspecies listed as Data Deficient (DD), approximately 9.9% of the total assessed species.
    Conclusions: Threats to Chinese gymnosperm species include internal attributes of relic and endemic species, over-exploitation, habitat loss, and global warming. The high ratio of Data Deficient (DD) species suggests that it is necessary to conduct targeted field investigations to better understand the living status and threats of gymnosperms in China in order to lay a solid foundation for the next red list assessment. The new assessment will be helpful to guide conservation practices of Chinese gymnosperms.

    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Species delimitation of the Selaginella delicatula group in China
    Menghua Zhang, Xianchun Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1607-1619.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021273
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    Aims: Species delimitation of Selaginella remains largely based on morphological characters, however, many closely related species are morphologically indistinguishable from each other. This study aims to (1) explore phylogenetic relationships within the S. delicatula group; and (2) evaluate the utility of nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers for the classification of Selaginella.
    Methods: A total of 73 individuals were sampled, covering the geographical distribution and morphological variation of this group. We sequenced three chloroplast markers (rbcL, psbA, and atpI) and two nuclear markers (26S nrDNA and pgiC) to infer the phylogenetic relationships and haplotype network.
    Results: We detected incongruence within S. delicatula-S. picta clade between chloroplast and nuclear phylogenies. The chloroplast dataset indicated S. delicatula is not monophyletic, with S. delicatula B sister to S. delicatula A-S. picta. In contrast, nuclear dataset discovered the monophyly of all three species, with S. delicatula sister to S. picta and S. wallichii sister to the S. delicatula-S. picta clade. Morphological characters, including main stem and branches, sporophylls, sterile leaves (ventral, dorsal, and axillary leaves) and spores were carefully observed and assessed. Morphological comparisons indicated that the samples of S. delicatula A and B clades are only distinct in branch patterns and the micromorphology of megaspores surface, not differential in morphology of leaves, strobili and microspores.
    Conclusion: As a result of available evidence, three taxa were recognized in the S. delicatula group. It is necessary to perform further studies with cytological evidence and more samples of S. delicatula from type locality in order to obtain a better understanding of the species delimitation. We suggested that the taxonomic work of Selaginella should focus on the closely related species and multiple lines of evidence should be considered, including morphological characters, cytological evidence, molecular data (nuclear and chloroplast DNA markers), and geographical distribution.

    Vulnerability of two Rhodiola species under climate change in the future
    Wenting Wang, Tingting Yang, Lei Jin, Jiamin Jiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1620-1628.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021209
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    Aims: Climate change has a profound impact on global species diversity, especially alpine species diversity. Furthermore, the number of species currently threatened by climate change may increase as climate change. Studying the extinction risk of species under future climate change is of great significance to biodiversity conservation. Rhodiola crenulata and R. chrysanthemifolia are two important medicinal plants distributed on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. However, the potential effects of climate change on each species have not been widely researched. In this study, we investigate the vulnerability of each species to climate change and discuss the relationship between species vulnerability and climatic niche. In addition, we test whether climate change will affect the threat ranking of species in red list.
    Methods: In this study, we studied the vulnerability of R. crenulata and R. chrysanthemifolia to climate change using climate-niche factor analysis. We then discussed the influence of climate on the vulnerability of both species change in the context of two “Shared Socioeconomic Pathways” (i.e. SSP2-45 and SSP5-85). Next, we calculated the marginality and specialization of the two species. At the same time, we visualized the climate niches of each species using principal component analysis and analyzed the relationship between climate niches and vulnerabilities of both species.
    Results: Our results indicate that the vulnerability of each species is high in the western region of their range, and low in the eastern region of their range. Both species have lower vulnerability to climate change in the Hengduan Mountains, which will serve as a climate refugium for the two species. The vulnerability of the two species under SSP5-85 is higher than that under SSP2-45, and the resource- and energy-intensive socioeconomic pathways (i.e. SSP5-85) will increase the extinction risk of both species in the future. Rhodiola chrysanthemifolia, which is classified as Least Concern on China Species Red List, is more vulnerable to climate change than R. crenulata, which is classified as Endangered. Niche analysis demonstrates that niche marginality and specialization of R. crenulata were lower than that of R. chrysanthemifolia.
    Conclusions: Our results suggest that the vulnerability of different species to climate change inhabiting the same region is primarily determined by the climate niche of each species. Climate change may affect the threat ranking of species in red list. It is necessary to consider the impact of climate change when assessing threats to species.

    Genetic structure and its causes of an important woody oil plant in Southwest China, Prinsepia utilis (Rosaceae)
    Junwei Ye, Bin Tian
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1629-1637.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021341
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    Aims: Prinsepia utilis is an important woody oil species in temperate forests in Southwest China, however, almost nothing is known about its population genetic structure and the causes. So, we aim to study its evolutionary history through multiple nuclear microsatellite loci (nSSRs).
    Methods: We sampled 377 individuals from 32 natural populations across all distribution range of P. utilis. All individuals were amplified and scored using seven self-developed nSSRs markers. Genetic structure was inferred using STRUCTURE software and principal component analysis. The most possible demographic scenario and corresponding parameters were modeled and estimated in DIYABC. Genetic diversity and genetic differentiation of each population, locus and genetic cluster were calculated. Contributions of geographic distance and environmental differences to genetic differentiation were calculate through Mantel test and partial Mantel test. At last, environmental differences among different genetic clusters was evaluated through principal component analysis using 19 climatic variables.
    Results: All population can be divided into four genetic groups that are Himalayas, Hengduan Mountains, west and east Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau genetic groups from west to east. The greatest genetic differentiation occurs between populations in the Himalayas and other regions. In comparison with the Himalayan and east Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau groups, the Hengduan Mountains and west Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau groups have higher proportion of genetic mixture from other groups. Population demographic history analysis indicate two central groups are formed after Himalayas and east Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau groups, all divergences are occurred in late Pleistocene. The analyses of isolation by distance and isolation by environment show that the genetic differentiation of P. utilis is mainly caused by environmental difference. Environmental difference analysis using 19 climatic variables shows various difference among groups with significant difference exist between Himalayas and east Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau groups.
    Conclusion: The distinct genetic structure of P. utilis is formed through the combination of Pleistocene climatic changes, complicated environment and its own biological characters. Combined with ecological niche modeling analysis in different periods, we suggest protection of genetic resources in Himalayas and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau should be first priority.

    Genetic diversity and construction of core conservation units of the natural populations of Populus euphratica in Northwest China
    Xiangxiang Chen, Zhongshuai Gai, Juntuan Zhai, Jindong Xu, Peipei Jiao, Zhihua Wu, Zhijun Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1638-1649.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021249
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    Aims: Populus euphratica is a rare tree species in the extremely arid desert area of northwest China. The research on the germplasm genetic resources within the natural populations and the construction of a germplasm bank are helpful to protect the gene resources of P. euphratica.
    Methods: In this study, according to the Nei’s genetic similarity among populations by using SNPs from 120 DNA fragments, the gradual clustering priority sampling method was used and t-test was performed to compare the genetic diversity within populations, the conservation units and the rest populations. A total of 58 natural P. euphratica populations from northwest China, including Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, and Inner Mongolia, were used to obtain the different natural conservation units.
    Results: The P. euphratica populations were divided into four distinct clades that demonstrated strong geographical distribution patterns (NX, SX, QH and GNM, with the GNM clade containing individuals from Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia individuals). PCA analysis confirmed the differentiation of populations, similar to population structure. Southern Xinjiang holds the major distribution of P. euphratica in China, and the higher genetic diversity than other distribution areas, and the analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that most of the variation within P. euphratica was distributed within population compared to the variation among populations. The primary core conservation units (CU3) contained three populations, and the secondary core conservation units (CU33) contained 33 populations. There may be natural ancient P. euphratica resources with putative resistance to stress in southern Xinjiang, and the average genetic diversity in southern Xinjiang was higher than that in northern Xinjiang.
    Conclusion: The overall genetic diversity of P. euphratica and the number of ancient trees in southern Xinjiang were higher than those in northern Xinjiang. The priority protection of the first and second core conservation units was constructed. Combining comprehensively with habitat information, such as the severity of drought index in Xinjiang, it was recommended to increase the conservation of ancient P. euphratica trees in southern Xinjiang, and to pay more attentions to the regeneration of P. euphratica forests in northern Xinjiang.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Behavioral ethogram and posture-act-environment coding system of Capricornis sumatraensis
    Huaijun Liu, Xu Lü, Xiaofang Wang, Weili Kou, Guohui Miu, Hua Yuan
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1650-1657.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021207
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    Aims: Habitat fragmentation and human disturbance are factors that affect the survival of Capricornis sumatraensis. Protecting C. sumatraensis, in-depth study of the behavioral and ecological characteristics of this species is the prerequisite and basis for taking necessary protective measures. Behavioral research of C. sumatraensis is relatively scarce, so it is necessary to build a behavioral ethogram and posture-act-environment (PAE) coding system of C. sumatraensis in order to promote the improvement of their basic behavior data, and lay the foundation for further scientific research and protection.
    Methods: (1) Referring to the commonly used animal behavior coding methods in China, the behavior ethogram and PAE coding system of C. sumatraensis were established based on the PAE axis. Twenty percent of C. sumatraensis videos were randomly selected from the video database to test the effectiveness of the behavioral ethogram. (2) The behavioral data of C. sumatraensis were counted and the behavioral diversity index was calculated. The differences between the behavioral diversity of specific age groups were analyzed, and the correlation between specific age groups and behavioral diversity index was calculated.
    Results: (1) This paper classifies 10 postures, 80 actions, 9 environments and 78 behaviors of C. sumatraensis, and establishes the behavior ethogram and PAE coding system of C. sumatraensis for the first time. Through the behavior ethogram, it can objectively identify and classify C. sumatraensis behaviors. (2) Compared with sub-adults and cub, adult C. sumatraensis had the highest Avariable, A, r, r-variable. The Avariable, A, r of C. sumatraensis sub-adults were lower than adults but higher than cub. Cub C. sumatraensis had the lowest Avariable, A, r, and the r-variable was higher than that of sub-adults. (3) The behavior ethogram of the C. sumatraensis can be generally used in the study of its behavior. The results could be improved by obtaining images of reproductive behavior, and updating the behavior ethogram and PAE coding system. (4) The behavioral diversity index of C. sumatraensis was not significantly different among the three age groups (F = 0.013, P = 0.987). From cub to adult, the Avariable, A, r of C. sumatraensis increased with age.
    Conclusion: Further research on the behavior of C. sumatraensis is needed to provide scientific support for its protection.

    Fish diversity and conservation in the Lanzhou reach of the Yellow River
    Zhaosong Chen, Bei An, Ziwang Wang, Faning Wu, Zhangyun Sun, Lixun Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1658-1672.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021199
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    Aim: Lanzhou is the only provincial capital city that the Yellow River passes through. It has played an important role in comprehensive management and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin. It is necessary to understand the status of and changes in fish species diversity to protect this aquatic ecosystem in the future.
    Methods: To comprehensively document the pattern of fish diversity in the Lanzhou reach of the Yellow River, we probed the distribution of fish species using field surveys from July to October in 2020. The indices of Shannon-Wiener, Pielou, Simpson, Cody, Routledge, and Bray-Curtis were applied to evaluate the main streams and four tributaries in Lanzhou County. Relative abundance (RA) was calculated to determine the dominant species, and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) was used to show the spatial distribution pattern of the species.
    Results: A total of 20 species, including four threatened species, one national class II protected wildlife species, seven Chinese endemic fish species, and four of the Yellow River’s endemic fish species were collected. These species belonged to 15 genera, 6 families, and 4 orders. Triplophysa orientalis, T. robusta, Carassius auratus and Pseudorasbora parva are the dominant fish species in this area. The fish fauna was dominated by fishes that are widespread in the Northwest Qinghai-Tibetan subregion. Omnivorous, demersal, and settlement fish were the predominant ecological types. Also, the Zhuanglang River and the Yellow River had a higher diversity of fish species than the Datong River and the Wanchuan River. The beta diversity analysis showed that the habitats of the Yellow River were different from those of the Zhuanglang River, the Datong River, the Huangshui River and the Wanchuan River, and that the fish species differentiated somewhat in these rivers. Moreover, the fish composition dissimilarity between the Zhuanglang River, the Yellow River, the Huangshui River, and the Wanchuan River was high. The NMDS method was applied to the collected data and four separate groups with small geographic distance were identified.
    Conclusion: Water conservancy facilities construction, alien fish, and water pollution may affect the diversity and distribution of fish in the Lanzhou reach of the Yellow River. This study assessed available baseline information to ensure the protection and scientific management of freshwater fish diversity in the Lanzhou reach of the Yellow River. This information will be useful for the ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin.

    Indicator selection and driving factors of ecosystem multifunctionality: Research status and perspectives
    Xiaobo Huang, Xuedong Lang, Shuaifeng Li, Wande Liu, Jianrong Su
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1673-1686.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021111
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    Background & Aims: Global change and other human activities are changing biodiversity around the world at an unprecedented rate, which has led to a sharp decline in global biodiversity and productivity, an increase in pests and diseases, and a weakening of the ability to resist invasion and other ecological problems. Ecologists became more and more interested in the question of whether and how the continuous loss of biodiversity would affect ecosystem functioning in the last 30 years. Therefore, the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) became one of the hot topics of ecological research. For a long time, researchers have focused more on individual ecosystem functions than on the ability of an ecosystem to provide multiple ecosystem functions at the same time, known as ecosystem multifunctionality (EMF). Considering only individual functions could underestimate the impact of biodiversity on overall ecosystem functioning. Therefore, the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality (BEMF) has become the focus of BEF research field. In order to enrich the understanding of BEMF relationships, this paper focuses on different dimensions of biodiversity and the impact of microbial diversity on EMF, how abiotic factors drive EMF, as well as the selection of functional indicators in the evaluation of EMF.
    Progresses: In recent years, the research on BEMF relationships has developed rapidly, expanding from aquatic ecosystems to grasslands, forests, drylands and agricultural ecosystems. Spatial scale ranges from regional scale to global scale. The driving mechanisms of BEMF relationship are explored from single dominant driving mechanism to multiple driving mechanisms. There are also new innovations in research methods and new concepts put forward.
    Prospects: However, there are still some shortcomings. For example, there is no unified standard for the selection of functional indicators in EMF research, insufficient attention to microbial diversity, few studies on the BEMF relationship at the multitrophic level, and debate about the mechanisms driving EMF. In the future, it is necessary to strengthen the research on the criteria for the selection of functional indicators, comprehensively analyze the overall impact of aboveground and belowground biodiversity and abiotic factors on EMF, and strengthen the research and application of ecosystem multiserviceability (EMS).

    Advances in mechanisms of rare species maintenance and plant-soil feedback in plant communities
    Dong Dai, Hua Xing, Jiarong Yang, Yajing Liu, Huanman Cai, Yu Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1687-1699.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021141
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    Background & Aim: Since the Janzen-Connell (J-C) hypothesis was proposed half a century ago, a mounting number of studies have been conducted to test the hypothesis in tropical and subtropical forests. These studies have since greatly improved our understanding of how high biodiversity is maintained. In particular, the pathogenic fungi-induced J-C effect, a type of negative plant-soil feedback (PSF), has been well-recognized as a mechanism to maintain biodiversity and structure community composition, though the overall contribution of PSF to the persistence of a large number of rare species in nature remains controversial. As predicted by the modern species coexistence theory, the “invasion criterion” should be met for rare species to co-exist with other species such that one species will increase in abundance when rare. However, previous studies show results contrary to the prediction of such theory and have thus sparked debates on the mechanism underlying rare species maintenance.
    Progresses: In this work, we review PSF and the potential factors associated with PSF, including mycorrhizal fungi, soil nutrient content, and fine root functional traits. We discuss their contributions in maintaining rare species and determining species abundance via PSF. In addition to PSF, some other perspectives about rare species maintenance are also covered in this review.
    Prospects: We propose that the advantages in maintaining the long persistence of rare species and the limitations in restricting population expansion of rare species may be of equal importance for rare species. The combination of modern species coexistence theory and new techniques and methodologies provide promising future directions to fully understand rare species and to better conserve rare species in the future.

    A review on estimating population size of large and medium-sized mammals
    Yuehui Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1700-1717.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021134
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    Context: Estimating the population size of large and medium-sized mammals is a fundamental issue in animal ecology, attracting great attention from researchers, managers, and the public. However, despite the fact that it has been explored from the mid-20th century to now, the population sizes of numerous species worldwide are unknown. In China, the research targeting large and medium-sized mammals have been explored since 1980s. Although it has made great progress, the population size of many species in China are still unknown.
    Aims: We aim to establish a framework to categorize existing estimation methods and further summarize the research development of population size estimation in China while highlighting strengths and trends under this framework.
    Results & Conclusions: First, we establish a concise hierarchical framework according to the estimation theory, data resources, and models used. This framework indicates that there are four classes of methods including distance sampling method, capture-recapture method, encounter-based method, and direct count method from remotely sensed imagery according to estimation theory. Then for each of the four methods, we illustrate the basic model and its assumptions, explaining how existing data resources (including insight, camera trap, DNA microsatellite, satellite tracking, acoustic monitor, and remote sensing data) realize each theory respectively. We summarize unique features, advantages, and disadvantages of each method and compare size or density estimation resulted from different methods. Secondly, we summarize the development of population size estimation methods in China in the context of this framework while highlighting trends and strengths. Numerous data obtained from infrared cameras in many study areas during the last decade can be used to estimate the population size by employing distance sampling, capture-recapture models, and encounter-based methods. Meanwhile, the pellet distance sampling method, fecal-DNA capture-recapture method and direct count method from remotely sensed imagery are suggested to be developed. Finally, a guide to select the estimation methods appropriate for their studies is provided as a reference for future researchers.

    Conservation and Governance
    Knowledge mapping of the research on the Convention on Biological Diversity: Based on bibliometrics analysis of CiteSpace
    Ruixia Fang, Xiuqi Wang, Chun Bai, Wenhan Yan, Qingsong Yang, Wenyi Li, Lu Gao
    Biodiv Sci. 2021, 29 (12):  1718-1726.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021379
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    Aims: Convention on Biological Diversity, as an international convention for the protection of biological resources on the earth, is closely related to the construction of ecological civilization and the establishment of a community with a shared future for mankind. Researches on the Convention from different perspectives and analysis of current hot spots and trend related to the biological diversity protection will provide references for the formulation of Framework after 2020 as well as intellectual support for the construction of ecological civilization.
    Methods: In this paper, we selected academic periodical literature in CNKI as its research subject, and the CiteSpace software was applied to construct the knowledge mapping so as to further analyze the specific number of published papers, research institutions, authors and research hot spot, and we also explored the current research progress in term of the Convention in China.
    Results: (1) Since 1992, published papers on the Convention has risen in waves; (2) Many scholars and institutions have studied on the Convention; (3) According to the analysis on key word frequency, most scholars overwhelmingly focus on the Convention on Biological Diversity, biological diversity, genetic resources and access and benefit sharing. At the same time, the Convention on Biological Diversity, biological diversity, intellectual property, global biodiversity, prior informed consent and maritime community with a shared future form a clustering knowledge mapping.
    Conclusion: (1) The knowledge mapping reveals that researches always center on three major objectives of the Convention: Biological Diversity Protection, Continuous Utilization, and Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources. Meanwhile, keywords analysis shows that current hop spots have extended to various international hot-spot topics including the maritime and high-seas biological diversity protection. (2) With the convening of COP 15, researches on the Convention will be posed with new opportunities and the balanced promotion of three major objectives will play a significant role in executing the Convention, and cross-institution cooperation and in-depth interdisciplinary integration will be the main approaches in the future.

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