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Table of Content
    Volume 30 Issue 1
    20 January 2022
    On December 26, 2021, the leading American naturalist Edward Osborne Wilson passed away. He has been renowned as “the father of sociobiology” and “the father of biodiversity”. In the front cover, six of Wilson’s books were selected to memorialize his pioneering contributions to sociobiology, the island biogeography, conservation biology, natural history and others. Wilson’s mosaic portrait on the right was assembled with the images of all ant species that he has described in his life (image credit: Cong Liu. Ant images are from AntWiki and AntWeb).
    Special Feature: Remembering Naturalist E. O. Wilson
    E. O. Wilson and Biodiversity Conservation
    Xiaochuan Zhang, Zhi Lü
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  22027.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022027
    Abstract ( 1054 )   HTML ( 92 )   PDF (434KB) ( 1314 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Overview of E. O. Wilson’s academic career and ant-research achievements
    Yandong Chen, Cong Liu, Zhuo Chen, Zhilin Chen, Ming Bai
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  22018.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022018
    Abstract ( 729 )   HTML ( 44 )   PDF (1271KB) ( 685 )   Save
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    Edward O. Wilson and the Theory of Island Biogeography
    Enrong Yan, Xingfeng Si, Jian Zhang, Xiaoyong Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  22024.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022024
    Abstract ( 1140 )   HTML ( 91 )   PDF (769KB) ( 2302 )   Save
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    On Edward O. Wilson’s title naturalist
    Huajie Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  22014.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022014
    Abstract ( 501 )   HTML ( 43 )   PDF (391KB) ( 692 )   Save
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    Special Feature: On National Botanical Gardens of China
    Some thoughts about China’s national botanical garden system construction
    Jin Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  22016.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022016
    Abstract ( 943 )   HTML ( 76 )   PDF (351KB) ( 1130 )   Save
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    Site selection of national botanic gardens of China and ex-situ conservation
    Huajie Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  22006.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022006
    Abstract ( 698 )   HTML ( 65 )   PDF (233KB) ( 864 )   Save
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    Botanical gardens and ex situ conservation of the wild plant species
    Xiangying Wen, Hongfeng Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  22017.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022017
    Abstract ( 620 )   HTML ( 48 )   PDF (381KB) ( 737 )   Save
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    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Historical distribution pattern and driving mechanism of Haloxylon in China
    Dan Zhang, Songmei Ma, Bo Wei, Chuncheng Wang, Lin Zhang, Han Yan
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21192.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021192
    Abstract ( 834 )   HTML ( 766 )   PDF (4990KB) ( 760 )   Save
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    Aims: Under the influence of Quaternary climate fluctuation, xerophytes may have experienced large-scale migration and expansion. It is highly important to study the historical and geographical distribution pattern of xerophytes to understand the evolution of xerophyte flora under the background of climate fluctuation. The purpose of this study is to reveal the distribution pattern and driving mechanisms of Haloxylon in China since the last interglacial period (LIG) and the last glacial maximum period (LGM).

    Methods: Based on 85 natural distribution sites and 2 sets of environmental factors, the geographic distribution pattern change, and driving mechanisms of Haloxylon since the LIG were analyzed by integrating GIS spatial analysis and 9 species distribution models. Based on the chloroplast gene data of 62 Haloxylon populations, we used the least cost path method to simulate the possible diffusion paths of Haloxylon since the LIG. Principal component analysis (PCA) of environmental variables affecting the distribution of Haloxylon was carried out by using the prcomp function in R 4.1.1. The contribution of environmental variables to the suitable distribution of Haloxylon was evaluated, and the correlation between key variables and the degree of suitability was analyzed.

    Results: We found that the precision of the integrated model was significantly improved compared with that of the single model. Since the LIG, the distribution of Haloxylon has undergone a significant decrease and post-glacial expansion. From the LIG to the LGM, Haloxylon ammodendron retreated westward from Junggar Basin and western Tarim Basin to the northwest and eastern margin of Junggar Basin and northwest margin of Tarim Basin. Haloxylon persicum retreated from the western end of Junggar Basin and Tarim Basin to the south of Junggar Basin. Since the LGM, H. ammodendron has expanded eastward, through northern Gansu and eastern region of the Qaidam basin to Alxa Desert in western Inner Mongolia. Haloxylon persicum has expanded northeast on a small scale, occupying the central and western part of Junggar Basin. The change of key climatic factors in the suitable distribution area of Haloxylon is relatively low. PCA results showed that the score coefficient of the precipitation factor in the first principal component is higher. The analysis of the relationship between the environmental factors affecting the distribution of Haloxylon and the suitability of the distribution area demonstrated that there is a significant correlation between temperature factors and the suitability of the distribution of Haloxylon.

    Conclusion: The climate change in Quaternary caused the geographical distribution of Haloxylon to narrow and then subsequently expand. The main migration paths of Haloxylon are through the Junggar Basin and Hexi Corridor. Precipitation factors mainly affect the change of suitable distribution area of Haloxylon, while temperature factors mainly affect the degree of distribution suitability of Haloxylon.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Distribution pattern and identification of conservation priority areas of the otter in Northeast China
    Chao Zhang, Minhao Chen, Li Yang, Hongfei Zhuang, Shuhong Wu, Zhenjie Zhan, Jiadong Wang, Xiaofeng Luan
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21157.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021157
    Abstract ( 1703 )   HTML ( 2401 )   PDF (2739KB) ( 875 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The otter is an indicator and flagship species of aquatic ecosystems. Its populations have undergone a drastic decline in China, and have become locally extinct in some regions due to anthropogenic disturbance. However, the current literature on otters in China is inadequate, which has subsequently affected conservation of the species. We aim to assess the potential distribution and conservation priority areas of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in Northeast China.

    Methods: In this study, we integrated species distribution models with otter survey data from 2016 to 2020 to assess Eurasian otter distribution. Then, we used the geographic information system and core-area zonation algorithm in Zonation 4.00 to identify conservation priority areas for otter protection. Using the anthropogenic pressures layer, we also evaluated anthropogenic stressors in each province. Then, we analyzed the conservation status of the otter based on the spatial distribution of national nature reserves. Furthermore, we used Inner Mongolia Forest Industry Group, Daxing’anling Forestry Group and Yichun Forest Industry Group as case studies to analyze the role of state-owned forest areas for otter conservation.

    Results: The results demonstrate that potential distribution and conservation priority areas cover 104,515.04 km2 and 45,448.99 km2, respectively. Large swathes of conservation priority areas remain for the otter in Daxing’anling which are connected with conservation priority areas in Xiaoxing’anling and there is no obvious geographical boundary between them. Therefore, these regions are mandatory to conserve to maintain the stability of otter populations in Northeast China. Otters in the Liaoning Province faced the greatest anthropogenic pressures, followed by the Jilin Province and Heilongjiang Province. Otters in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region faced the lowest amount of pressure. There is potential distribution for the otter in 63 nature reserves and conservation priority areas in 32 nature reserves out of the 110 reserves in the region. The study area includes 11.64% of the otter’s potential distribution and 10.88% of conservation priority areas. Three state-owned forest industry groups cover 71.18% of the potential distribution of the otter (74,390.89 km2) and 79.26% of the conservation priority areas (36,022.22 km2).

    Conclusions: This study indicates that state-owned forest areas may play a greater role in the protection of biodiversity following a comprehensive ban on logging in natural forests. Therefore, we propose that areas with important conservation value in state-owned forest land should be gradually included under the protections of national parks in order to achieve systematic and complete protection of biodiversity. Finally, we suggest: (1) strengthening the management of river pollutions; (2) reducing fishing intensity; (3) a long-term field monitoring network be established to study population changes in otters; (4) increasing the investment in scientific research on otters; and (5) raising awareness of otter conservation through public education.

    Changes of habitat pattern for goitered gazelle in the Xinjiang Kalamaili Mountain Ungulate Nature Reserve under the influence of major projects
    Chen Zhang, Wei Ma, Chen Chen, Muyang Wang, Wenxuan Xu, Weikang Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21176.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021176
    Abstract ( 716 )   HTML ( 1170 )   PDF (3320KB) ( 856 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Habitat assessment is vital in the conservation of wildlife. The goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) is an important species in the Xinjiang Kalamaili Mountain Ungulate Nature Reserve (thereafter KNR). However, their habitat is under threat because of human development and mining. The evaluation of remaining suitable habitat for the goitered gazelle can provide a scientific basis for decision-making in species conservation and management of the reserve.

    Methods: Based on the distribution of goitered gazelle demonstrated through field surveys from 2005 to 2019 in the KNR, we used a maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model to test important habitat variables for habitat selection. Suitable habitat for goitered gazelle was evaluated during three distinct time-periods: (1) before mining development (2005), (2) at the peak of mining development (2011), and (3) after ecological restoration but with a highway constructed through the reserve (2019). The spatial habitat quality and distribution of goitered gazelle over the last 15 years was further analyzed using centroid transfer and a landscape pattern index.

    Results: The accuracy of MaxEnt model was high and jackknife tests demonstrated the distribution and distance to water sources had the highest impact on goitered gazelle habitat selection in all three time periods. The area of potential suitable habitat fluctuated widely over the three time-periods. Prior to the mining development in 2005, suitable habitat for goitered gazelle was mainly concentrated in the middle of the reserve with large habitat patches and a low degree of habitat fragmentation. At the peak of mine development (2011), the area of highly suitable habitat had decreased by 2.39% compared to habitat in 2005. A large area of suitable habitat in the south of the reserve was lost due to mining development, and the centroid indicated that the remaining suitable habitat was restricted to the north, with smaller, fragmented habitat patches. By 2019, 3.50% of the previously suitable goitered gazelle habitat that was lost due to mining development was recovered through ecological restoration. However, compared to 2005, the recovered habitat patches were more severely dispersed in 2019. Additionally, previously highly suitable habitats were lost due to highway and railway constructions in the KNR.

    Conclusion: To improve the protection of goitered gazelle within the KNP, we suggest, (1) strengthening the protection of all water sources, (2) establishing and monitoring wildlife passages, (3) limiting further traffic construction, and (4) supporting mine reclamation efforts.

    The spatio-temporal impact of domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) on giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve
    Jirong Teng, Xingming Liu, Liwen He, Junliang Wang, Jian Huang, Jie Feng, Fang Wang, Yue Weng
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21204.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021204
    Abstract ( 718 )   HTML ( 416 )   PDF (2389KB) ( 732 )   Save
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    Aims: Anthropogenic interferences have various forms such as domestic animals, in which many have significant negative impacts but are consistently ignored in conservation planning. Most domestic dogs in Baishuijiang live with humans but act as semi-feral dogs since they are allowed to enter forests, including nature reserve, during most of the year (except for planting periods). During these periods of freedom, their home range, activity pattern, and most importantly, interaction with wild animals, remains unknown. To fill this knowledge gap, we chose the giant panda to study the response of wildlife to free-ranging dogs due to the spatial overlap of domestic dogs and giant pandas in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve. Our objective was to: (1) track the extent of dog movements in and around nature reserve, and (2) evaluate the percent area of nature reserve where giant panda may come in contact with domestic dogs.

    Methods: To understand the extent of the impact free-range domestic dogs have on giant pandas, we used infrared cameras and GPS collars to study the repercussions of domestic dogs entering nature reserve and affecting the wildlife. We also constructed a MaxEnt model to estimate the spatial overlap of domestic dogs and giant pandas in Baishuijiang National Nature Reserve.

    Results: The suitable habitat for giant pandas in nature reserve is 885.8 km2, around 48.2% of the overall area, while the area of domestic dog distribution is 861.2 km2, or 47.6% of the nature reserve. The overlap between domestic dogs and giant panda habitat is 28.2% of the entire nature reserve. There are significant differences in activity rhythms of giant pandas between sites with and without dog detection.

    Conclusion: These results indicate the extent to which the trespassing of domestic dogs has affected giant pandas. The negative impact of residential areas could result in a combination of human activities (e.g., poaching, farming, livestock grazing, automobile traffic), requiring distinctive solutions to eliminate. We suggest any major residents close to nature reserves should restrain dogs at residences. Taking account for the effects of dog’s movements and habitat use in the nature reserve is essential for a comprehensive conservation framework.

    Nesting habitat preference of the black-necked crane and influence of anthropogenic disturbance in Yanchiwan, Gansu
    Bochi Wang, Wen Pei, Jucai Yang, Yongjun Se, Xuezhu Li, Hairong Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21241.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021241
    Abstract ( 679 )   HTML ( 623 )   PDF (1856KB) ( 613 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) is a flagship species of plateau and an important indicator of the health status of the plateau ecosystem. In recent years, plenty of research on black-necked cranes has been implemented, but these studies mainly focus on the migration, nest site selection, and foraging habitat selection of black-necked cranes. We know little about the preference of nesting habitat of black-necked cranes and the selection mechanism of nesting habitat. Black-necked cranes are divine birds in Tibetan Buddhism, and the species has always lived in harmony with the believers of Tibetan Buddhism. However, with the progression of human lifestyle, the problem of anthropogenic disturbance has become more prominent. Our research aims to provide a reference for understanding how black-necked cranes adapt to human modified habitats between multiple factors.

    Methods: Nest sites and number of black-necked cranes were collected in Danghe Wetland from April to September in 2019 and 2020. Satellite interpretation was utilized to classify the habitats of the black-necked cranes. To study the distribution pattern of the nests and anthropogenic disturbance, we used nearest neighbor analysis and kernel density estimation. A random forest model was applied to explore nesting habitat selection mechanism of the black-necked cranes.

    Results: There are two concentrated breeding grounds of black-necked crane nests in the Danghe Wetland and the nests are extremely concentrated. The two breeding grounds are located in the marsh in the north and south of the Danghe River. The houses of herders in the wetland are distributed in a strip on the gobi at the southern edge of the wetland. The density distribution of house is more concentrated on the south bank of the Danghe River, and the roads are also distributed along the south bank of the Danghe River. There is obvious geographical separation between the black-necked crane nests and anthropogenic disturbances. Meadows are the most prominent landscape type of wetland ecosystems and the sum of the proportions of marsh meadow and salinized meadow exceeds 50%. The proportion of shallow water marsh is relatively small, not exceeding 10% in two years. Deep water marsh and lake have smaller areas, below 3% and 2% respectively (average of two years). The distance from deep water marsh, shallow water marsh, and lake are the three critical environmental variables affecting the nesting habitat selection of the black-necked cranes, while the distance from houses and roads are less critical. The black-necked cranes prefer to nest in areas < 125 m from deep water marsh, < 130 m from shallow water marsh, and < 270 m from lake.

    Conclusion: The deep water marsh, which the black-necked cranes strongly prefer when nesting in Danghe Wetland, is characterized by a relatively low percentage and clustered distribution. Meanwhile, the range of suitable habitat for the black-necked cranes to nest is narrow (< 125 m from deep water marsh, < 130 m from shallow water marsh, < 270 m from lake). Therefore, the breeding distribution of black-necked cranes is narrow. Resource factors are the main driving force for the distribution pattern of the black-necked crane nests. However, anthropogenic disturbance has little impact on nesting habitat selection. Therefore, the geographical separation between the black-necked crane nests distribution and anthropogenic disturbance is largely due to the preference for resources rather than avoiding disturbance. The habitat quality of the black necked-cranes in Danghe Wetland may decline, and the increase of livestock, multi-season utilization of pasture, and climate change may be the main reasons.

    Diversity of culturable and in situ bacteria in surface seawater from the central Indian Ocean and the western South China Sea
    Chengqiang Xia, Yi Li, Yanru Dang, Qianqian Cha, Xiaoyan He, Qilong Qin
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21407.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021407
    Abstract ( 643 )   HTML ( 299 )   PDF (1836KB) ( 548 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Bacteria play an important role in driving biogeochemical cycling in the open ocean. Therefore, it is of great significance to investigate the characteristics of marine bacteria and their potential role in the marine environment.

    Methods: In this study, surface seawater was collected from 8 sites in the central Indian Ocean and the western South China Sea. Three different media were utilized for strains isolation and identification, and the 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing method was used to analyze the microbial classification and community composition of each study site.

    Results: A total of 275 strains, belonging to 4 phyla, 49 genera and 75 species, were isolated and identified. Proteobacteria were the most dominant, accounting for 68.7% of the total isolates, followed by Actinobacteria (21.5%), Bacteroidetes (9.1%) and Firmicutes (0.7%). At the genus level, Microbacterium and Vibrio were the dominant genera, accounting for 30.0% of the total number of isolates. Bacterial abundance and species (89 isolates, 30 genera) in the 1/10 × 2216E medium were the highest among the three kinds of media. Seven, nine and three genera were only found in 2216E, 1/10 × 2216E and glucose-mannose (GM) medium, respectively. Fifty strains (26 species) were identified as potential novel taxa. The sequencing analysis revealed that 23 phyla and 531 genera were found in the surface seawater. Dominant phyla were Proteobacteria (72.2%) and Bacteroidetes (15.3%), dominant genera were Psychrobacter (24.4%), Halomonas (16.3%), and Sulfitobacter (13.9%). In addition, the Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou’s evenness index were significantly higher in the Indian Ocean than the South China Sea (P < 0.05), and bacterial community structure was significantly different between those two regions (P < 0.05).

    Conclusion: The results indicated that marine bacteria from the surface seawater of central Indian Ocean and western South China Sea were rich in diversity, and help the most value for further development and research.

    Technology and Methodology
    Implementation protocol of scientific investigation and monitoring for permanent plots of agricultural soil animal in China
    Meixiang Gao, Qilong Liu, Jiaqi Zhu, Boyu Zhao, Jia Du, Donghui Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21265.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021265
    Abstract ( 585 )   HTML ( 643 )   PDF (13587KB) ( 682 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The soil ecosystem includes a lot of animals with representatives from almost all major taxa of terrestrial animals and may stand for one quarter of all currently described biodiversity. Nevertheless, biodiversity loss of soil animals has become a serious problem for agricultural ecosystems globally, especially in China. Though many solutions have been proposed, this problem has not been effectively tackled. Constructing permanent plots and monitoring them long-term has been regarded as an important and effective method for solving the challenge of soil animal biodiversity loss. However, we still know little about the implementation protocol of scientific investigation and monitoring of a permanent plot of agricultural soil animals, until now.

    Methods: We propose the implementation protocol for scientific investigation and monitoring of permanent plots of agricultural soil animals in this study. The plot establishment and field investigation design are conducted according to the field protocol of the 50-ha Forest Dynamics Plot on Barro Colorado Island (BCI), Panama. The field investigation and long-term monitoring are carried out according to prior research of forest and farmland utilizing large permanent plots of soil animal in China.

    Results: First, we must confirm which scientific questions need to be solved and decide the basic principles to be observed for scientific investigation and monitoring in permanent plots of agricultural soil animals. Eighteen scientific questions have been proposed from a basic theory and practical application standpoint, and four basic principles have been proposed: integrating the needs and ideas of scientific research and agricultural practice, scientific setting and selecting monitoring indices, concerning spatio-temporal heterogeneity and detection probability of monitoring indices, and emphasizing the effects of agricultural productions and human activities. Second, we need to standardize the terminology for long-term investigation and monitoring, such as site, plot, square, sample and specimen. Sites and plots should be selected according to research objectives and study area, and priority should be given to sites that are representative of typical agricultural activities and regional climatic characteristics. Then, the large permanent plot of agricultural soil animal can be established in terms of BCI 50-ha field protocols. Third, focusing on soil animal biodiversity and its effects on agricultural ecosystem health and function, we need to carry out long-term monitoring for four-class and twenty-seven-item scientific indices. Moreover, the field investigation and laboratory experiment should be performed based on a unified and standardized workflow. For field investigation, the working processes include drawing detailed sampling point map, training all investigators, looking for and locating the permanent plot of agricultural soil animals in the field using GPS or other instruments, labeling the sampling points in the permanent plot, and collecting samples. For laboratory experiment, different extracting methods for soil animals should be used according to different taxa characteristics and research objectives. Finally, we need to identify, describe, and preserve specimens scientifically. Researching and developing database and management information system that encompass the characteristics of soil animal are recommended. This process will help with data invoking, checking, analyzing, and mining later.

    Conclusion: This study systematically puts forward the implementation protocol of scientific investigation and long-term monitoring of permanent plots of agricultural soil animals. The implementation protocol can be widely applied to almost agricultural ecosystems in China and can be used effectively to investigate and monitor all taxa of soil animals. The results of this study will promote standardized plot construction and network monitoring in China, and globally, as well as provide reliable long-term scientific data support for the assessment and protection of agricultural soil animals in China.

    Bryophyte diversity in Shitai County and Qingyang County, Anhui Province
    Shichen Xing, Luyan Tang, Zun Dai, Shuwen Tu, Xing Chen, Jianhang Zhang, Hongqing Li, Tao Peng, Jian Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21186.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021186
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    Aims: Biodiversity conservation priority areas represent the richest biodiverse regions, typical ecosystems, distribution areas of key species, and are of great significance for biodiversity conservation. However, the coverage of nature protected areas in biodiversity priority areas is often relatively low, and there are large gaps in protection. Bryophytes play an important role in the ecosystem. However, due to the small size of individuals and difficulties in identification, the protection of bryophyte diversity is relatively weak. To understand bryophyte diversity and protection status of biodiversity conservation priority areas in China, we carried out studies on the diversity of bryophytes in Shitai County and Qingyang County, which are located in Huangshan-Huaiyushan biodiversity protection priority area.

    Methods: Based on the systematic line transect method, the composition characteristics and similarity of bryophytes inside and outside the nature protected areas in the priority areas were inventoried and compared.

    Results: In total, 344 species (in 140 genera and 64 families) were recorded in the area. Of these, 106 species (in 40 genera of 27 families) were liverworts and 238 species (in 100 genera of 37 families) were mosses, including 5 endangered species. Among them, 270 species belonging to 120 genera and 60 families distributed inside the nature protected areas and 185 species belonging to 90 genera and 46 families distributed outside the nature protected areas. The Jaccard similarity coefficients between the nature protected areas and unprotected areas were 0.66, 0.50 and 0.32 at the family, genus and species levels, respectively, indicating that the composition of species inside and outside the nature protected area is very different. Compared with the historical data of bryophytes of Shitai County and Qingyang County, 273 species, 64 genera and 14 families were newly recorded in this study. Among them, 96 species, 9 genera and 2 families were newly added in Anhui Province. Of these, 18 species only distributed outside the nature protected areas. Based on the species accumulation curve and extrapolation estimation, when the number of individuals collected was sufficient, the predicted value of species diversity based on the number of specimens is 485, and the predicted value based on the number of line transects was 563, indicating that the bryophyte diversity in the area may be underestimated.

    Conclusion: The results of this study on the one hand highlight the important value of bryophyte protection outside the nature protected areas. On the other hand, it also reflects that it is insufficient in the protection in situ of bryophytes. We suggested to carry out similar surveys and studies in other priority areas of biodiversity conservation of China, to provide detailed and reliable data for future study on the distribution and conservation of bryophytes.

    Species diversity of epiphyllous liverworts and host plants in the Wuyanling National Nature Reserve, Zhejiang Province
    Zun Dai, Xing Chen, Jianhang Zhang, Maojie Zhu, Kun Song, Shichen Xing, Shuwen Tu, Lu Zou, Zupei Lei, Hongqing Li, Jian Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21229.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021229
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    Aims: Epiphyllous liverworts are a group of bryophytes that mainly grow on the leaf surfaces of vascular plants in tropical rainforests and subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests. These species have important value in the ecosystem and are the group of bryophytes that need the most attention and protection by conservationists. However, due to the physically small size and the difficulty of classifying specimens, previous surveys of epiphyllous liverworts in China may have underestimated their diversity. In order to understand the possible impact of sampling methods on the perceived diversity of epiphyllous liverworts, the present study conducted systematic sampling and comparative analysis on the epiphyllous liverworts in the Wuyanling National Nature Reserve.

    Methods: Utilizing the Wuyanling National Nature Reserve as the study area, this study carried out systematic investigations on the diversity of epiphyllous liverworts and their host plants along altitude gradients according to the leaf characteristics and distribution position of host plants. Species richness and composition of epiphyllous liverworts and its host plants were analyzed.

    Results: There are 49 species of epiphyllous liverworts obtained from 14 genera in 5 families and 119 species of host plants obtained from 84 genera in 57 families. Compared with historical data, 35 species, 5 genera and 2 families were newly recorded in the area, including 4 new species recorded in Zhejiang Province. A humped relationship is observed between species richness of epiphyllous liverworts and elevation, with a maximum richness between the altitude of 500 m and 900 m. The species accumulation curve and random sampling analysis based on the number of leaves indicated that the epiphyllous liverworts in the reserve demonstrated great differences in species composition in different habitats and different leaves of the same host plant.

    Conclusion: In view of the higher species diversity of epiphyllous liverworts obtained by the sampling method in this study, it is recommended to conduct similar studies in other distribution centers of the species in order to better understand the species diversity of epiphyllous liverworts in China.

    Effects of organic planting on arthropod diversity in farmland: A meta-analysis
    Fangqian Huang, Chao Wang, Mingqing Liu, Qiuhui Chen, Xiao Han, Lei Wang, Yunguan Xi, Jibing Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21243.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021243
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    Aims: Organic planting is widely considered an environment-friendly agricultural management pattern that plays a crucial role in the protection of agricultural biodiversity. The change of arthropod biodiversity is proposed as a key ecological indicator for agricultural sustainability. However, the effects of organic planting on arthropod biodiversity remain inconsistent in published studies, which may have resulted from the durations of organic planting, land use and cropping systems across the individual studies. The diverse results from previous studies could weaken the practicability of their conclusions in policymaking, which highlighted the necessity of conducting a meta-analysis to provide a generalized understanding of the effects of organic planting on arthropod diversity. This study aims to quantify the impact of organic planting on arthropod biodiversity using meta-analysis and provide scientific support for the formulation of ecological compensation policy under organic planting.

    Methods: This meta-analysis conducted a literature review of peer-reviewed papers published before the end of 2020 which compared the impacts of organic and conventional planting on arthropod biodiversity. The results from 75 experimental sites, which contained 227 paired valid datasets, were selected for our analysis. To distinguish between the sources of variation for the responses of biodiversity to organic planting, the paired measurements were further subdivided into subgroups according to the factors of duration, land use, crop variety, pesticide application frequency in conventional planting, and arthropod functional groups.

    Results: The results showed that compared with conventional planting, organic planting significantly improved the richness, abundance, and evenness of arthropods by the rate of 34.95%, 64.95%, and 12.09%, respectively. The abundance of the natural enemies of arthropods increased by 71.80% (P < 0.05) while the abundance of pests decreased by 10.46% under organic planting. The richness of the natural enemies and pests under organic planting were both increased by 22.50% and 31.03% respectively, relative to conventional planting (P < 0.05). The application of pesticides significantly decreased the arthropod biodiversity in conventional planting. Compared with the organic planting, an increase in the time of pesticide application in the conventional planting lead to decreases in the arthropod richness and evenness of arthropods by 13.54% and 2.64%, respectively. The responses of arthropod richness and abundance to organic planting were significantly positive when the duration was equal to or exceeded three years. The positive effect of organic planting on arthropod abundance in paddy fields was 4.7 times higher than that in dryland (P < 0.05), but the responses of richness and evenness to organic planting were comparable between paddy and dryland (P > 0.05). The responses of arthropod richness, abundance, and evenness to organic planting under the vegetable system were 81.46%, 74.14%, and 18.55%, respectively (P < 0.05); and under the tea-planting system were 48.86%, 49.06%, 30.88% (P < 0.05), respectively. The benefits of organic planting on arthropod biodiversity under the cropping systems of vegetable and tea were demonstrated to be more significant than that under other cropping systems.

    Conclusions: Our meta-analysis suggests that organic planting plays an important role in protecting and improving biodiversity in croplands by increasing the abundance of natural enemies and decreasing pests abundance. The frequency of pesticide application was observed to be the key factor which significantly regulates the change of arthropod biodiversity. To promote the positive effects of organic planting on the protection of biodiversity in cropland, policymakers should not only to encourage the implementation of organic planting in regions where necessary conditions are satisfied, but also facilitate the ecological innovation of conventional planting by introducing the principles, concepts, and technologies of organic planting into conventional planting. This will be of more practical significance to agricultural biodiversity conservation in China.

    Conservation and Governance
    Natural resource management of China’s national parks
    Kuan Li, Faxiang Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21179.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021179
    Abstract ( 595 )   HTML ( 314 )   PDF (317KB) ( 566 )   Save
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    Background & Aims: In 2017, China launched a pilot state-owned natural resource asset management system in some pilot areas of the national park system, aiming to accumulate experience in the management of important ecological space natural resources such as national parks. On October 12, 2021, President Xi Jinping announced the creation of the first national parks. Therefore, it is of great practical significance to explore the management of natural resources in national parks, and it can provide reference for the future management of resources and environment. In order to summarize the pilot experience and promote the management of natural resources assets in national parks, we investigate the pilot of natural resource management system in national parks.

    Progress: The results indicated that the management of natural resources in the national park pilots has made progress in the institutional setup, local legislation, and with distribution of powers and responsibilities. In terms of the organizational framework, China has built three forms of national park management, including central vertical management, central and local joint management, and local management. The provincial legislature issued five laws and regulations for national parks that inform matters such as natural resources investigation and registration, natural resources inventory, and the prohibited behavior of natural resources, which provides a legal basis for national park managers. The Nanshan, Shennongjia and Wuyishan national park services have issued a list of powers and responsibilities to clarify the division of responsibilities. However, there are still some problems with the national parks, such as the complex mapping relationship of natural resource management system in national parks, the need for further rationalization of natural resource tenure, the need to speed up the top-level design of the parks, and more.

    Suggestions: Based on our results, we propose the following management suggestions: (1) building a centralized and unified management system to uniformly perform the duties of owners of natural resources, land use regulation, ecological protection, and restoration in national parks; (2) improving the legal system for national parks; (3) clarifying the ownership relationship of natural resources; (4) implementing community population transfer in an orderly manner.

    Fitness relativity and path-dependent selection
    Ruiwu Wang, Minlan Li, Jiaxu Han, Chao Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21323.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021323
    Abstract ( 769 )   HTML ( 337 )   PDF (679KB) ( 967 )   English Version Save
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    Background & Aims: Natural selection assumes that there is an expected fitness advantage (or aim) for any selection of gene mutations or phenotypic characteristics. However, the fitness of the selected gene mutation/phenotypic characteristic might vary as it spreads throughout a population or might vary with changing living environments over both evolutionary and ecological scales. This may result in a “paradox of stationary fitness landscape” in which an expected fitness advantage of a selected gene mutation/phenotypic characteristic might therefore not exist. Based on a dynamic state but not a stationary fitness landscape, we propose that natural selection might exhibit path-dependent selection.

    Summary: In path-dependent selection, the gene mutation or phenotypic characteristics are produced completely at random, but some might meet a specific condition which could generate positive feedback as they spread. Such positive feedback might also be that such matched conditions could further facilitate the occurrence of a genetic trait/phenotypic characteristic. The positive feedback effect will therefore increase the probability of a genetic trait or phenotypic characteristic in specific conditions, meaning natural selection will depend on the probability of path, but not fitness value. Analogy to that many paths lead to a bus stop near your office building, the path-dependent selection argues that the quickest path might be mostly selected, especially when the bus stop is at a fixed location and selection pressure is strong. However, the other paths may also be selected especially when the bus stop could change location or selection pressure is weak. In path-dependent selection, both evolutionary history and distribution of ecological characteristics will greatly affect the evolution of any path. Using this understanding, different pathways can be understood as different points of speciation, where the distribution of species is similar to the peaks of a mountain in which the paths with a high probability will shape peaks, while many other species with low path probability will not separate into other peaks, creating sister species, cryptic species, or redundant species.

    Prospects: Path-dependent selection can be described by the complex function, a mathematical skill widely used in modern physics. Through complex function, we can describe how multiple factors shape a probability of path-dependent selection in speciation peaks and the oscillation of species peaks. Different pathways, which could also be understood as different dimensional viewpoints, will demonstrate a different understanding of the evolutionary aim of a gene mutation, phenotypic characteristic.

    Declaration on Conserving Biodiversity and Building a Community of All Life in Arid Lands
    Organizing Committee of the International Symposium on Biodiversity Conservation & Sustainable Development in Arid Lands
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (1):  21550.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021550
    Abstract ( 521 )   HTML ( 39 )   PDF (620KB) ( 449 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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