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Table of Content
    Volume 30 Issue 3
    20 March 2022
    Termites are a class of cosmopolitan social insects whose feeding behavior is closely related to nutrient cycling of forests system. In this issue, Wang et al (21324) compared the effects of termite damage to tree phloem in three forest types, including Castanopsis carlesii secondary forest, C. carlesii plantation and Cunninghamia lanceolata plantation in the mid-subtropical tropics. The cover shows the traces of termite activities in three forest types. (Photographed by Dingyi Wang)

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    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Responses in spatial pattern of four dominant species to different water level environments in a freshwater marsh in the Sanjiang Plain
    Yu Fu, Kangxiang Huang, Jinfeng Cai, Huimin Chen, Jiusheng Ren, Songze Wan, Yang Zhang, Heng Ren, Rong Mao, Fuxi Shi
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21392.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021392
    Abstract ( 916 )   HTML ( 393 )   PDF (1247KB) ( 926 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Instability of hydrological regimes is one of the most basic ecological processes in wetlands. Our objective is to determine how changing water level environments impacts the spatial patterns of marsh plants in the freshwater wetlands in the Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China.

    Methods:We analyzed the spatial distribution patterns of populations for four dominant species (Carex lasiocarpa, C. pseudocuraica, Glyceria spiculosa, Deyeuxia angustifolia) in the seasonal inundated (SI) marsh and perennial inundated (PI) marsh in the Ecological Experiment Station of Mire Wetland in the Sanjiang Plain. We utilized a small-scale point pattern analysis based on three null models, including: complete spatial randomness process (CSR), Poisson cluster process (Neyman-Scott process, NS), and nested double-cluster process (DC). We then tested the population density and individual size characteristics of each species.

    Results: Regardless of water level conditions, the four main dominant species were completely diverged from the CSR model, and the aggregation distance was primarily focused on 0-50 cm scale. These results indicate that there is a stronger aggregation in small scales for these marsh plants species, but the aggregated intensity was expressed in differences among water level environments. With the rising water level, the population density, individual aboveground biomass, plant height, and stem base diameter of C. lasiocarpa exhibited a significantly increasing trend, but its aggregated intensity became weaker. By contrast, these individual size parameters of D. angustifolia exhibited a dramatically decreasing trend, whereas its aggregated intensity increases. In addition, the changes in individual sizes and aggregated intensity of the other two species (i.e., C. pseudocuraica and G. spiculosa) were not significant. In seasonal inundated (SI) marsh, the four main dominant species were diverged from the NS model in small-scales, but their spatial distributions fit better with the DC model at 0-200 cm scale, indicating that there is a series of clustered patterns under slight flood stress. In the perennial inundated (PI) marsh, the spatial patterns of three species (i.e., C. lasiocarpa, C. pseudocuraica and G. spiculosa) also fit better with the DC model at 0-200 cm scale. However, the spatial patterns of D. angustifolia fit well with the NS model, implying the small-scale clustering disappeared with the intensification of flooding stress.

    Conclusion: Hydrologic regimes may determine the patch patterns of marsh plants in the Sanjiang Plain, primarily via variations in reproductive allocation, intraspecific competitions, facilitation effect and individual sizes. The application of the various null models could help explain the formation mechanisms of the population spatial distribution patterns more efficiently.

    Plant beta diversity and its influence factors in the Liangshui National Nature Reserve in the central region of the Xiaoxing’an Mountains
    Danqi She, Xiting Zhang, Lu Xiao, Zhaoliang Zhong, Huimei Wang, Wenjie Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21274.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021274
    Abstract ( 909 )   HTML ( 196 )   PDF (1473KB) ( 1024 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims In biological conservation sciences, implementing nature reserves to protect biological diversity is a hot topic. Specifying plant beta diversity, structural components, and influence factors is the critical basis for creating nature reserves.

    Methods In this paper, a national nature reserve named Liangshui, located in the central region of the Xiaoxing’an Mountains, was used to survey 80 quadrats in the size of 20 m × 20 m in the core zone, buffer zone, experimental zone, and outside the reserve. We recorded topographic information (Longitude and latitude, altitude, slope, slope aspect, and slope position), community structure (canopy density, tree age, tree height, tree diameter at breast height (DBH), shrub height, and shrub ground diameter), and species name for each tree, shrub, and herb. We also sampled 0-20 cm soils for soil property determination (soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, pH, electroconductibility, soil water content, and bulk density). Abundance data was used for beta diversity calculation as well as computing species abundance differences and species turnover. The Mantel test, redundancy ordination, and variation partitioning were used to examine the effects of abiotic factors (geography and terrain, protection intensity, soil matrix) and biological factors (community structure) on beta diversity and its partitioning components.

    Results (1) Species turnover contributed most to the overall beta diversity (Sørensen dissimilarity) for all layers with a range from 65% (for shrub) to 73% (for herb). (2) Mantel correlation analysis indicated that beta diversity, their two components of abundance differences and species turnover, had close associations with the geography and terrain in the arbor, shrub, and herb layer. In contrast, soil properties expressed more association with beta diversity from the arbor and shrub layer. The slope position, slope degree, tree height, and protection intensity were significantly associated with beta diversity in 3 layers (P< 0.05). (3) Variation partitioning and redundancy analysis ordination indicated that geography and terrain affected the beta diversity of whole forests of the reserve significantly, but differences existed between arbor, shrub and herb layers. The arbor beta diversity was most influenced by biological factors. In contrast, the shrub layer was mainly affected by soil factors, twice more than the geography and terrain and biological factors. In the herb layer, the geography and terrain contributed the most to variation, at a rate of respectively 26-fold and 3-fold higher than that from soil factors and biological factors. Tree DBH had the most significant explanatory effect on the beta diversity variations in the reserve.

    Conclusion Our findings highlights that nature reserve settlements in the future should consider combining assemblage of the proper community structure of the arbor, shrub, and herb layers, and soil factors, rather than only emphasis on protection intensity. Such steps will improve the conservation efficiency for plant diversity protection.

    Spatial distribution and interspecific correlation of Haloxylon persicum and H. ammodendron on fixed dunes of the Gurbantunggut Desert, China
    Yating Wang, Dinghai Zhang, Zhishan Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21280.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021280
    Abstract ( 727 )   HTML ( 159 )   PDF (1055KB) ( 588 )   Save
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    Aims The aim of this study is to explore the coexistence and succession mechanism of sand-fixing shrubs population in the desert.

    Methods Based on the current literature on the geographical location and developmental stages (young, nutrition, reproductive and dead plant) of Haloxylon persicum and H. ammodendron populations on fixed dunes in the southeastern edge of the Gurbantunggut Desert, this paper adopted the methods of point pattern analysis g(r) function, Monte-Carlo random simulation test, and zero model selection. The spatial distribution pattern and interspecific correlation of H. persicum and H. ammodendron populations at different developmental stages in the scale of 0-20 m were analyzed.

    Results (1) The two populations demonstrated aggregated distribution in the range of the study scale, and the aggregation intensity decreased as the scale increased. (2) There is a negative correlation between the two populations, and the larger the scale, the more significant the negative correlation. (3) The greater the difference between developmental stages of H. persicum population, the more significant the positive correlation amongst individuals, and the closer the developmental stages of H. ammodendron population, the more significant the positive correlation amongst individuals. (4) The older individuals in the two populations (e.g., the stages of nutrition, reproductive and dead plant) could inhibit growth of the smaller young plants in the other populations. At the same time, with the development of individuals in both populations, the inhibition in both species gradually weakened, exhibiting both positive correlation and non-correlation.

    Conclusion The distribution pattern of H. persicumand H. ammodendron population in fixed dunes of the Gurbantunggut Desert has an aggregated distribution. As the age class of each population increases, the aggregate distribution weakens. Habitat heterogeneity and diffusion are the two main factors. There is a negatively correlated interspecific relationship between both species, and the intraspecific developmental stages are positively correlated.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Effects of termite activities on a secondary forest and plantations in the mid-subtropical zone
    Dingyi Wang, Xiangyin Ni, Kai Yue, Xiaoyue Zhang, Zijia Kang, Ling Zhu, Fuzhong Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21324.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021324
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    Aims Termites are common forest insects in subtropical forests, however, little attention has been paid to their damage on forests or contribution to soil carbon cycles through their effect on litter and wood decomposition in plantations and secondary forests in subtropical zones. Here, we investigated the range of termite activities in three typical types of forests in subtropical regions, i.e., Cunninghamia lanceolataplantation, Castanopsis carlesii plantation, and C. carlesiisecondary forest.

    Methods We surveyed the foraging height and area of termite activities on tree stems in the three forest types to assess the effects of termite damage. We also investigated litter layer characteristics and the degree to which it was affected by termites to evaluate the role of termites in litter decomposition.

    Results We found that: (1) termite activities are common in three forest types, while higher foraging preference occurred in plantations than in secondary forests; (2) the foraging area in stems of Castanopsis carlesiisecondary forests was only 1.65% and 0.59‰ of those in Castanopsis carlesii and Cunninghamia lanceolataplantations, respectively, with preference of termites on tree stems in Cunninghamia lanceolatacompared with Castanopsis carlesiiplantations; (3) the foraging area and height of termites in Cunninghamia lanceolataplantation are 27.7 and 9.2 times of those in Castanopsis carlesiiplantation, and the rate of the affected area of 0-50, 50-100, 100-150, 150-200 cm tree stem is 4 : 3 : 2 : 1 in Cunninghamia lanceolata, respectively, but are 99 : 1 in the 1 m height stem of Castanopsis carlesii; (4) termite activities were widely found in foliar litter as well as dead and fallen wood in all secondary forests and plantations, indicating an important role in the process of decomposition.

    Conclusion Our results indicate that termites may have higher effects on plantations than secondary forests and have negative effects in damaging tree stems. Termites also likely promote the decomposition of foliar litter and dead wood in secondary forest. These results will provide theoretical support for the management of Cunninghamia lanceolata plantations in the mid-subtropical zone.

    Diversity and influencing factors of flower-visiting insects in the Yanshan area
    Yiru Han, Qiqi Xue, Houjuan Song, Jingyu Qi, Ruihe Gao, Shaopeng Cui, Lina Men, Zhiwei Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21448.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021448
    Abstract ( 899 )   HTML ( 575 )   PDF (2324KB) ( 1760 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aim Our aim is to clarify the relationship between diversity and community structure of flower-visiting insects and their habitat type, disturbance degree, and altitude in the Yanshan area.

    Methods Throughout July-August of 2019 and 2020, we collected flower-visiting insects in five habitats, including wetland, forest, shrub, grassland and farmland, with different gradients of 0-1,200 m above the sea level by using the method of transects and light lures.

    Result A total of 1,306 flower-visiting insects were collected, belonging to 153 species, 44 families, and 7 orders, among which Lepidoptera had the largest number of species and Hemiptera had the largest number of individuals. The diversity of flower-visiting insects is highest in the shrub cluster. The Shannon-Wiener, Margalef, and Simpson indices are the highest in the middle and low altitudes of 200-400 m. The results of bivariate regression indicate that the Shannon-Wiener and Margalef indices are positively correlated with precipitation in the warmest season and annual precipitation respectively (P< 0.05). Redundancy analysis (RDA) demonstrated that environmental factors significantly affected the diversity of flower-visiting insects, but there was some variation among different measures. Temperature and humidity are positively correlated with the Pielou index and negatively correlated with the Shannon-Wiener, Margalef, and Simpson indices. The results further indicate that scientific management of husbandry activities is the key to protecting the diversity of flower-visiting insects.

    Conclusion Scientific management of husbandry activities is the key to protecting the diversity of flower-visiting insects.

    Patterns and drivers of beta diversity of subtidal macrobenthos community on the eastern coast of Laizhou Bay
    Jianyu Dong, Xin Sun, Qipeng Zhan, Yuyang Zhang, Xiumei Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21388.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021388
    Abstract ( 1047 )   HTML ( 328 )   PDF (1477KB) ( 943 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims The formation and maintenance mechanism of the beta diversity pattern of biological communities have always been the focus and core of community ecology. However, the patterns and drivers of the beta diversity in marine ecosystems are still unclear, especially in marine benthic ecosystems in China. By studying the relationship of beta diversity (taxonomic- and functional trait-based) and its turnover and nestedness components of subtidal macrobenthos communities with environmental variables and spatial distance, we aimed to reveal the underlying processes of community assembly on the eastern coast of Laizhou Bay and provide guidance for studying the beta diversity of macrobenthos communities in other regions.

    Methods We sampled the macrobenthic organisms and corresponding environmental data (e.g., water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and sediment factors) at 15 stations in the subtidal zone on the eastern coast of Laizhou Bay. We collected six biological traits i.e., adult body size, habitat position, living habit, mobility, feeding habit and AZTI’s marine biotic index (AMBI) ecological groups for all sampled macrobenthos species. We calculated the taxonomic and functional trait beta diversity of macrobenthic communities and quantified the relative contributions of turnover and nestedness to beta diversity. In addition, the Mantel test and multiple regression on distance matrices (MRM) analysis were employed to determine the effect of environmental variables and spatial distance on the taxonomic and functional trait beta diversity and their components of macrobenthic communities.

    Results We recorded 75 macrobenthos species in the study area, which was dominated by polychaetes (61.33%), followed by crustaceans (17.33%) and mollusks (14.67%). Both the taxonomic and functional beta diversity of macrobenthic communities on the eastern coast of Laizhou Bay were high and dominated by the turnover component. This indicates that there were large differences in the composition of species and functional traits of the macrobenthos in the study area, which were caused by the replacement of species and/or functional traits in space or between communities. (2) Spatial geographical distance had no significant effect on the taxonomic and functional beta diversity and their components of macrobenthic communities (Mantel test, P > 0.05), indicating that the impact of dispersal limitation on macrobenthic communities was small. (3) Multiple regression on distance matrices (MRM) analysis showed that sediment-related environmental factors, namely total organic matter (TOM) and silt content, are the main factors driving the taxonomic beta diversity of macrobenthic communities, while the functional trait beta diversity was significantly affected by TOM.

    Conclusion Our results support that environmental filtrating was the dominant ecological process structuring macrobenthic communities, both in taxonomic and functional trait composition, in the subtidal zone on the eastern coast of Laizhou Bay. These findings highlight the need to examine both taxonomic and functional diversity to understand the mechanisms that govern the assembly of macrobenthos communities in subtidal zones. In addition, this study may have profound implications for understanding the macrobenthos community assembly in other sea areas in China.

    Original Papers: Microbial Diversity
    Effects of extreme drought on community and ecological network of soil fungi in a temperate desert
    Peng Xu, Xiaoying Rong, Chaohong Liu, Fang Du, Benfeng Yin, Ye Tao, Yuanming Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21327.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021327
    Abstract ( 712 )   HTML ( 199 )   PDF (2084KB) ( 879 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims Extreme drought exacerbates the expansion of desert areas around the world. Microbial diversity is associated with multiple ecosystem functions in the desert. Evaluating the response of fungal communities to extreme drought is essential for our understanding of regional desertification caused by drought in a temperate desert.

    Methods Based on three-year (D3) and ten-year (D10) drought plots established in the Gurbantunggut Desert, we investigated the effect of extreme drought on the diversity and ecological network of fungal communities.

    Results Our results demonstrated that in both the D3 and D10 plots, the droughts had no significant influence on the Chao1 and Shannon diversity indexes of the whole and abundant fungi, while the rare fungal Shannon diversity index significantly increased. Both extreme drought treatments had a noticeable effect on community composition of whole, abundant and rare fungi, with stronger effect on rare fungi (ANOSIM, R = 0.378-0.595, P < 0.01) than that on the abundant fungi (ANOSIM, R = 0.282-0.555, P < 0.01), suggesting that abundant fungi were more resistant to drought than rare taxa. Moreover, beta-diversity of the whole, abundant, and rare fungi decreased significantly in D3 and D10 treatments, suggesting that extreme drought served as an ecological filter on fungal community assembly. Molecular ecological network analysis revealed that in both the D3 and D10 plots there was a reduced fungal network complexity, suggesting that extreme drought reduced the interactions among fungal communities. In addition, abundant fungi had higher node topological parameters (P < 0.05), indicating that abundant fungi were important for maintaining fungal species interactions under extreme drought conditions.

    Conclusion Extreme drought significantly altered fungal community composition and weakened the interactions among fungal communities in a temperate desert. Furthermore, rare fungi were sensitive to extreme drought, contributing to reducing the lag in the response to fungal communities, and abundant fungi, as the core microflora in fungal networks, were crucial to sustaining the stability of fungal communities and interactions among species under extreme drought conditions.

    Data Paper
    A dataset on the life-history and ecological traits of Chinese amphibians
    Yunfeng Song, Chuanwu Chen, Yanping Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  22053.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022053
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    China has a total of 591 amphibian species (not including alien invasive species) as of the end of 2021 and is one of the countries with the richest amphibian diversity in the world. The species traits of amphibians affect their survival in the environment and play an important role in the study of evolutionary biology, ecology, and conservation biology. AmphibiaChina ( has compiled some data on the life-history traits, ecological traits, and geographical distribution of Chinese amphibians. However, we still lack an accessible database of the species traits of Chinese amphibians. Through extensive retrieval and searching, we systematically collected data on 22 characteristic traits related to the life-history, ecology, and geographic distribution of all the 591 amphibian species in China. The 22 characteristic traits included: the discovered time of species, holotype location, China Red List status, IUCN Red List status, threatened factors, Chinese endemism, insular endemism, body size of male/female, clutch size, egg size, breeding site, primary larval habitat, adult microhabitat, activity cycle, reproductive cycle, breeding time, parental care, fertilization type, elevational range, domestic distribution, and the number of provinces distributed. Except for the discovered time of species, domestic distribution, the number of provinces distributed, and insular endemism, the data on other traits were incomplete to varying degrees. The data completeness varied from 27.92% to 100%, with the mean completeness of 71.72% and a standard deviation of 24%. This dataset is the latest and most complete one of species traits of all the amphibian species native to China. This dataset can provide data support for the research of the ecology, conservation biology, and biogeography of Chinese amphibians.

    Diversity of birds in breeding season of Dujiangyan
    Shangmingyu Zhang, Xingcheng He, Yan Wang, Beiyao Wang, Qianyun He, Yitian Zhang, Bin Wang, Kai Zhang, Li Hu, Tao Shang, Min Zhu, Yongjie Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21329.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021329
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    Aims Dujiangyan is located in a regional hotspot of biodiversity, which has significantly high avian diversity. However, a comprehensive list of bird species is still lacking there. Therefore, we conducted fixed-line transects bird surveys in Dujiangyan from May 2016 to August 2019 to map the avian diversity of the region.

    Methods Comprehensive surveys have been done to evaluate diversity of breeding birds by using the fixed line transects method. A total of 10 survey lines were set up inside and outside protected areas in the Dujiangyan, covering a wide range of diverse habitats at different altitudes. Based on historical document catalogs, infrared camera data, and data from the China Bird Report (, an updated list of the Dujiangyan was created in this study.

    Results Combined with historical documents, a total of 311 species of birds were recorded in Dujiangyan. The birds belong to 17 orders, 61 families which including 184 residents (59.2%), 68 summer visitors (21.9%), 35 winter visitors (11.3%), and 24 passage migrants (7.7%). Breeding birds are 252 species (81.0%) and passerine birds are 212 (68.2%) species. Fifteen species (4.8%) are endemic to China and 9 Class-I (2.9%) and 50 Class-II (16.1%) nationally protected birds were recorded in this region, respectively. Most of the birds were found in the shrubs, evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest habitats, while the evergreen coniferous forest and bamboo forest had fewer. The elevational richness of birds in Dujiangyan displayed a bell-shaped pattern with the highest species richness occurred at mid-elevations (1,580-1,890 m) and the lowest species richness at high elevations (1,890-2,200 m).

    Conclusion Dujiangyan is a global biodiversity hotspot, as well as a famous national tourism destination, in order to maintain the high diversity of birds in this area, we should reduce the area of monoculture commercial forests and the control human disturbance from tourism, as well as keep monitoring, studying, and conserving the diversity of birds into the future.

    The world new taxa of Coleoptera in 2020
    Qiang Ding, Lulu Li, Yuanyuan Lu, Xuan Zhou, Sheng Dai, Fan Yang, Jiabao Wang, Yuena Chen, Yinying Sheng, Shuai Gu, Ming Bai
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21507.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021507
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    AimsColeoptera is the largest group on the land, with extremely rich species diversity and morphological diversity, and plays an important role in terrestrial ecosystems and is closely related to human social production. Regularly summarizing the new taxa of the Coleoptera in the world will help disseminate recent achievements in the field of taxonomy and provide a valuable resource for the beetle diversity, so as to promote the development and protection of Coleoptera resources.

    MethodIn this study, we systematically collected and analyzed the taxonomic literature of Coleoptera published in 2020 from around the world.

    Results In 2020, a total of 3,228 new taxa of Coleoptera in the world were published, including 1 new family, 5 new subfamilies, 13 new tribes, 218 new genera, 18 new subgenera, 2,973 new species. In addition, this paper also collected 1,319 new combinations, 610 new synonyms, 49 degraded taxa and 61 raised taxa. The most studied taxa included Staphylinidae, Carabidae, Curculionidae, Cerambycidae, etc. The new species of Coleoptera in 2020 were reported from 118 countries and regions, with most discoveries being concentrated in China, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Indonesia, Australia, Vietnam, etc. These new findings were reported in 995 articles or monographs from 141 journals or publishers.

    Conclusion In 2020, there was significant progress in global beetle taxonomy, while the discovery rate of new species is slightly slower than the average rate between 1978 and 2000 and the regional bias is occurred. It is crucial to increase the investment on taxonomy and explore more efficient and accurate methods to access and protect the global biodiversity thoroughly.

    Trend of Chinese Orthoptera taxonomy research based on holotype specimens
    Jiangrong Huang, Jiaxin Tang, Zhuqing He
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21314.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021314
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    Aims We studied following field based on Chinese Orthoptera holotype information: (1) species composition of Orthoptera in China; (2) the preservation of Orthoptera holotype; (3) the regularity of the discovery of new species over time; (4) geographical distribution of holotype specimens.

    Methods The information of holotypes is mainly obtained from the Orthoptera Specifications File (OSF), Catalogue of the Insect Type Specimens Deposited in China.

    Results (1) There are 3,070 holotype specimens, which is more than 10% of the known species in the world. They belong to 2 suborders, 11 superfamilies, 20 families, 58 subfamilies and 594 genera. (2) 3,044 holotype specimens with specimen preservation sites are deposited in 16 countries in the world. Among them, 2,705 holotype specimens are deposited in China, involving 44 scientific research institutions. (3) According to the variation of the number of new species described each year, the publishing process has three stages: stagnation period, fluctuating growth period and rapid growth period. The number of new species described shows a significant upward trend in recent years. (4) The number of holotype specimens collected from each province is significantly different. The new species of Orthoptera were mainly found in the areas with mountains and hills.

    Conclusion The Orthoptera holotype specimens are mostly deposited in Chinese universities and research institutions. At present, many new Orthoptera species have being published every year, and the total number of Chinese Orthoptera species has a lot of room for growth. We suggest that government should increase the support for traditional taxonomy and training of young taxonomists.

    Genomic island of divergence during speciation and its underlying mechanisms
    Qiong Sun, Rong Wang, Xiaoyong Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21383.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021383
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    Background & Aims Understanding the mechanisms underlying the formation of species is a major task of ecological and evolutionary studies. Aided by the rapid development of sequencing technologies during the last two decades, a growing body of research has revealed a heterogeneous genomic landscape of divergence with the existence of genomic islands of divergence between closely related taxa. This pattern was interpreted as evidence for the speciation-with-gene-flow model, and genomic islands in divergence landscape were hypothesized to be caused by divergent selection in the face of gene flow. However, genomic islands can also arise from other evolutionary processes, such as introgression, divergent sorting of ancient polymorphisms, and linked selection. Previous empirical studies often focused on part of evolutionary processes when discerning the mechanism governing the formation of genomic islands. Therefore, this paper aims to clarify genomic island of divergence and related concepts, summarize the pros and cons of different methods of identifying genomic islands, compare the predicted properties of genomic islands of divergence under different evolutionary processes, and propose a research route for discerning the mechanism contributing to genomic islands during speciation. This paper may provide a guide for future studies on genomic islands and their underlying mechanisms.

    Progress In recent years, various empirical and model-based approaches have been proposed to identify genomic islands. After comparing the pros and cons of these approaches, we think the significance test on observed FST using the null distribution of FST under different recombination rate according to the inferred best-fitting demographic model is the most reasonable. Based on similarities and differences of the predicted properties of genomic islands of divergence under different evolutionary processes, we point out the necessity of exploiting multiple indicators, such as introgression level, absolute divergence (dXY), relative node depth (RND), and recombination rate, when discerning the mechanism contributing to genomic islands during speciation.

    Prospects We suggest more attention should be paid to the ecological and genetic basis of reproductive isolation after discerning the mechanism underlying the formation of genomic islands. Meanwhile, future researches should be standardized to facilitate integrative analysis in a comparative framework, thus improving our understandings of the frequency of speciation with gene flow in the natural world.

    Progress on sex determination of dioecious plants
    Dan Peng, Zhiqiang Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21416.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021416
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    Background & Aims: Sexual differentiation of plants, also known as dioecy, is the phenomenon of the different female and male reproductive organs in different species and individuals. Dioecious species of flowering plants evolved independently into multiple phylogenetic branches, with each expressing different sex chromosome status, sex determination regions and genes for each branch. In this review, we will summarize the current direction of sex determination research in angiosperms, and appropriately prospect the direction of future research.

    Progress: We summarized the formation process of the plant sex determining gene model and the evolution of plant sex chromosomes after conducting a literature review. Two types of mutation models for plant sex determination have been proposed: the ‘two-mutations’ model clarifies that the evolution of sex determination requires two mutations, leading to male sterility and female sterility respectively, while the ‘single-mutation’ model is a single mutant gene that regulates and determines both male and female development of the plant. The diversity of plant sex chromosomes and sex determination systems provides an excellent opportunity to study the formation mechanism of plant sex-related genes, sex determination regions, and sex chromosome evolution. The evolution of plant chromosomes started with a pair of autosomes producing sex-determining gene mutations, forming the initial sex chromosomes. With different selection pressure between female and male plant individuals, the mutant genes were gradually antagonized, and the recombination inhibition was promoted. Accumulation of repeated elements and inhibition of recombination causes the Hill-Robertson effect, which increases the difference between the two chromosomes and eventually leads to the formation of sex chromosomes. The sex chromosomes of some species gradually evolved from homomorphic chromosomes to heteromorphic chromosomes. In this review, sex-determined regions and genes are sorted out and compared in detail according to currently existing characteristics. At present, most studies on the sex-determining regions and genes of angiosperms are carried out by methods such as genome, transcriptome, and resequencing, and the results are primarily in line with the ‘two-mutations’ or ‘single-mutation’ models. Meanwhile, this review further outlines the application of sex determination research in practical production.

    Prospects: We propose four suggestions for future research on sex determination in plants: (1) gradually expanding the sight from gene to the regulatory pathways of research; (2) shifting from a single species to research comparisons of related families and genera; (3) improving and exploring current or new sex-determining gene models or sex-model species; and (4) strengthening the identification technology in actual production research and development efforts.

    Flower diversity and pollination strategy in Araceae
    Dexin Liu, Qingfeng Wang, Chunfeng Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21426.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021426
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    Aims: Diverse inflorescence forms, pollination strategies, and widespread deceptive pollination make the Araceae family a suitable research subject for plant-pollinator interactions and the effects of floral divergence. Elucidation of flower diversity and pollination strategy in Araceae by the previous studies enhanced our understanding in floral divergence making a firm foundation for this study. The present review aims to summarize the main types of inflorescence structure, spathe forms, pollination strategies, and their relationship in the plants of the family Araceae.

    Progresses: There are four main types of spathes in Araceae: unmodified spathe, expanded planar spathe, erect broad spathe, and erect narrow spathe; demonstrating an evolutionary trend from simple planar structures to complex three- dimensional wrapped spathe structures. There are three types of spadix with the evolutionary route from bisexual flowering inflorescence to monoecious inflorescence, and to diecious inflorescence. The Araceae exhibits five major pollination strategies: food-rewards mutualistic pollination, odor-attracting deceptive pollination, mating sites mutualistic pollination, oviposition-attracting mutualistic pollination, and lethal trap deceptive pollination. The main types of pollinators include: Diptera, Coleoptera, and Hymenoptera. Plants in the Araceae family attract pollinators by their unique shapes, colors, stripes, heat of the inflorescences, and most importantly floral scent. We comprehensively discussed the function of volatile organic compounds, among the most important volatiles being dimethyl sulfide, methyl indole compounds, terpenoids and benzene compounds that attract coleopteran beetles and Diptera to pollinate by simulating food or brood-site signals.

    Prospects: Further study on the evolutionary ecology and developmental biology of Araceae is expected to provide reasonable explanation for maintenance and evolution of deceptive plant-pollinator relationships. Studies should increasingly focus on exploring the pattern of volatiles variation in species differentiation and the physiological relationship between volatiles and pollinators. Uncovering the complex relationships between floral diversity and pollination strategy in this family will greatly improve our understanding in its floral divergence and expand our knowledge in evolution of flower diversity in angiosperms.

    Review on bird-building collisions and the case study of a systematic survey in China
    Danyang Shi, Shu-Yueh Liao, Lei Zhu, Binbin V. Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21321.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021321
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    Background With urbanization, collision with man-made objects, such as buildings and windows, has become a major threat for birds. Because of the transparency and reflection of the glass, birds may not be able to recognize and avoid the glass, which leads them to collide with the buildings or windows. The outcomes of bird-building collisions are often fatal. This phenomenon is relatively well-researched in North America. In the United States alone, bird-building collision is estimated to cause between 300 million to 1 billion birds to die annually, making it one of the most significant direct anthropogenic causes of bird mortality. Despite being recognized as a major bird conservation issue in North America, bird-building collision has received limited attention in China.

    Progress In this paper, we reviewed and summarized the factors influencing bird-building collisions, including seasonality, weather, building characteristics, the surrounding environment, and bird ecology. In addition, we introduced the current progress in mitigating bird-building collision and methods of conducting bird-building collision research. Finally, we presented the first systemic bird-building collision study in China.

    ProspectsBased on the existing studies, we proposed several suggestions for future research. This includes generating an overall assessment of the bird-building collision phenomenon in China, establishing standards for systematic bird collision survey and data collection, studying the mechanism of bird-building collisions, promoting public awareness, and advocating for eco-friendly urban planning and architectural innovation.

    Conservation and Governance
    How ecosystem integrity is realized at the management level: A case study on the system and mechanism of the unified management of a cross-provincial national park
    Xinrui Zhao, Siyuan He, Yang Su
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21493.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021493
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    Aims Ecosystem integrity conservation is an important management objective of national parks, and its concept has been reflected in the Master Plan for the Establishment of National Parks and relevant national standards. However, the concept of integrity in these documents and standards is still divorced from demarcation and daily management. In this paper, we are going to study how the academic concept should be transformed to be inclusive of integrity at the management level.

    Methods We use the theory on “incentive compatibility”, which means that the driving direction of individual stakeholders’ responsibilities, rights, and interests are consistent with maximization of overall interests, to explain whether the institutional mechanisms are suitable for the ecological integrity of cross-provincial national parks. We divide interests into two parts: one is political interests, and the other is economic interests. Using Wuyishan National Park as a case study, these two types of interests are analyzed.

    Results In this paper, we take the cross-provincial Wuyishan National Park as a representative case and discuss the needs for unified management of national parks based on the concept of ecosystem integrity. It is necessary to take the national park as an independent unit of “territorial space use regulation”, which means breaking the original element management model, and integrating the management of “mountains, waterflows, forests, fields, lakes, and grasses”. However, this model is still difficult to meet due to the administrative boundaries and incentive incompatibilities arising from provincial top-down management systems. It’s possible to construct an institutional mechanism to achieve incentive compatibility. Firstly, the same “power and money” system, which is related to management institutions of cross-provincial national parks, should be made. Then a coordination system should be made with two types of coordination: one is to build a coordination mechanism, and another is to build a coordination agency which is similar to asset management. With the first type of coordination, the administration at the cross-provincial level has not been set up, and the coordination is undertaken by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, which is also National Park Administration. With the second type of coordination, learning from the experience of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) in managing enterprises, the cross-provincial administration should be established. Due to staff limitations, it can be established by adding a sign to the Commissioner’s Office of the Forestry and Grassland Administration and developing the relevant departments.

    Conclusions Under the institutional mechanism proposed in this paper, the delimitation of national parks in the future can easily realize scientific integrity. These two coordination modes proposed in this paper are feasible schemes to realize incentive compatibility on the basis of daily management consistency. The coordination of cross-provincial national parks can start from the mechanism. As the reforms develop, it should gradually shift to establishing the administration at the inter-provincial level. Finally, the mode of vertical management by the central government should be built, which can solve the problems from the root.

    Suggestion to establish a nature reserve for protecting native savanna vegetation in hot dry valley of Jinshajiang, Yunnan
    Hua Zhu, Fan Du
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (3):  21519.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021519
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    Aims Native savanna vegetation in large area exists in hot dry valley of Jinshajiang, Yunnan at 27° N. Here a suggestion for establishing nature reserve to protect the savanna vegetation is proposed.

    Methods The savanna vegetations in hot dry valleys of Yunnan are concisely compared to clarify the scientific and conservational importance of the native savanna vegetation in hot dry valley of Jinshajiang. The principle of nature reserve demarcation proposed by Yunnan Province is contrasted to confirm the consistencies of establishment of the suggested natural protected area.

    Results It is considered that the native savanna vegetation in the hot dry valley of Jinshajiang is a remnant of savanna vegetations in dry hot river valleys, and is also a kind of rare and endangered vegetation type in China. It includes the unique community dominated by the Compositae tree species Nouelia insignis, which is a mono-typical and endemic genus in the hot dry valley. It also has a tropical monsoon forest dominated by Garuga forrestii locally at some gullies and lower slopes in the valley. Geological and climatic histories and floristic composition show that the savanna vegetation in the hot dry valley of Jinshajiang is an ancient, aboriginal and a fewer human-undisturbed vegetation.

    Conclusions The savanna has a rich biodiversity and unique flora, and forms a complete ecosystem in the hot dry river valley of Jinshajiang, as well as a northern-most distributed savanna in Yunnan. It is of importance in science and nature conservation to establish a natural protected area for the savanna.

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