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Table of Content
    Volume 30 Issue 5
    20 May 2022

    Eastern Asia has a very rich diversity of landrace horse breeds. Many of these landrace breeds have strong regional roots, and play an important role in the development of social and rural economies. In this issue, Mongke et al (21031) assessed the SNPs-based genomic diversity in different populations of Eastern Asian landrace horses. The picture presents the Mongolian horse breed. (Photographed by Gereltu)

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    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Impact of canopy vertical height on leaf functional traits in a lower subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Dinghushan
    Tian Luo, Fangyuan Yu, Juyu Lian, Junjie Wang, Jian Shen, Zhifeng Wu, Wanhui Ye
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21414.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021414
    Abstract ( 1020 )   HTML ( 280 )   PDF (1192KB) ( 833 )   Save
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    Aims: Plant functional traits, which reflect the adaptation mechanisms of plants to their environment, are important for ecosystem function. Leaves are the main photosynthetic organs of plants and the primary research object of functional traits. However, there are few studies about the variation of leaf functional traits with the increase of canopy vertical height. Taking a lower subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Dinghushan as example, our study aims to detect the changes of leaf functional traits with the canopy vertical height, and explore the influence of canopy vertical height on leaf functional traits.

    Methods: Six dominant species from a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Dinghushan National Nature Reserve and a total of 10 leaf functional traits of these species at different canopy heights were compared and analyzed in this study. Leaf functional traits include specific leaf area (SLA), chlorophyll relative content (SPAD), leaf dry matter content (LDMC), leaf carbon content (LCC), leaf nitrogen content (LNC), leaf phosphorus content (LPC), leaf N : P (N : P), equivalent water thickness (EWT), nitrogen balance index (NBI), and flavonoids content (FLAV).

    Results: The results revealed that: (1) With the increase of canopy vertical height, LDMC, FLAV, EWT, and LPC exhibited an increasing trend, while SLA and NBI exhibited a decreasing trend. There was a significant correlation between leaf traits and vertical height, as exemplified by FLAV and NBI, SLA and EWT with a negative correlation, while LNC and LPC were positively correlated. (2) Leaf traits showed significant discrepancy among different tree species, which might be affected by the plant’s own characteristics and the succession process of species in the community. (3) The intraspecific variation of leaf traits demonstrated different trends along vertical layers. With the increase of canopy vertical height, 67% of species displayed a significant increase in FLAV, while the NBI of 67% of species decreased significantly.

    Conclusion: The variation of leaf traits with the increase of canopy vertical height in the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest reflects the adaptation of plants to the light environment and the utilization of water resources and energy.

    Species diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity in plant communities at different phases of vegetation restoration in the Mu Us sandy grassland
    Xiaoyan Jiang, Shengjie Gao, Yan Jiang, Yun Tian, Xin Jia, Tianshan Zha
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21387.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021387
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    Aims: During the first two decades of the 21st century, China has made remarkable progress in desertification control. The area of desertified and degraded grassland has been decreasing and the amount of vegetation has been increasing. However, it remains unclear how plant diversity varies during vegetation restoration. This knowledge gap hinders a full assessment of the effectiveness of desertification control efforts. Our goal was to quantify species diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity in plant communities at different phases of vegetation restoration (semi-fixed dunes, fixed dunes, fixed dunes covered with biological soil crusts, fixed dunes with abundant herbaceous plants) in the Mu Us sandy grassland.

    Methods: We conducted field investigations and leaf trait measurements (leaf thickness, leaf dry matter content, leaf density, and specific leaf area) during the mid-growing season of 2020 in Yanchi, Ningxia. Based on this, we further used one-way ANOVA and Pearson correlation analysis to explore the differences and relationships among diversity indices at different phases of vegetation restoration.

    Results: Our results indicated that: (1) Most leaf traits exhibited no significant phylogenetic signal, implying that leaf functional traits were primarily driven by environmental factors. (2) For α-diversity, Shannon-Wiener diversity (H), species richness (S), functional richness (FRic), and phylogenetic diversity (PD) were the lowest in plant communities at the phase of fixed dunes covered with biological soil crusts. Each of these α-diversity parameters were not significantly different among plant communities during the other three restoration phases. Furthermore, these biodiversity indices were positively correlated with each other, suggesting coordinated changes in species diversity, functional diversity, and phylogenetic diversity during vegetation restoration. (3) All β-diversity indices increased with the number of transitions between phases, indicating that species composition, leaf traits, and phylogeny were consistently changing during vegetation restoration. Species composition, leaf traits, and phylogeny all changed dramatically during the transition from semi-fixed to fixed dunes, resulting in a large dissimilarity between communities during the two phases. (4) The phylogenetic structure of plant communities tended to diverge on fixed dunes, fixed dunes covered with biological soil crusts, and fixed dunes with abundant herbaceous plants, indicating that competitive exclusion was the key factor driving community organization. However, the phylogenetic structure of plant communities on semi-fixed dunes did not exhibit any consistent patterns, implying that community organization was affected by the combined effects of habitat filtering and competitive exclusion.

    Conclusion: Although plant diversity did not demonstrate a monotonic increasing trend during vegetation restoration in the Mu Us sandy grassland, different indices of diversity varied coordinately. Therefore, species diversity can be regarded as a reasonable proxy of functional and phylogenetic diversity in this system. The results of this study can provide reference for vegetation construction and management whilst implementing desertification controls, as well as provide scientific basis for the ecological conservation and biodiversity protection of the Mu Us sandy grassland.

    Inorganic fertilizers are limiting factors of vegetation restoration of Qinghai Tala Shoal Photovoltaic Power Station
    Xiang Liu, Peng Zhang, Jianquan Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  22100.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022100
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    Amis: With its unique geographical condition, vast desert and abundant solar energy resources (strong and abundant solar radiation and long sunshine duration), the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau comprises an important region with multiple advantages in constructing photovoltaic power stations for realizing carbon neutrality. However, the key factors that limit vegetation restoration after such station construction remain unknown. In this study, we aimed to examine how three factors (inorganic fertilizer, microbial inoculum and trace element) affect vegetation restoration under photovoltaic panels.

    Methods: Experiments were conducted in the Qinghai Tala Shoal desert steppe ecosystem. A full-factor interaction experiment was carried out to explore the short-term effect of limiting factors including microbial inoculum, inorganic fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus) and trace elements, as well as their interaction on the vegetation characteristics (including community cover, aboveground biomass and species richness).

    Results: The inorganic fertilizers significantly increased community cover (F1,5 = 40.598; P < 0.001), decreased plant species richness (F1,5 = 5.133; P = 0.026), but had no significant effect on aboveground biomass (F1,5 = 0.279; P = 0.599). Based on Tukey’s honestly significant difference test, the mixed addition of inorganic fertilizers, microbial inoculants and trace elements reached the maximum value in community cover for both under and outside the photovoltaic panels.

    Conclusions: These experiments suggested that inorganic fertilizer is a major factor limiting vegetation restoration under photovoltaic panels, while microbial inoculants and trace elements also play irreplaceable roles in promoting vegetation restoration. Therefore, all of them should be together supplemented for effectively restoring vegetation under photovoltaic panels.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    New bird records in Guangdong Province and their correlation with natural and social-economic factors
    Min Zhang, Chunpo Tian, Xianli Che, Yanyan Zhao, Shiwang Chen, Xia Zhou, Fasheng Zou
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21396.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021396
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    Aims: The conservation of species diversity must be based on a full understanding of species distribution across different regions. Scientific monitoring is a traditional and effective way of data acquisition, but most studies are concentrated in nature reserves. Public birding records have expanded the spatio-temporal range of species data collection and is a useful supplement to scientific monitoring. However, the range and intensity of birding activities are affected by the economy, exhibiting spatial heterogeneity. In order to clarify the impact of conservation area distribution patterns and regional economic levels on bird species diversity records, this study utilized the Guangdong Province as a case study, and compared the regional differences of bird species distribution recorded by scientific monitoring and public birding.

    Methods: We collected data of public birding records and scientific monitoring through literature review and birding record centers and used multiple linear regression analysis to calculate the relationship among species richness and economy and conservation area. We then analyzed the contribution of different parameters through hierarchical partitioning. Finally, cluster analysis was utilized to classify cities with similar trends in species richness, economic level and environmental conditions.

    Results: The results indicated that from 2016 to 2020, public birding found 17 new distribution records and 10 reconfirmation records of bird species in Guangdong Province, but 100 bird species recorded by historical scientific monitoring did not appear in public records. The results of the linear regression analysis demonstrated that the regional gross domestic product (GDP) of Guangdong had the highest explanatory rate (adjusted R2 = 0.582) for the bird species richness recorded by public birding, and the area of nature reserves was the main explanatory factor for the bird species richness recorded by scientific monitoring. For overall species richness, the explanatory rate of GDP was 4.2 times that of the conservation area. The results reflected the strong support of economic development for public birding activities and facilitating new record discoveries in the Guangdong Province, but also indicated that there is a certain deviation in the regional distribution information of species diversity in the region.

    Conclusion: It is recommended that appropriate species diversity protection measures should be formulated according to the differences in economic development level and natural environment in different cities, and that biodiversity investigation and monitoring should be strengthened in areas where species diversity is underestimated by combining the advantages of scientific research and citizen science.

    Bird diversity in different habitats under agriculturalization in Guangxi, China
    Jiaxing Li, Christos Mammides, Liping Zhou, Jiajie Sun, Xiaocai Tan, Aiwu Jiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21515.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021515
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    Aims: Due to the increasing demand for agricultural land, biodiversity in China has faced increased losses. Our goal in this study is to evaluate how agriculturalization influences bird communities.

    Methods We conducted field surveys from October 2020 to October 2021 in three different habitats: (1) forest, (2) agricultural land close to the forest (0‒3 km), and (3) agricultural land far from the forest (6‒9 km). In total, we surveyed bird communities in 180 plots and then repeated the survey for each plot in each season (spring, summer, autumn and winter). All plots were one of three different national nature reserves in Guangxi: Dayaoshan, Damingshan, and Shiwandashan.

    Results: (1) The species accumulation curve of each habitat increased at a decreasing rate. The ratio of each habitat’s recorded species richness to the estimated species richness was larger than 60%, indicating that sufficient sampling was conducted; (2) We recorded a total of 196 species belonging to 14 genera and 54 families; passerine birds accounted for the highest proportion of recorded species (71.4%). The total number of species in each habitat type from highest to lowest were: forest (103), agricultural land close to the forest (101), and agricultural land far from the forest (94); (3) Similarity analysis implied that species composition was more similar between the two agricultural habitats, and both were different from forests; (4) Agricultural plots far from the forest had on average the highest Shannon-Wiener diversity index, while forest plots had the lowest in different seasons; (5) The results of the generalized linear mixed model indicated that the bird diversity in each plot per survey in both agricultural land far and close was significantly higher than in forest habitat, but there was no difference between the two agricultural habitats.

    Conclusion: Our results suggest that although forests have the lowest species diversity, some species in the forest have very strict habitat requirements. Therefore, protecting forest species and their habitat is vital. Although many species have strong preferences for agricultural habitat, human disturbance in agricultural areas is often extensive and detrimental, so clear protection measures for birds in those areas are necessary as well.

    Migration strategy of the Bohai Bay wintering population of juvenile Oriental Storks (Ciconia boyciana)
    Garidi, Shujuan Fan, Lei Cao, Beixi Zhang, Yuxi Wang, Baoguang Zhu, Shubin Dong, Anton Sasin, Gerelt Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21232.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021232
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    Aims: The Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana) primarily breeds in the Far East of Russia and Northeast China. There are two main migratory populations wintering in China, the Yangtze River wintering population, with a migration distance of about 2,600 km, and the Bohai Bay wintering population, with a migration distance of about 1,500 km. This study was conducted to obtain the characteristics of migration strategies and wind utilization of wintering populations in Bohai Bay during spring and autumn migration.

    Methods: Based on the satellite tracking data of 14 juveniles from 2016 to 2018, we compared differences in their autumn and spring migration patterns and studied the effects of wind speed and direction at 850 mb on migration speed of the Bohai Bay wintering population.

    Results: The migration distances in spring and autumn were similar, and the tailwind conditions in spring (2.2 ± 6.3 m/s) were significantly better than that in autumn (-2.4 ± 4.1 m/s, P < 0.05), leading to the daily flying speed in spring (280.4 ± 62.0 km/d) being significantly faster than that in autumn (185.5 ± 72.0 km/d, P < 0.05), and the flight duration of the spring migration (5.9 ± 2.9 d) was significantly shorter than that of the autumn migration (10.3 ± 6.5 d). Furthermore, the stopover time in spring (5.4 ± 9.7 d) was significantly shorter than that in autumn (17.8 ± 18.2 d, P = 0.05). Based on the above two points, the migration duration in spring (11.2 ± 8.7 d) was significantly shorter than that in autumn (28.0 ± 21.2 d, P < 0.05).

    Conclusion: When migrating from/to Bohai Bay, the 14 juveniles used tailwinds to reach summering grounds faster in spring, and when they migrated headwinds in autumn, they flied slower and had longer flight and rest times. In conclusion, the Oriental Stork is a migratory soaring bird that primarily relies on thermal flow, while the tailwind also contributes to the migration success.

    Elevational patterns of life history and ecological trait diversity of aquatic insects in the middle of the Lancang River: The effects of climate and land use variables
    Fei Fu, Huiyu Wei, Yuteng Chang, Beixin Wang, Kai Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21332.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021332
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    Aims: Species respond to environmental changes through functional traits. Exploring the elevational pattern of community functional trait diversity is an important aspect in understanding the spatial distribution and formation mechanisms of biodiversity. Climate change and land use are important factors that affect stream ecosystems, their biodiversity, and community assembly. However, there is still a lack of systematic studies on the elevational distribution of functional trait diversity of aquatic insect assemblage under the effects of climate and land use variables.

    Methods: We collected aquatic insect community data from 56 stream sites along elevational gradients ranging between 1,000-3,000 m in 2016 and 2018 in the middle of the Lancang River Basin, Yunnan Province, China. We then utilized a linear or quadratic regression model to explore and compare the elevational patterns of life history (voltinism, development, and adult life span) and ecological traits (trophic habit, habit, and thermal preference) diversity indices. Then, we used random forest model to analyze the effects of climatic and land use variables on the diversity of life history and ecological traits of aquatic insect assemblages.

    Results: Of all life history traits, diversity of semivoltine, nonseasonal, slow seasonal, and long adult life span demonstrated significantly U-shaped elevational patterns. While diversity of fast seasonal, and very short adult life span exhibited significantly hump-shaped elevational patterns, and short adult life span diversity demonstrated a significantly increasing elevational pattern. Of all ecological traits, thermal preference diversity displayed no significant pattern along the elevation gradient. Diversity of clinger and sprawler exhibited a significantly increasing pattern and a U-shaped elevational pattern, while diversity of collector-filter, herbivore, and predator exhibited significantly increasing, decreasing, and U-shaped elevational patterns, respectively. Random forest models revealed that variation of life history trait diversity explained by climate and land use variables were higher than that in ecological trait diversity, with annual mean temperature and percentage of agriculture area as common key factors.

    Conclusion: In summary, the elevational patterns of functional trait diversity in aquatic insect assemblage differed between life history and ecological trait diversity, in which differences are driven by different natural and human disturbance gradients. These results can provide theoretical supports for aquatic biodiversity maintenance and conservation in the Lancang River Basin.

    Original Papers: Genetic Diversity
    Assessment of SNPs-based genomic diversity in different populations of Eastern Asian landrace horses
    Togtokh Mongke, Dongyi Bai, Tugeqin Bao, Ruoyang Zhao, Tana An, Aertengqimike Tiemuqier, Baoyindeligeer Mongkejargal, Has Soyoltiin, Manglai Dugarjaviin, Haige Han
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21031.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021031
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    Aims: The genetic diversity within landrace horse breeds changes over time and is greatly affected by breeding strategies. In the past 300 years, standardized horse breeds have been bred for prominent traits, and these breeds have been then largely introduced to improve the landrace populations which has been resulted in the reduced genetic diversity or genetic differentiation within landrace population. The aim of this study was to assess the genetic diversity of Eastern Asian landrace horse populations which will constitute the basis for the conservation of landrace horse genomic resources as well as breeding of new strain of horses.

    Methods: Here we sequenced the whole genome of 70 horses from five Eastern Asian horse breeds (Hequ horse and Tibetan horse, Southwest horse, Mongolian horse, and Kazakh horse), two Western Asian breeds (Arabian horse, Akhal-Teke horse), and two European breeds (Shetland pony and Clydesdale horse). This newly generated data was combined with 100 previously published Inner Mongolian horse SNPs data to investigate the genomic diversity of the Asian landrace horse breeds.

    Results: Our results suggest that the Eastern Asian landrace horse breeds have significant genetic differentiation and higher genetic diversity compared with non-Eastern Asian horse breeds. In particular, the Inner Mongolian horse populations showed the highest genetic diversity, and genetic differentiation has been observed among the populations sampled in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China, which may reflect the exotic genetic influence on the genetic improving some of the local populations, such as Baicha iron hoof horse and Abag horse populations. There was no observation of this gene flow in the Hequ horse and Tibetan horse.

    Conclusion: The genetic diversity of landrace horses changes and even decreases through hybridization between native and introduced modern standardized horse breeds. The wild ancestral population of domestic horses is now wholly extinct; therefore, it is imperative to maintain and protect the genetic diversity of landrace horses. The expansion of the modern standardized horse bloodlines has contributed to genetic diversity decreases and genetic differentiation increases in landrace horses. The Eastern Asian landrace horse breeds have higher genetic diversity, and endangered Baicha iron hoof horse and Abag horse have occurred significant genetic differentiation trend from the Mongolian horse population. Genetic swamping is the major concern for small population horses, therefore, the genetic conservation of Baicha iron hoof horse warrants particular attention.

    Differences in genetic diversity of Pleuronichthys cornutus in the coastal water of China and Japan based on three mitochondrial markers
    Jing Cui, Mingfang Xu, Qun Zhang, Yao Li, Xiaoshu Zeng, Sha Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21485.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021485
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    Aims: Understanding genetic diversity and population structure of Pleuronichthys cornutus is essential for the sustainable conservation of threatened fishery resources. This study aims to compare the feasibility and effectiveness of different markers in analyzing genetic diversity and population structure of P. cornutus, and to elucidate the molecular mechanism of genetic differentiation between the populations of P. cornutusin the coastal water of China and Japan.

    Methods: A total of 200 individuals of P. cornutus from seven localities in coastal waters of China and Japan were sequenced to assess the genetic diversity and population structure based on three markers of control region (CR, 549 bp), cytochrome b (Cytb, 1,008 bp), and NADH subunit 2 (ND2, 1,044 bp).

    Results: CR analysis showed seven populations of P. cornutus in the coastal water of China and Japan had a high haplotype diversity (Hd= 0.9699) and low nucleotide diversity (π = 0.0061), a low and not significant FST values (-0.0197-0.0184, P> 0.05), and a high variation within populations (99.17%), indicating that there was no genetic differentiation between the populations, and the haplotype network did not show a clear geographic clustering and genealogical structure among populations. Further analysis of five populations of P. cornutus was done by comparing the Cytb and ND2 genes with CR sequences, respectively. The analysis of genetic diversity (Hd= 0.9683-0.9829, π= 0.0050-0.0063), haplotype distribution, and AMOVA (> 98.39%) by Cytband ND2 genes were consistent with the results of the above analysis of CR sequence. Only the FSTvalue (FST= 0.0302, P< 0.05) among populations based on the analysis of the ND2 gene revealed a significant differentiation between the Jieshi population in China and the Akashi population in Japan. The neutrality tests and mismatch analyses based on CR, Cytb, and ND2 sequences, respectively, estimated that P. cornutus may have experienced a recent demographic population expansion event. The expansion was occurred in the late Middle Pleistocene of the Quaternary, which dated from about 319,300 to 95,800 years ago (CR), 275,300 to 220,200 years ago (Cytb), and 269,900 to 187,500 years ago (ND2), respectively.

    Conclusion: In summary, high genetic diversity and insignificant genetic differentiation were found in P. cornutusby investigating CRsequences and Cytb and ND2genes, except for a low but significant differentiation between the Jieshi and the Akashi populations in ND2. Hence, ND2 was more suitable than CR and Cytb for the study of population structure of P. cornutus.The presence of two separate refuges during the ice age and the geographical distance were likely to be the main causes of the genetic divergence. The combination of multiple genetic markers in future studies can effectively compensate for the limitations of a single genetic marker for the analysis of population genetic diversity. It provided a theoretical basis for the conservation and sustainable use of the germplasm resources of P. cornutus in the coastal water of China and Japan.

    Data Papers
    A new list of threatened woody species in China under future global change scenarios
    Shijia Peng, Yuan Luo, Hongyu Cai, Xiaoling Zhang, Zhiheng Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21459.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021459
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    The world is currently experiencing a biodiversity crisis, and climate and land-cover changes are now recognized as two major threats to biodiversity. China is one of the mega-biodiversity countries and the threatened species list of China’s higher plants was reported in 2017. This list provided important data for biological conservation and protected area planning from regional to global scales. However, it was mainly based on the past and current status of species population and distribution, while future responses of species to climate and land-cover changes were rarely considered. This will lead to an underestimation of future local extinction risks. Using high-resolution species distribution data of woody plants and species distribution models, we evaluated the impacts of climate and land-cover changes on woody species distributions and estimated changes in the extent of occurrence (EOA) for each species. Our results indicate that 12.9%-40.5% of woody species will be threatened under different climate and dispersal scenarios. Based on these results, we updated the list of threatened woody species in China based on the IUCN Red List Criteria. This new list of threatened woody species provides important data for assessing the conservation priorities of woody plants, for the planning of future nature reserve extension, for improving the performance of nature reserves under future global change scenarios, and for updating the list of threatened species of other taxa.

    A dataset on catalogue of alien plants in China
    Qinwen Lin, Cui Xiao, Jinshuang Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  22127.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022127
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    It is an important basis for the research on the prevention and early warning mechanism of alien invasive plants in China to figure out the types of alien plants in China, where they come from, how to enter China, what kind of groups of these alien plants are, as well as their biological and ecological characteristics. The information of alien plants recorded in Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae, Flora of China and their records in the Chinese province flora is very limited due to various reasons. At present, there is no any available database including the complete information of alien plants in China. By integrating materials related to alien plants in recent years, and textual research on the origin, then added the habits of alien plants through literature, then using computer network, databases and big data analysis technical means, after information treatment and taxonomic correction, with reconstruction of the classification, this paper finally provided a dataset on catalogue of alien plants in China. There are 14,710 data in this set, with 14,710 taxa of Chinese alien plants belonging to 3,233 genera and 283 families (including 13,401 original species, 332 hybrids, 2 chimeras, 458 subspecies, 503 varieties and 14 forms). Each taxon includes basic information such as taxon, Chinese family name, family name, Chinese genus name, genus name, Chinese name, surname, scientific name, authors, living status, life span, growth habit, native countries or regions, and introduced provinces in China. The data set shows that alien plants have accounted for a considerable proportion in the composition of the Chinese flora (By December 31, 2021, there are 52,177 taxa of vascular plants in China, including 37,464 native taxa and 14,710 alien taxa, the proportion of alien plants is as high as 28.19%). In terms of survival status, cultivated plants account for 91% of all alien plants, escape plants account for 7.36%, naturalized plants account for 6.69% and invasive plants account for 2.66%; The analysis of life forms shows that perennial groups account for the vast majority of alien plants (13,625 species, about 92.6%), and the number of herbs (8,937 species, about 60.8%) is more than that of trees (2,752 species, about 18.7%), shrubs (4,916 species, about 33.4%) as well as the other life forms. Most of the alien plants in China were from North America (4,242 species), Africa (3,707 species), South America (3,645 species), and Asia (3,102 species), but less were from Europe (1,690 species) and Oceania (1,305 species). The top 10 provinces in China with more exotic plants are Taiwan (6,122 species), Beijing (5,244 species), Fujian (3,667 species), Guangdong (3,544 species), Yunnan (3,404 species), Shanghai (2,924 species), Jiangsu (2,183 species), Jiangxi (1,789 species), Zhejiang (1,658 species) and Hubei (973 species). This data set is the first comprehensive and systematic collation of alien plants in China. It can be used as a reference for research related to alien plants, as well as basic data for plant diversity research. It can also be used as a reference dataset for people in agriculture, forestry, prataculture, horticulture, herbal medicine, nature protection and environmental protection, as well as teachers and students in colleges and universities.

    A dataset on the diversity and geographical distributions of wild Impatiens in China
    Taohua Yuan, Meijun Li, Liuyi Ren, Rongxin Huang, Yi Chen, Xinxiang Bai
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  22019.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022019
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    Impatiens is distributed mainly in the tropical and subtropical mountains of the Old World and has strict requirements on the growth environment. In-depth analysis of its geographical distribution pattern and characteristics can provide a basis for germplasm resources investigation and utilization. In this study, the species list of wild Impatiens in China was updated through systematic literature retrieval, and the geographical distribution database of wild Impatiens in China was established by integrating their information of distribution, altitude and endemism. Up to March 2022, 352 wild Impatiens species (including 18 varieties, 1 subspecies and 1 form) have been recorded in China, 273 of which are endemic to China. Impatiens is distributed in all provinces of China except Shanghai. There are 165 species in Yunnan, where has the highest species richness and endemism at the provincial level, followed by Sichuan with 119 species, Tibet with 69 species. At the county level, Gongshan County and Tengchong City ranks first in species richness with 51 species, followed by Fugong County with 42 species. In China, the distribution of Impatiens presents a pattern of diffusion from the tropics and subtropics zone to high latitudes and high altitudes. The broad sense Hengduan Mountain area, southern Tibet, Yunnan-Guizhou-Guangxi karst area and middle-lower Yangtze River Plain are hot spots for the concentrated distribution of Impatiens.

    Research progress on the elevational distribution of mountain species in response to climate change
    Kuiling Zu, Zhiheng Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21451.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021451
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    Background & Aim: Over the past century, the global climate has changed dramatically and has become a major threat to global biodiversity. How to limit use of resources and power in order to protect biodiversity effectively has become one of the most significant issues concerning researchers. Mountain regions play an important role in biodiversity protection and have high ecological service value. They have become one of the most important biodiversity refuges due to its high habitat heterogeneity, climate diversity, and low human disturbance. However, mountain regions are more vulnerable to climate change, and severe climate change in mountain regions will pose a serious threat to the stability and diversity of mountain species ecosystems. Therefore, understanding the potential mechanisms of climate change and how they affect the elevational distributions of mountain species, and the negative effects of the elevational distribution changes induced by climate change, will provide a direct reference for the future conservation of mountain biodiversity under global climate change. In this paper, we review the research progress of climate change and the elevational range shifts of species in mountain regions around the world.

    Summary: We focus on changes of optimum elevation, upper and lower range limits, and range size of species elevational distributions in response to climate change in mountain regions because the elevational range shifts of mountain species have profound impact on mountain biodiversity. We summarize the direction and magnitude of elevational range shifts across species and regions using historical and recent occurrence records of different species, and the lagged effect of climate change on species. Furthermore, we also summarize the potential mechanism of species elevational shifts in response to climate change from biological and abiotic factors and evaluate the negative effects of species elevational distributions caused by climate change. This paper mainly discusses the impact of the upward shifts of species in high-altitude regions, the increase of species extinction risk caused by the elevational shifts of species, and the change of species interactions caused by the elevational shifts of species.

    Perspectives: We prospect the problems that should be paid attention to during future research on elevational shifts of species, as well as measures to be taken to protect mountain biodiversity under climate change. We suggest that we should focus on the groups and biodiversity regions that are more sensitive to climate change. Furthermore, we iterate the need to strengthen China’s mountainous species monitoring network and research efforts. Emphasis is placed on strengthening monitoring of the effects of climate change on animal and plant interactions.

    Advances in speciation theories and their verifications based on the biological species concept
    Yu Xiao, Xi Wang, Zihan He, Lingling Li, Xinsheng Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21480.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021480
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    Background & Aim: Speciation is a constant theme in the study of evolutionary biology. The nature of the dynamics and continuity of population evolution makes it hard to define the concept of species. Understanding the mechanisms of speciation remains crucial in the fields of evolutionary biology, taxonomy, conservation biology and biodiversity. Here we revisited the existent theories of speciation and reviewed the recent advances in empirical study.

    Progresses: We discussed three geographical patterns of speciation (sympatric, parapatric, and allopatric speciation) and reviewed the corresponding empirical evidence from recent studies, based on the classical concept of biological species coined in terms of reproduction isolation. We further discussed the molecular genetics basis of postzygotic reproductive isolation and the evidence derived from analyses of applying population genomic data, including BDMI (Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibility), QTLs (quantitative trait loci) analysis, Haldane’s rule and the large X-chromosome effects. We finally discussed the relationship between mating system, one of the pre-zygotic isolation barriers, and speciation. We inferred that selfing or inbreeding could drive speciation via either increasing population genetic differentiation or impeding gene flow between populations of different mating systems, or both.

    Prospects: More evidence is needed to verify speciation theories. In addition, given the more frequent transitions to selfing from outcrossing in plant species, both flower characters and genomic differentiation could drive the so-called selfing syndromes. It is significant to clarify the role of mating system as a driver or as a reinforcer in plant speciation.

    Spatial self-organization in microbial interactions
    Nan Ye, Beibei Hou, Chao Wang, Ruiwu Wang, Jianxiao Song
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21458.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021458
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    Background & Aims: Microorganisms play a significant role in the global ecosystem, and the interaction of microorganisms with the environment (including inorganic environment and biotic environment) is one of the important topics in this research area. Microorganisms often form specific spatial structures or spatial patterns through self-organization. Spatial patterns of microorganisms were crucial for population stability, dynamics of community and maintenance of cooperative behavior, which have been well documented by theoretical and experimental studies over the past decades. Here we aim to summarize how ecological interactions facilitate self-organization and spatial pattern in microorganisms and demonstrate the effects of spatial patterns on microbial functions.

    Progress: Firstly, we introduced the concept of spatial self-organization, followed by explaining spatial patterns of self-organization in different ecological interactions, especially in microbial cooperation and competition. Next, we focused on the process of microbial spatial self-organization, and finally emphasized that spatial self-organization was essential for the structural and functional stability of microbial community.

    Prospects: Exploring spatial self-organization accompanying cooperative behavior in ecosystem may bring up new mechanisms for the maintenance of cooperative behavior, and provide new insights for the construction of microbial symbiotic systems.

    Realization, development trend and enlightenment of Nature’s contributions to people
    Yang Wu, Yu Tian, Fengbin Dai, Ziyuan Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (5):  21549.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021549
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    Background: As an independent intergovernmental mechanism, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) aims to strengthen the impact of science policies on biodiversity and ecosystem services. In order to better understand and demonstrate the basic elements of IPBES’s goals and their interrelationships, based on the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), IPBES has integrated multiple knowledge systems, and gradually formed a conceptual framework centered on “Nature’s contributions to people” (NCP).

    Analysis: First, this paper introduced what NCP is and its relationship with ecosystem service (ES). NCP refers to all positive contributions and negative impacts that humanity obtains from nature, covering regulating contributions, material contributions, and non-material contributions. The classification of NCP is developed on the basis of ES under the MA framework, so both focus on human well-being. However, in contrast to ES, NCP presents nature’s negative impact to people, emphasizing the importance of social and cultural factors, traditional knowledge and the status of indigenous people. Second, this paper described the mechanism by which people and nature jointly realize NCP, that is, nature provides potential NCP, then potential NCP combines with human input to generate realized NCP, and outputs impact human good quality of life. Third, this paper analyzed the global status and trends of NCPs, the results of IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services showed 14 out of 18 categories of NCPs on a declining trend.

    Discussion: This paper compared NCP and ES, which will provide new research vision for domestic ecosystem service research scholars, considering integrating the elements of NCP and ES to better reflect the soul of biodiversity. Since from the concept of NCP was proposed, it has been widely used in IPBES assessments and CBD negotiations. NCP has been accepted by all parties, probably because it also represents the sound of developing countries and stakeholders to some extent. Considering the trends of sharp decline for NCPs, it is proposed to achieve transformative change in economic, social, political and technical fields, and promote the mainstreaming of biodiversity continuously, strengthen international exchanges and cooperation, and strive to achieve the 2050 Vision for Biodiversity “Living in harmony with nature”.

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