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Table of Content
    Volume 30 Issue 7
    20 July 2022
    This year marks the 5th anniversary of the 19th International Botanical Congress (IBC) held in Shenzhen during July 23–29, 2017. The theme of IBC 2017 is “Green Creates Future”. President Xi Jinping of China sent a congratulatory letter advocating people to care for plants and for the future. Nine papers, mainly on systematic and evolutionary botany, and plant biodiversity informatics, were published in the special feature to remember the event IBC 2017. (Photograph credit: Lijun Chen)
    Special Feature: Remembering the 5th Anniversary of the 19th International Botanical Congress
    Story of botany from China: Endless synthesis, infinite possibilities
    Keping Ma, Yuehong Yan, Kang Chong
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22418.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022418
    Abstract ( 921 )   HTML ( 107 )   PDF (362KB) ( 1052 )   Save
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    A review of recent studies of plant systematics and evolution in China
    Song Ge
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22385.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022385
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    Aims: Studies on plant systematics and evolution aim to elucidate the origin and diversification of plants and to elucidate the factors that affect the patterns of plant diversity temporally and spatially. As the largest and most highly attended conference on plant sciences, the International Botanical Congress (IBC) came to China in 2017 (IBC 2017) and attracted nearly 7,000 participants from around the globe. The success of holding IBC 2017 in China has profound influence on plant sciences in China both because it was an important forum to demonstrate the achievements and progresses of Chinese scientists and because it strengthened the link and collaboration of scientists between China and abroad.
    Progresses: On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of IBC 2017, I reviewed the achievements and breakthroughs in the field of plant systematics and evolution in China, including the origin and diversification of early plants, taxonomy and phylogenetic reconstruction of major plant lineages, plant speciation and adaptive evolution, species interaction and concerted evolution, origin and underlying mechanisms of innovation characters, plant polyploidy and polyploid evolution, species endangerment and protection, as well as origin and domestication of cultivated plants. All the progresses highlighted here have contributed greatly to our better understanding of plant biodiversity across the world, which embodies the growing impacts of Chinese scientists on global research and development in plant sciences.
    Prospect: I pointed out the opportunities and challenges that plant scientists have faced, including fast development of genome sequencing and ‘-omic’ studies, the interdisciplinary and multi-level investigations and cooperation, management of big data, and the practical applications of plant systematics and evolutionary studies in resource utilization, species conservation, agriculture and horticulture, medicine and plant trade, etc.

    How many known vascular plant species are there in the world? An integration of multiple global plant databases
    Hong Qian, Jian Zhang, Jingchao Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22254.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022254
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    Aims: Despite that vascular plants constitute an important component of overall global biodiversity and have been studied well over two centuries, the questions of “How many species of vascular plants are there in the world and how many of them have been discovered and described?” remain open. Here, we address the second of the two questions.
    Method: We synthesized four global plant databases.
    Results & Conclusions: Our study shows that for the entire global flora of vascular plants (including natural hybrids), 376,366 species have been discovered and validly described. When natural hybrids are excluded, the global flora includes 369,054 species of vascular plant species, of which pteridophytes (ferns and lycophytes), gymnosperms and angiosperms have 13,810, 1,172 and 354,072 species, respectively. The number of vascular plant species derived from our study is larger than any of the other four databases by at least 17,700 species.

    Recent advances in the national inventory of higher plant species in China
    Bing Liu, Haining Qin
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22397.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022397
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    Aims: Making an inventory of the diversity of Chinese higher plants is an important component of the “Catalogue of Life China” project, which aims to annually update the national checklist of all species found within the country.
    Methods: Using recent studies, we adopted the latest understanding of taxonomic classifications of all major plant groups based upon molecular evidence. We then calculated the total numbers of known and new (i.e., those added in the previous five years) taxa across multiple hierarchical classifications, from species up to family. We report the status of the national inventory of plant species as it stands after accounting for recent taxonomic revisions.
    Results: Since the 2017 International Botanical Congress (IBC) in Shenzhen, the national checklist has been updated in five instances. The current checklist of Chinese higher plants includes: of the hornworts, four families, nine genera, and 27 species; 62 families, 170 genera, 1,081 species and 94 infraspecific taxa of liverworts; 94 families, 453 genera, 2,006 species and 154 infraspecific taxa of mosses; three families, 12 genera, 165 species and four infraspecific taxa of lycophytes; 38 families, 177 genera, 2,215 species and 228 infraspecific taxa of ferns; 10 families, 45 genera, 291 species and 118 infraspecific taxa of gymnosperms; and 272 families, 3,409 genera, 32,708 species, and 6,909 infraspecific taxa of angiosperms. Higher plants found within the country include a total of 483 families, 4,275 genera, 38,493 species and 7,507 infraspecific taxa. Of these, 19 families, 270 genera and 2,334 species have been added since the 2017 IBC.
    Conclusion: The inventory includes the total number of known plant species found within China. Updating of the national checklist in the past five years reflects the most recent studies of plant taxonomy within the country, promotes the progress of a global effort to inventory biodiversity, and provides detailed baseline data for flora collections, biodiversity research, and conservation practices.

    Insight into the studies on diversity of lycophytes and ferns in China
    Ting Wang, Jiangping Shu, Yufeng Gu, Yanqing Li, Tuo Yang, Zhoufeng Xu, Jianying Xiang, Xianchun Zhang, Yuehong Yan
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22381.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022381
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    Background: Lycophytes and ferns are the second largest group of vascular plants, dating back as far as 400 million years ago. Before the domination of angiosperms, lycophytes and ferns were the key component of ancient terrestrial ecosystems, and are still important to modern ecosystems today. Since the 1940s, the study of lycophytes and ferns in China has attracted worldwide attention. In the past five years since the 19th International Botanical Congress (IBC) held in Shenzhen in 2017, research on lycophytes and ferns in China has expanded internationally and focuses on a wider range of scientific issues. A series of important advances have been made on plant diversity, conservation, phylogeny, and ecological adaptation.
    Results: From 2017 to 2022, the tree of life for lycophytes and ferns in the world has been reconstructed by the family level, and a new evolutionary model for the sporangium was proposed. Some of the phylogenetic and taxonomic problems of order, family, genus and species of lycophytes and ferns were solved, meanwhile 106 new taxa were published. A large number of floristic collections and studies have been conducted, and six Chinese plus one worldwide monographs on the diversity of lycophytes and ferns have been published. In addition, 65 species of lycophytes and ferns under state priority conservation have been ex situ protected, and spore reproduction has been achieved in priority conservation groups such as Cyatheaceae, Ceratopteris, Angiopteris and Platycerium wallichiia. The ecological restoration and adaptive evolution of lycophytes and ferns were studied under the phylogeny.
    Perspectives: After literature survey on the research of lycophytes and ferns in China from 2017 to 2022, we make the following suggestions for future studies: (1) Focus future research on Chinese oligotypic families/genera and the worldwide mega-diverse families/genera. (2) Prioritize research in under-studied areas, such as Tibet and Sichuan, and utilize new technologies (e.g., DNA barcoding) to improve the efficiency and accuracy of species identification. (3) When clarifying the systematic relationship between families, genera, and species by using multi-disciplinary approaches, it is necessary to conduct research on plant evolutionary history and adaptation mechanisms. (4) Research efforts should focus on the common scientific conjecture of the systematic position of lycophytes and fern as the origin for the evolution of terrestrial vascular plants. (5) Pay more attention to the cooperation among the phylogenetics, ecology, phytochemistry, conservation biology and other subjects of lycophytes and ferns.

    Resources and protection of Cycas plants in China
    Huihui Xi, Yiqing Wang, Yuezhi Pan, Tian Xu, Qingqing Zhan, Jian Liu, Xiuyan Feng, Xun Gong
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21495.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021495
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    Background & Aim: Cycads include two families and 10 genera, representing one of the most primitive taxa of the extant seed plants, and hold important value to scientific research and conservation. Among cycads, only about 20 species within the genus Cycas have a natural distribution within China, most of which are also endemic to China. These species are primarily found in the southwest and southeast coast of China, with most occupying a narrowly distributed area. All species in this group of Cycas have been classified as first-class national key protected wild plants in China due to the existence of serious threats to their survival and reproduction. In this review, we aim to familiarize members of the public with these important plants while also encouraging their protection.
    Methods: This paper summarizes the status of research and protection of cycads in China by aggregating data available from the published literature and our field investigations.
    Result: By summarizing the taxonomic research and geographical distribution of cycads in China, we highlight the principal threats to the survival of cycads in China and describe protective measures that can be used to counter these threats. Further, we suggest that certain scientific evidence, such as genetic characteristics, are critical factors when determining effective methods of protection.
    Conclusion & Suggestions: We summarize five main issues related to the scientific research and conservation of cycads in China: (1) further research into the basic science of cycads is required, (2) the destruction of natural cycad habitats is a serious concern, (3) illegal harvesting and trafficking of cycads remain rampant, while legitimate cycad gardening and horticultural breeding businesses are in need of expansion, (4) certain biological characteristics of cycads lead to reproductive difficulties, (5) there are inherent difficulties in ex situ conservation for guaranteeing the preservation of germplasm purity among species of cycads. In addition, we propose specific solutions for these issues in order to provide a reference for improving research, protection, and the sustainable legal utilization of cycads in China in the future.

    Advances in research on bryophyte diversity in China
    Ruiliang Zhu, Xiaoying Ma, Chang Cao, Ziyin Cao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22378.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022378
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    Background & Aims: Bryophytes, the second largest group of higher plants, are an important component of biodiversity. China is the country with the richest bryophyte diversity. In this review, we aim to summarize the direction of the research on bryophyte diversity since 2017, and appropriately prospect the direction of future research.
    Progress: Since 2017, Chinese bryologists have described 40 new species and 10 new genera in the world, completed several taxonomic monographs, established a new classification of Marchantiopsida, updated the species catalogue of Chinese bryophytes, and made encouraging progress in the studies of bryophyte phylogenomics, the relationships between bryophyte diversity and environment, and bryophyte diversity conservation, etc.
    Prospects: Five suggestions for future research on bryophyte diversity in China are proposed, including (1) strengthening the investigation of species diversity of important ecosystems, national parks and key groups; (2) accelerating genome-based bryophyte diversity research; (3) strengthening the research on bryophyte conservation; (4) strengthening the training of bryophyte diversity research talents in Northwest China; and (5) further strengthening international cooperation and building the bryophyte diversity platform of the “the Belt and Road” countries.

    Research status of ethnobotany (2017-2022)
    Zhuo Cheng, Qing Zhang, Chunlin Long
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22372.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022372
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    Background: The authoritative international documents involving the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Nagoya Protocol, and The Shenzhen Declaration on Plant Sciences, emphasize the significance of recognizing the important role of traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity. The role of traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity in the conservation and sustainable development of biocultural diversity has attracted increasing attention. Ethnobotany, as the most important discipline and direction for the study of traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity, has made a series of research progress in recent years. It has greatly promoted the completion of the sixth priority area of the “The Shenzhen Declaration on Plant Science”.
    Progress: This paper reviewed recent ethnobotanical research progress after “The Shenzhen Declaration on Plant Science”, mainly from the aspects of cognition, utilization, conservation and management of plants. It presented the research status in ethnobotany and provided information for future ethnobotanical development.
    Perspective: The recently obtained results show that ethnobotany research can solve some current hot issues. The study of ethnobotany has demonstrated that this discipline can greatly promote the protection of traditional knowledge, plant culture, and biocultural diversity, especially in the protection of landrace and endangered languages.

    A current and historical situation report of Chinese plant taxonomists
    Cheng Du, Jun Liu, Su Liu, Jinshuang Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22355.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022355
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    Aims: Within the north temperate zone, China has the richest and most diverse national flora, which has attracted the interest of western plant taxonomists since the 17th century. However, Chinese plant taxonomists had not started studying their own national flora independently until 1916. Since then, the history of their studies can be divided into three main periods, from the founding period before 1949 to the independent completion of national and relatively complete various local floras such as Iconographia Cormophytorum Sinicorum and Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae, and the completion of the English version of the National Flora of China by Sino-foreign cooperation after 1949, and then to the new generation of scholars in the 21st century who updated the Catalogue of Life China every year and began to lead the international plant taxonomy research work. Despite the flourishing appearance in past years, there are many problems in the current training of students in the plant taxonomy field, such as irrelevant systematic studies of taxonomic treatments as well as an insufficient approach to molecular evidence. Advice needs to be provided based on precise statistics.
    Methods: By systematically sorting out the detailed information of 3,154 plant taxonomists, excluding scholars who have not described novel plant species in over 10 years and who described only one species, a list of “active” scholars was generated. Author information from Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae, Flora of China, Chinese local floras, Flora of Pan-Himalaya and Catalogue of Life China (Plants) were also utilized, as well as a list of researchers of plant families in China.
    Results: There is superficial prosperity in the number of Chinese plant taxonomists, many of whom described new plant species solely for “utilitarian” purposes. With these factors excluded, the current number of active scholars is roughly the same as that in the late 1970s. In addition, many plant taxonomists are still ignorant of the close relationship between plant systematics and taxonomy and do not pay enough attention to molecular methods.
    Conclusion: Based on the historical data and current situation, we present six standards for contemporary taxonomists, encouraging skill analysis using hexagonal radar charts.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Fish diversity and spatial distribution pattern in the Nujiang River Basin
    Ke Yang, Chengzhi Ding, Xiaoyong Chen, Liuyong Ding, Minrui Huang, Jinnan Chen, Juan Tao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21334.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021334
    Abstract ( 1904 )   HTML ( 81 )   PDF (3853KB) ( 1761 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The Nujiang River is an important international river in Southwest China. It is known as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, and the region is rich in unique fish resources. Due to its geographical location and topographical conditions, there is a lack of systematic studies on the species diversity and distribution patterns of fish species in the Nujiang River Basin.
    Methods: In this study, fish composition information of the Nujiang River Basin was systematically sorted out based on data from a five-year field sample of the river basin, as well as data from literature, books and online databases. The spatial distribution patterns of the Nujiang River Basin fish species were analyzed via clustering and ordination methods.
    Results: The results revealed that there were 85 indigenous fish species in the Nujiang River Basin. These fishes belong to 5 orders, 12 families and 47 genera. There were also 18 exotic fish species that belong to 3 orders, 8 families and 16 genera, in addition, two exotic species were newly recorded by field investigation. The fish diversity in the Nujiang River Basin significantly increased from the upper reach to lower reach. According to the results of clustering and ordination analysis of fish composition, the 25 sub-basins of the Nujiang River can be divided into three parts: (1) The upper reach in the Tibet Autonomous Region, there were 15 species. Fish of Schizothoracine and Triplophysa were dominant species, indicating a typical fauna characteristic of cold-water fish in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. (2) In the middle reach from Gongshan to Lushui, there were 36 species. Aside from the cold-water fish species of the upper reach, fish of Barbinae and Labeoninae were also presented in this area. Fauna characteristics demonstrated the change from plateau fish species to plain fish species. (3) In the lower reach below Lushui, there were 74 species. Among them, the thermophilic fishes of Barbinae, Labeoninae, and Danioninae were widely distributed in the main stream, while a large number of Schistura and Glyptothorax fishes were more likely to be found in tributaries. The fish composition of this section has characteristics of tropical river and floodplain fauna. In recent years (2017-2021), several surveys have found only 43 native fish species together (50.6% of the historical records), and fishery resources in the Nujiang River Basin were decreasing significantly.
    Conclusion: Overfishing, development of small hydropower stations in tributaries, and the invasion of exotic fish species were the main threats to the native fish of the Nujiang River Basin. With the rapid increase in human activities, fish in the Nujiang River Basin were greatly threatened. Thus, systematic management and conservation planning for fish resources at the watershed-level are urgently needed.

    Explore the distribution and influencing factors of fish in major rivers in Beijing with eDNA metabarcoding technology
    Mei Shen, Ningning Guo, Zunlan Luo, Xiaochen Guo, Guang Sun, Nengwen Xiao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22240.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022240
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    Aims: We used eDNA metabarcoding to detect fish diversity in three river systems of Beijing during summer and autumn. The aim of this study is to explore new methods applicable to monitor and protect fish diversity and study the spatio-temporal patterns of fish community in Beijing.
    Methods: A total of 34 sites were surveyed simultaneously using the eDNA metabarcoding and ground cage methods. The main processes of the eDNA method are water sample collection and enrichment, DNA extraction with DNeasy Tissue and Blood DNA, PCR amplification with prism of MiFish-U, high-throughput sequencing by Illumina Miseq and bioinformatics analysis. The data of eDNA metabarcoding, environmental factors and human activity were used for statistical analysis between fish communities and influencing factors. The main processes of the ground cage with three replications were placed at each site waiting 24 h to be collected for species identification, and the species with number were recorded for subsequent analysis.
    Results: The result showed that 55 fish species were detected by eDNA metabarcoding was higher than that captured by the ground cage (35 species). The fish community composition was dominated by Cypriniformes and Perciformes. The diversity of clearwater fish in mountain rivers is significantly higher than urban rivers. Urban rivers (the Beiyun River System) were dominated by pollution-tolerant species such as Carassius auratus, Pseudorasbora parva and Misgurnus anguillicaudatus, with a relatively homogeneous community structure. Mountain rivers (Chaobai River System and Daqing River System) are dominated by Zacco platypus, Rhynchocypris lagowskii and Opsariichthys uncirostris. The community structure of clearwater fish was affected by electrical conductivity and total dissolved solids in summer but by altitude and temperature in autumn. The correlation between the abundance of clearwater fish with environmental factors and human activities showed that the abundance of clearwater fish decreased significantly with the increase by turbidity of water and human activities, and was significant correlation with altitude and temperature.
    Conclusion: The study used eDNA metabarcoding to show the diversity and spatio-temporal patterns of major rivers in Beijing, with a focus on the distribution of clearwater fish. The results demonstrate the feasibility of eDNA metabarcoding for monitoring fish diversity and spatial-temporal distribution in Beijing.

    The spatial-temporal patterns of bird diversity and its determinants in the small wetlands in Hefei City
    Ting Wang, Lizhi Zhou
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21445.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021445
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    Aims: Small wetlands are an important part of urban ecosystems and important shelters for wildlife. Bird diversity as an indicator of urban small wetland ecosystems, its spatial and temporal patterns are affected by many environmental factors. In this study, we studied urban small wetlands and their birds to identify the key environmental factors that affect the spatial and temporal patterns of bird diversity in small wetlands. We then make suggestions on the construction and management of urban small wetlands to promote the protection of urban birds and their habitat restoration.
    Methods: A total of 45 small wetlands in Hefei City were taken as research units, and we used the fixed radius method to investigate the distribution of bird species and their abundance from August 2020 to July 2021. A number of environmental factors were also measured, including wetland area, wetland shape, proportion of construction area, proportion of vegetation area, environmental noise, man-made disturbance, and urbanization index. The spatial and temporal characteristics of bird diversity in urban small wetlands were studied by α and β diversity analyses. Then, the model selection and model averaging based on information theory were used to determine the main environmental factors affecting α diversity of bird communities, and the multiple regression model based on distance matrix were used to determine the main environmental factors affecting β diversity of bird communities and their components.
    Results: A total of 13 orders, 39 families, and 102 bird species were found in the surveyed wetlands, including 31 waterbird species. There were 2 species in the List of National Second-Class Key Protected Wild Animals, 17 species in the List of Key Protected Wild Animals of Anhui Province, and 1 Vulnerable (VU) species on the IUCN Red List of Species. The results indicated that the α diversity and β diversity of terrestrial birds and waterbirds in small wetlands were both significantly affected by wetland area and urbanization index. The proportion of vegetation area had a strong effect on terrestrial bird diversity, while the proportion of construction area had a significant effect on waterbird diversity. Meanwhile, the species richness of waterbirds and terrestrial birds were both positively correlated with wetland area. The species richness of waterbirds was negatively correlated with the urbanization index, while the species richness of terrestrial birds increased initially and then decreased as urbanization increased. The species richness of terrestrial birds peaked at the small wetlands between intermediate urbanization intensities and low urbanization intensities. When the area of the wetland was about 4 ha, the wetlands could maintain more waterbird species. In addition, terrestrial bird species richness was positively correlated with the proportion of vegetation area, while waterbird species richness was negatively correlated with the proportion of construction area. Beta diversity and species nestedness increased with the increase of key environmental factors, while species turnover exhibited an opposite trend. Furthermore, the results of total β diversity and its compositions indicated that the turnover component of species was predominant, signifying that small wetlands have important conservation significance as a meta-ecosystem.
    Conclusion: Our study indicates that wetland area, urbanization index, the proportion of construction area, and the proportion of vegetation area were the key environmental factors affecting bird diversity in small wetlands. On the premise of protecting all small wetlands, we suggest that small wetlands with large areas should be retained and constructed. We must pay more attention to protect small wetlands with intermediate and low urbanization intensities. In addition, the area of natural vegetation should be retained and increased during the management and construction of small wetlands, and the number of artificial structures should be reduced.

    Multi-scale habitat selection of Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan
    Hualin Yang, Yuehong Cheng, Tianxiang Zhou, Xi Feng, Qiang Hu, Guiquan Zhang, Jian Yang, Jindong Zhang, Bin Wang, Caiquan Zhou
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21535.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021535
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    Aims: The habitat selection of animals is a scale-dependent ecological process, affected by environmental factors across spatial scales. Studying key factors which influence habitat selection across both spatial and temporal scales is tantamount to a comprehensive understanding of species’ resource requirements and effective habitat protection. Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii), an alpine-obligate Galliformes species native to China, has received a first-class National Protected Wildlife status with a high priority for global conservation. To our knowledge, no study to date has examined habitat selection of Chinese monal across spatial and temporal scales. In this paper, we detail how Chinese monal habitat selection patterns may reveal habitat in critical need for protection to facilitate its persistence and the conservation of biodiversity at scale.
    Methods: During October 2019 to October 2020, we constructed 15 transect localities and established a network of infrared camera monitoring stations in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan. In total, we sampled 303 quadrats, including both microhabitat used by Chinese monal and systematic controls and collected landscape-scale habitat usage data from 176 wildlife cameras. To examine spatial patterns in habitat selection of Chinese monal, we used principal component analysis (PCA) and logistic regression models to analyze the data at the microhabitat and landscape scales, respectively. Furthermore, our analyses separate data from breeding (March-August) and non-breeding (September-February) periods, which allowed us to examine interactions in habitat utilization at both spatial and temporal scales.
    Results: At the landscape scale, the Chinese monal showed similar habitat selection patterns during breeding and non-breeding periods, with significant preferences for habitats (1) at higher elevation (3,700‒4,300 m), (2) intermediate slopes (27°‒33°), (3) proximity to exposed slope-faces, and (4) a higher proportion of meadows and tundras (complimented by a lower proportion of forests and bushes). At the microhabitat scale, the Chinese monal displayed significant preferences for habitats with higher rock coverage during breeding period. However, during non-breeding period, habitats with higher herbage coverage and lower shrub and litter coverage were significantly preferred.
    Conclusions: Our research indicates that Chinese monal show habitat specificity at both landscape and microhabitat scales, as well as seasonal variation in microhabitat selection reflecting changes in resource demands at different life stages. These findings enrich our understanding of the life history, biology, and ecology of Chinese monal. Given the endangered status of this species, we believe our research can inform more effective habitat and population management in the Wolong National Nature Reserve and beyond.

    Effects of earthworm on tomato resistance under different drought levels
    Jiman Li, Nan Jin, Maogang Xu, Jusong Huo, Xiaoyun Chen, Feng Hu, Manqiang Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21488.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021488
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    Aims: Soil invertebrates have the potential to modify plant responses to drought stress. For example, some functional groups improve soil conditions via resource provision and water retention, potentially alleviating drought stress. This study was designed in order to mechanistically understand the functional roles of soil fauna in ecosystem services.
    Methods: A pot experiment using tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) was conducted in a greenhouse. This study adopted a complete factorial design that manipulated earthworm (Metaphire guillelmi) abundance and drought stress level.
    Results: Our results indicate that earthworms promote plant drought resistance under high drought stress, which significantly up-regulated gene expression (NCED, NSY, OPR, AOS and LOX) of abscisic acid and jasmonic acid biosynthesis, promoted the accumulation of abscisic acid and jasmonic acid by 43.2% and 33.6%, up-regulated transcription factor expression, and increased the activities of catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase by 12.9%, 8.4% and 47.3% in tomato shoots, respectively. However, under low drought stress, earthworms up-regulated jasmonic acid synthesis pathway gene expression, but reduced abscisic acid content, and had no significant effect on the expression of transcription factors ABF4 and MYC2 genes or plant antioxidant capacity.
    Conclusion: The effects of earthworms on plant resistance depends on drought level. This study confirms the importance of soil invertebrates in plant drought resistance including the potential impact of earthworms on plant hormone synthesis, signal transduction, and antioxidant capacity.

    Original Papers: Microbial Diversity
    Macrofungal diversity in different vegetation types of Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park
    Guohua Li, Xiangyang Guo, Linming Li, Mingxun Ren, Ling Wan, Qiong Ding, Juanling Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22110.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022110
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    Aims: To reveal macrofungal diversity and how different vegetation types affect the fungal community, an inventory of macrofungal diversity was carried out in seven management units within the Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park during the wet seasons (June to September) in 2020 and 2021.
    Method: Macrofungi were identified based on both morphology and analyses of ITS rDNA sequence data. A total of 562 fungal species belonging to 17 orders, 64 families, and 174 genera were identified from 1869 samples which were collected from 58 transects (ca. 1 km each).
    Results: The most common fungal orders were Agaricales, Boletales, Russulales, Polyporales, Cantharellales, Hymenochaetales and Xylariales, accounting for 80% of species in this study. Saprophytic and symbiotic fungi were the most common functional groups, comprising 48.2% and 44.8% of fungal species respectively. Species richness and abundance per transect were the highest (richness: 28 ± 5 and abundance: 33 ± 6) in mountain rainforest and the lowest in forest plantation (11 ± 1 and 11 ± 2). Effects of vegetation type on diversity index, species richness and abundance varied with trophic mode of fungi. Specifically, vegetation type showed significant effect on species richness (P = 0.026), abundance (P = 0.019) and Shannon-Wiener diversity index (P = 0.028) of symbiotic fungi, but not on saprophytic fungi. Multiple response permutation procedure (MRPP) showed that saprophytic (P = 0.004) and symbiotic (P = 0.041) fungal species compositions were significantly different among forest types. Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that vegetation types explained only a small portion of variances in species composition of saprophytic (R2 = 0.067, P = 0.004) and symbiotic (R2 = 0.068, P = 0.004) fungal communities. Elevation showed weak effects on saprophytic fungal community (R2 = 0.029, P = 0.001), while this effect on symbiotic fungal community was not significant (R2 = 0.024, P = 0.072). Compositional differences among protected lands were significant for both symbiotic (R2 = 0.148, P = 0.001) and saprophytic (R2 = 0.123, P = 0.002) fungal communities. Interaction network of transect-fungus showed that mountain Rainforests of Jianfengling, Bawangling, and Wuzhishan Nature reserves were characterized by highly diverse symbiotic fungal diversity.
    Conclusion: The Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park hosts highly diverse saprophytic and symbiotic macrofungi. The effects of vegetation types on diversity of fungi vary depending on trophic mode of fungi. Mountain rainforests of Hainan Tropical Rainforest National Park should be treated as conservation priority areas of symbiotic fungi and their host plant.

    Soil bacterial diversity and function in semi-arid forest parks in Baotou City
    Xuan Zhang, Wei Du, Ying Xu, Yonglong Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22245.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022245
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    Aim: Soil microorganisms are the main drivers of material cycling in urban park ecosystems, but there are few studies on the structure and function of forest soil bacterial communities in semi-arid urban parks.
    Methods: In this study, three typical forest parks, Olympic Park (AL), Laodong Park (LD) and Aerding Botanical Garden (ZW) in Baotou City were selected, and the bacterial 16S rRNA V4-V5 regions were sequenced using Illumina high-throughput sequencing techniques to analyze the diversity, community composition and the mechanism underlying community assembly of bacteria. The metabolic functions of the bacterial community were also analyzed using Tax4Fun.
    Results: The results showed that soil bacterial richness index were LD (2,443.00 ± 9.37) > ZW (2,392.90 ± 8.23) > AL (2,305.57 ± 17.48). Actinobacteriota, Proteobacteria, Acidobacteriota, Chloroflexi, and Gemmatimonadota were the dominant phyla. Bacterial community composition differed significantly among the three parks, and linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) results indicated that all parks harbored significant opertational taxonomic units in abundance. The neutral community model (NCM), normalized stochasticity ratio (NST), and the infer community assembly mechanisms by phylogenetic-bin-based null model analysis (iCAMP) showed that community assembly of bacteria in urban forests was determined by the combination of stochastic and deterministic processes, with drift and homogeneous selection being the dominant ecological processes. The results of Tax4Fun functional prediction indicated that metabolism involving membrane transport, carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism and signal transduction were the main metabolic functions of soil bacteria in these urban parks, and further analysis showed that the metabolic functions of microbial communities differed across parks.
    Conclusion: Our study investigated preliminarily the diversities, community assembly mechanisms and functions of bacteria in the semi-arid urban parks, which could provide basic data and scientific basis for urban park green space construction and ecological improvement.

    Original Papers: Genetic Diversity
    Conservation genomics analysis revealed the endangered mechanism of Adiantum nelumboides
    Weiyue Sun, Jiangping Shu, Yufeng Gu, Morigengaowa, Xiajin Du, Baodong Liu, Yuehong Yan
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21508.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021508
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    Aims: Understanding the mechanism that leads species to endangerment is crucial to the conservation of biodiversity. Adiantum nelumboides is a key wild plant that is protected at the national level, and its genetic diversity and endangerment mechanism are controversial.
    Methods: A total of 28 A. nelumboides samples, from six populations, were used to obtain single-nucleotide variation sites (SNP) by the genotyping by sequencing (GBS) method. The genetic diversity and structure of the population were analyzed and combined with the change in the potential distribution area of species under different climate scenarios. Then the possible causes of endangerment and scientific protection strategies of A. nelumboides were discussed.
    Results: The results showed that 29.6 Gb of data was obtained based on the GBS sequencing, and 9,423 high-quality SNP loci were screened. Adiantum nelumboides had low genetic diversity (Ho = 0.138, He = 0.232, Pi = 0.373), low genetic differentiation (Fst = 0.0202) and gene flow (Nm = 1.9613). The A. nelumboides samples are from two ancestral haplotypes, their genome size was 5.01‒5.83 Gb, they were tetraploid, and the GC content was about 39%‒41%. Under future climate change, the potential distribution area of A. nelumboides will increase slightly, in which the area of high fitness is lost. The primary areas that are suitable for the plant are distributed in Wanzhou, Chongqing and further north. The dominant factors affecting its distribution are monthly mean differences in diurnal temperatures and precipitation during the coldest season.
    Conclusions: Due to the low genetic diversity, lack of gene exchange between different populations, and changes in climatic conditions, suitable growth areas for A. nelumboides become narrow, resulting in a sharp decline in species diversity and population size. Therefore, their low regeneration ability and excessive disturbance from human activities might be the main reasons for the endangered status of A. nelumboides. It was recommended to strengthen in situ conservation of A. nelumboides. Measures such as habitat restoration and natural regression must be discussed to increase gene exchange across populations. At the same time, a core germplasm of this species must be constructed to prevent the aggravation of genetic resource loss.

    Cataloguing vascular plant diversity of karst caves in China
    Longfei Fu, Alexandre K. Monro, Yigang Wei
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21537.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021537
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    Aim: Caves are widespread geological structures within karst landscapes which is associated with diverse flora. In the last 20 years, dozens of new species from Chinese caves have been described, many of which are not in the current list of the Chinese cave flora. In this study, we aimed to generate an updated list of China’s cave flora to better reflect the species diversity and endemism of the ecosystem and raise attention to its importance for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
    Methods: We created a catalogue of all the Chinese cave plants by integrating the published regional lists of cave plants and reviewing the publications describing newly discovered species from Chinese caves. We utilized this information to generate an updated list of China’s cave flora of vascular plants. All accepted names were retained while the repetitive and unidentified names were eliminated based on the database of Plants of the World Online (POWO). The characteristics of the cave flora, the species distribution within caves, and the IUCN status of each species’ were analyzed.
    Results: From 2001 to 2020, one new genus and 170 new species (including infraspecific taxa) belonging to 31 genera and 16 families (APG IV and PPG I classifications) of vascular plants were described from karst caves in China. We documented 871 species belonging to 339 genera and 110 families of vascular plants from the karst caves mainly in the provinces of Chongqing, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan. The five most common families identified in caves were Gesneriaceae, Urticaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Begoniaceae, and Rubiaceae, accounting for 39.4% of the total cave plant species. The five most commonly identified genera were Primulina, Elatostema, Polystichum, Begonia, and Pteris, accounting for 25.1% of species diversity. Herbaceous species constitute over half of the cave flora, and 10.7% of species occupy the twilight zone. In comparison with angiosperms, the proportion of lycophytes and ferns in the twilight zone was higher, suggesting that they adapt easier to the extreme habitats of twilight zones. Furthermore, there were high levels of endemism of vascular plants in caves. There were 225 provincial endemic species, accounting for 25.8% of the total cave plant species. Among these, the proportions of non-cave endemism, multiple cave endemism, and single cave endemism were 11.0%, 3.3% and 11.5%, respectively. A total of 115 species (13.0%) were under threat of extinction according to the literature review. The most threatened families were those with newer species published in recent years, including Dryopteridaceae, Gesneriaceae, Urticaceae, Begoniaceae, and Rubiaceae. More detailed investigations should be conducted to refine the IUCN assessments of these taxa. In addition, molecular data are lacking for at least 36% of the species in our list.
    Conclusions: Our updated list suggests that caves are important for species discovery in China. Further investigations in caves are needed, particularly in Yunnan, Chongqing, and Hunan. We propose that most cave plant species probably originated from the karst forest understory and are therefore of great significance for the restoration of native karst vegetation and the combatting of desertification. For this reason, China’s cave flora should be further documented and protected.

    Diversity and composition of bird species in the Hubei Wufeng Houhe National Nature Reserve
    Yunrui Ji, Xuelei Wei, Guofeng Zhang, Minggui Xiang, Yongchao Wang, Renhu Gong, Yang Hu, Diqiang Li, Fang Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  21475.  doi:10.17520/biods.2021475
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    Aim: To determine changes in the composition and diversity of bird species in the Hubei Wufeng Houhe National Nature Reserve (HHNR), we established a checklist of bird species through transects, camera-trapping surveys and literature review, and compared it with the previous list obtained from the scientific survey of the HHNR in 1999.
    Methods: A total of 82 km transects were set up from 2017 to 2019 in the HHNR. The field surveys were conducted separately around April, June, and October each year. Camera traps were set up at 309 sites and recorded for 99,586 camera days cumulatively. The batteries and memory cards of the camera traps were switched quarterly. For our literature review, we used words such as “Houhe”, “Birds” and “Hubei Province” to search for relevant publications. We also checked the China Bird Watching Record Center ( to obtain bird observation records in HHNR.
    Results: There are 255 species of birds found in the HHNR, belonging to 16 orders and 55 families. Two species are listed as Class I national protected animals including Mergus squamatus and Aquila chrysaetos, while 46 species are listed as Class II national protected animals, including Tragopan temminckii, Nettapus coromandelianus, Accipiter virgatus, Strix aluco, Emberiza siemsseni, etc. In addition, a total of 11 Chinese endemic birds were recorded in the HHNR, accounting for 11.83% of endemic birds in China (n = 93). Oriental birds (n = 151 species, 59.22% of all bird species) dominated the avian fauna and were followed by widespread species (55 species; 21.57%) in the HHNR. By comparing with the results of the scientific survey of HHNR in 1999, the diversity of bird species has undergone certain changes. A total of 116 new bird species were recorded, including 15 nationally protected animals. The proportion of Oriental birds in the HHNR had increased. In addition, this survey did not record the Reeves’s pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) and White-eared Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus) which were distributed in the HHNR in the last century.
    Conclusions: The results indicate that the diversity of wild birds in the HHNR is high, along with high proportions of endangered and endemic animals. This study compared a current bird survey with previous baseline surveys and analyzed the dynamic changes in the HHNR, which can provide a scientific basis for the design of biodiversity monitoring programs and the formulation of protection countermeasures in the reserve.

    Species diversity, distribution and composition of polypores occurring in botanical gardens in China
    Yingda Wu, Xiaowu Man, Yuan Yuan, Yucheng Dai
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22213.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022213
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    Aims: Polypores are an important group of wood-decaying fungi with important ecological functions. Previous studies on the diversity and floristic composition of polypores were mostly in natural forests. Studies on the species, distribution and floristic composition of polypores in botanical gardens were largely unknown. This study systematically investigated the species, distribution and floristic composition of polypores in 31 botanical gardens in China, aiming to clarify whether the botanical gardens can effectively protect polypores while protecting plants.
    Methods: In this study, investigations on polypores in 31 botanical gardens from 31 Chinese provinces were carried out during 2010-2021. On the basis of species identification, we analyzed the species diversity, composition and distribution of polypores in botanical gardens and forest ecosystems.
    Results: A total of 164 polypore species was found based on the specimens collected from these gardens, and identified to 79 genera, 23 families and 6 orders. Among the 31 gardens, the species-richest gardens are Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XTGB) in Yunnan, Danzhou Tropical Botanical Garden in Hainan and Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plant in Guangxi, and 90, 46 and 37 polypores were found, respectively; While the most species-poorest gardens are Lanzhou Botanical Garden in Gansu Province, Xining Botanical Garden in Qinghai Province and Urumqi Botanical Garden in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, where only 4, 3 and 2 polypores were found, respectively. Among the 164 polypores, the three most common species Trametes versicolor, Irpex lacteus and Bjerkandera adusta were found in 24, 18 and 18 botanical gardens, respectively. Other 32 species, like Abundisporus mollissimus, were found in a single botanical garden only. Among the 164 polypores, the common species, occasional species and rare species are respectively 114, 40 and 10. The polypore and rare species in the investigated gardens account for 16% and 3.1% of the total Chinese polypores and the rare ones, respectively. Among the ten rare species, six were found in natural forests in XTBG, four were only found in plantations, and they account for 2.4% of total polypores found in the gardens and 1.3% of total rare Chinese polypores, respectively. Tropical, subtropical, temperate, widely distributed in North Hemisphere and boreal elements were discovered in the garden polypores, and corresponding species are 50, 45, 38, 20 and 11, and they account for 30.5%, 27.4%, 23.2%, 12.2% and 6.7% of the total garden polypores, respectively.
    Conclusion: Botanical gardens have less function for conservation of polypores, particularly for rare species. The majority polypores growing in botanical garden in our investigations are the common species. Nature reserves, national park or forest parks are the most important areas for conservation of polypores, especially the rare species.

    Data Paper
    Mitochondrial genome data of three aphid species
    Congcong Lu, Qian Liu, Xiaolei Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22204.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022204
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    The complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) have been widely used in the studies of molecular evolution, genomics and phylogeny. Aphids are important agricultural and forestry pests. Considering the reported complete mitogenomes of aphids are still limited, it will be of great value to obtain more aphid mitogenome data for related researches. This paper reports the complete mitogenome sequences of three aphid species, Greenidea ficicola, Aphis aurantii and Mindarus keteleerifoliae. The data of their detailed annotation, their gene sequence and gene structure, and the codon usage are also presented. These data can benefit future researches such as insect phylogenetic relationships, population divergence patterns as well as insect pest control.


    Database/Dataset Profile

    Title Mitochondrial genome data of three aphid species
    Authors Congcong Lu, Qian Liu, Xiaolei Huang
    Corresponding author Xiaolei Huang (
    Time range 2015-2017
    Geographical scope Quanzhou (Fujian), Fuzhou (Fujian)
    File size 48 MB
    Data format *.fasta, *.xlsx, *.tif
    Data link
    Database/Dataset composition The dataset consists of 7 data files in total, containing 3 sequence files, with a data volume of 50 KB; one excel data files, with a data volume of 37 KB; and 3 picture files, with a data volume of 47.4 MB.
    Angiosperm sexual systems-Concepts, evolution, ecology, and future directions
    Yunyun Wang, Zhanqing Hao
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22065.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022065
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    Aims: The angiosperm sexual system is a critical trait closely related to mutation accumulation and genetic diversity resulting from sexual reproduction, which could further significantly affect the evolution of extant angiosperm diversity and ecosystem stability. There is growing recognition that the sexual system plays an important role at various levels including population, community, and ecosystem and can also reflect the response of vegetation to environmental change.
    Progresses: We reviewed key research progress over the last three decades addressing important ecological issues based on the angiosperm sexual system, including evolution of sexual system diversity, the relationship between sexual system and phylogeny, ecological correlation of dioecy in angiosperms, mechanisms of community assembly and dynamics regarding sexual systems, variation of sexual system distribution along environmental gradients, and the effect and response of functional traits to ecosystem functions and disturbance. In addition, we also provided future recommendations, including research directions, methods and applications based on functional traits in plant science.
    Prospect: Sexual systems are not only a genetically determined trait but may also be an environmentally adaptive strategy to enhance plant fitness. We thus propose that sexual systems can also be used as an indicator or reference for biodiversity conservation and management of ecosystems under global climate change.

    Development dilemma and optimization path of public liability insurance for wildlife accidents
    Rui Song, Jing Deng, Tao Qin
    Biodiv Sci. 2022, 30 (7):  22291.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022291
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    Background & Aim: Since the public liability insurance for wildlife accidents was launched, there have been some problems, such as poor insurance implementation effect, inactive participation of insurance institutions, and difficulty in expanding insurance coverage. It has not performed well in effectively alleviating the contradiction between humans and animals, which hinders the implementation and implementation of biodiversity protection. In order to improve the implementation effect of public liability insurance for wildlife accidents and make it play an important role in protecting biodiversity, we studied the development dilemma and optimization path of public liability insurance for wildlife accidents.
    Methods: Taking Yunnan, Tibet, Zhejiang and Sichuan as examples, we clarified their application modes from the aspects of insurer, subject matter of insurance, insurance liability, insurance amount, insurance rate, subsidy mechanism, compensation standard and claim settlement procedure, compared the insurance modes to dig out the current restrictive factors in specific region.
    Results: The research showed that the main constraints for the development of public liability insurance for wildlife accidents are unscientific product design, insufficient financial funds, unfit regulations and imperfect insurance systems. These constraints weaken the effect of insurance implementation, restrict the participation of insurance institutions, hinder the expansion of insurance coverage, and slow down the promotion of insurance work, which made the public liability insurance for wildlife accidents unable to protect the interests of the affected people and unable to promote the protection of biodiversity.
    Suggestions & Perspective: It is of great value and significance to optimize the design of insurance elements, expand funding sources, improve supporting policies, and establish a public liability insurance system for wildlife accidents subsidized by the central government, which is led by the government and participated by many parties, to solve the conflict between humans and animals, support the protection of biodiversity, and establish a global life community.

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