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Table of Content
    Volume 31 Issue 6
    20 June 2023
    Botanical gardens in Guangdong Province holds rich plant diversity of ex-situ living collections. Many species have a long history of introduction and cultivation, and play an important role in social and economic development of agriculture, forestry and herbal medicine. In this issue, Shiyu Li et al (22647) evaluated the current situation of ex-situ conservation of plant diversity in Guangdong Province based on the living collections data. The cover image shows the phylogeny at the genera level of native vascular plants in the living collections of Guangdong Province, with the red tip indicating the gap in the botanical garden network, and the outer edge marking representative vacant taxa. (Photo provider: Shiyu Li)
      
    Special Feature: Provincial Plant Species Cataloging: Part II
    List of the wild woody plants in Henan Province
    Xiaoning Zeng, Penghang Wang, Mengfan Zhang, Jing Su, Zhiyuan Shi, Fuling Gao, Jiamei Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22306.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022306
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    Aims: Henan Province is located in the central part of China. Its complex and diverse geographical environment play an important role in the region’s rich plant diversity. A large number of plant specimens collected by predecessors have provided strong support for the publication of Flora of Henan. However, the Flora of Henan (Supplement and Revision) lacked a great deal of field investigation and omitted some previously published new records. We have updated the catalog to clarify the wild woody plant resources in Henan Province.

    Methods: Based on a review of published literature, including all specimens from Henan Province preserved in all the herbariums in China, and continuous field survey of all mountains in Henan Province during the past 5 years, this paper updates the checklist of wild woody plants in Henan Province, China. In this new checklist, the delimitation and arrangement of plant families followed new systems primarily based on molecular phylogenetics.

    Results: According to the revision of Flora of China, we recorded a total of 984 species with 32 subspecies, 148 varieties and 11 forms of wild woody plants in this checklist. This included synonyms of 5 genera, 102 species, 21 subspecies and 24 varieties from Flora of China, together with 6 genera, 194 species, 20 subspecies, 35 varieties and 1 form from Flora of Henan. 168 new records and 50 problematical taxa of wild woody plants from Flora of Henan were also listed in this checklist.

    Conclusion: Our results show that continuous field survey of plant diversity is still important in the Shangcheng, Xinxian, Tongbai, Xichuan, Lushi, and Lingbao in provincial boundary counties in Henan Province.

    Composition and historical changes of plant species diversity in Shanghai and the updated checklist of Shanghai vascular plants (2022)
    Cheng Du, Yuan Wang, Xiaoling Yan, Jing Yan, Huiru Li, Qingfei Zhang, Yonghong Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  23093.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023093
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    Aim: Shanghai has been acknowledged for its remarkable achievement in accommodating a dense population and effectively utilizing its land. However, the native plant species within the city have faced significant disruptions due to human interference, resulting in a decline in species diversity. Nevertheless, Shanghai boasts an area of immense botanical value, featuring a wide array of cultivated plants. In fact, it stands as the only region in China where the number of cultivated plants exceeds that of native plants. In order to safeguard the diversity of plants and promote the sustainable utilization of these invaluable botanical resources in Shanghai, especially in preparation for the forthcoming comprehensive regional biodiversity survey, we have taken on the task of updating the checklist of Shanghai vascular plants.

    Methods: This paper utilized the plant specimens and image information collected during extensive field surveys conducted over the years. Furthermore, collections and literature data were incorporated to supplement the cataloging data of species. Especially, the time when species were first discovered or recorded in Shanghai was determined based on the original records found in literature and specimens. Additionally, the names and systems of the included species were revised based on the classification revision literature of specific taxa and the latest advancements in molecular systematics.

    Results: The resulting checklist included a total of 4,126 species, infra-species taxa and cultivars of vascular plants. This included 1,238 wild and escaped plants and 2,888 cultivated plants from 211 families, 1,176 genera, and 2,782 species with 38 subspecies, 107 varieties, and 5 forms. Additionally, there were 1,194 cultivated varieties listed. The number of taxa included in the current version of the list has increased by 914 compared to the checklist of Shanghai vascular plants (2013 version), largely due to the inclusion of newly cultivated varieties. While only 34 new wild species were added, native plants saw an even smaller increase, with only 5 new species included. The survey revealed that 92 native plants were no longer present in the area, which suggested that the number of native plants in Shanghai has declined for the first time. This underscores the importance of conducting specialized surveys of native plants in Shanghai, particularly for those that have not been observed in several years. The history of the substantial increase in cultivated plant diversity in Shanghai was relatively short, spanning only 40 years. The number of original species of cultivated plants started to increase in 1980, and since 2010, there has been a significant surge in cultivated plants, with the majority being artificially selected varieties. This trend was largely influenced by factors such as socioeconomic status, human preferences, and cultivation management practices. The updated vascular plant checklist adopted new systems of delimitation and arrangement of plant families, which were primarily based on molecular phylogenetics. The reasons and references for scientific name changes were also provided. Additionally, an online dataset of the checklist was readily available to the public in Excel format, facilitating easy access, retrieval, and utilization of the data.

    Conclusions: Based on our results, we recommend that field surveys continue, with a particular focus on species missing from the recent survey. Additionally, since more than half of the newly added alien plants are invasive species, it is crucial to strengthen the investigation and monitoring of these plants.

    A checklist of vascular plants in Fujian Province, China
    Chang An, Yixue Zhuang, Ping Zheng, Yanxiang Lin, Chengzi Yang, Yuan Qin
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22537.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022537
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    Aims: To comprehensively understand the current status of vascular plants and provide background materials for the conservation of plant diversity in Fujian Province, the list of vascular plants in the region needs to be updated. This study revises and updates the species list of vascular plants in Fujian Province in the post-flora era.

    Methods: Based on Flora of Fujian, we refered to related literature, examined herbarium specimens, consulted relevant lists and databases, and incorporated the results of field investigations conducted by the authors and other front-line peers. The checklist of vascular plants in Fujian Province was sorted according to the latest classification systems of vascular plants (APG IV system, Yang system, and PPG I system). The list included the family and genus information, Chinese name and Latin name, and the county and city distribution information data sources for each species.

    Results: In total, there were 5,587 species belonging to 256 families and 1,807 genera of wild, naturalized, and cultivated vascular plants in Fujian Province (wild: 231 families, 1,402 genera, and 4,550 species). This included 414 species of lycophytes and ferns belonging to 102 genera and 32 families, 76 species of gymnosperms belonging to 38 genera and 10 families, and 5,097 species of angiosperms belonging to 1,667 genera and 214 families, respectively. Compared with Flora of Fujian, 8 families, 216 genera, and 1,107 species were newly added. The five largest families of lycophytes and ferns species were Dryopteridaceae (67), Polypodiaceae (51), Pteridaceae (51), Thelypteridaceae (42), and Athyriaceae (38). Among the gymnosperms, the families and the genera with the largest number of species were Cupressaceae (15 genera, 25 species) and Pinus (14 species), respectively. The top 10 largest families of angiosperms are Poaceae (452), Leguminosae (305), Compositae (279), Orchidaceae (244), Cyperaceae (225), Rosaceae (198), Labiata (188), Rubiaceae (126), Malvaceae (85), and Lauraceae (80), with a total of 2,180 species, accounting for 39.0% of the total number of vascular plant species in Fujian Province. The top five largest genera were Carex (94), Rubus (58), Ilex (54), Phyllostachys (38) and Persicaria (36).

    Conclusions: This work improves the species distribution profile and specimen information, thus providing basic information for the survey, assessment, and conservation of plant diversity in Fujian Province. Additionally, this study can be used to further develop botany-related disciplines, and the revision of Flora of Fujian.

    A checklist of wild vascular plants in Guangxi, China
    Yigang Wei, Fang Wen, Zibing Xin, Longfei Fu
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  23078.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023078
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    Aims: To comprehensively understand the current status of wild vascular plant resources in Guangxi and provide basic information for the corresponding biodiversity conservation practice, it is necessary to revise and update the checklist of vascular plants in Guangxi.

    Method: Based on the authors’ forthcoming book “Catalogue and Red List of Plant Species in Guangxi”, we updated the checklist of wild vascular plants in Guangxi.

    Results: The results showed 262 families, 1,793 genera, 8,221 species, 57 subspecies, 460 varieties, and 1 form of wild vascular plant in Guangxi. Among them there were 36 families, 118 genera, 699 species, 3 subspecies, 13 varieties, and 1 form of lycophytes and pteridophytes; and 7 families, 21 genera, 60 species, and 5 forms of gymnosperm; 219 families, 1,654 genera, 7,462 species, 54 subspecies, and 442 forms of angiosperms. In addition, 129 families, 385 genera, 1,209 species, 2 subspecies, and 49 varieties of karst obligate plants were counted in this paper, accounting for 14.42% of the total taxa in Guangxi. The top ten largest families of karst obligate plants are Gesneriaceae, Asparagaceae, Orchidaceae, Rubiaceae, Urticaceae, Begoniaceae, Acanthaceae, Primulaceae, Lauraceae, and Euphorbiaceae. In contrast, the top ten largest genera are Primulina, Begonia, Aspidistra, Elatostema, Spiradiclis, Polystichum, Petrocodon, Lysimachia, Strobilanthes, and Paraboea, respectively. 4 genera (Metapilea, Heteroplexis, Allostigma, and Gyrogyne) and 901 species, 3 subspecies, and 61 varieties of vascular plants are endemic to Guangxi, accounting for 11.04% of the total species in Guangxi. A total of 349 taxa of vascular plants in Guangxi are on the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants (2021). It accounted for 33.46% of the species of wild vascular plants under national key protected wild plants in China.

    Conclusions: The dynamic update of this checklist is the periodic summary and induction of wild vascular plants in Guangxi. There are still 253 suspected species to be confirmed. These species provide a clear direction for further improving the catalog of wild vascular plants in Guangxi. Therefore, this paper calls on related botanical researchers to conduct more in-depth investigations and research on wild vascular plant diversity in Guangxi.

    A dataset on inventory and geographical distributions of wild vascular plants in Hainan Province, China
    Caiqun Liang, Yukai Chen, Xiaobo Yang, Kai Zhang, Donghai Li, Yuexin Jiang, Jinghan Li, Chongyang Wang, Shunwei Zhang, Zicheng Zhu
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  23067.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023067
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    Hainan Province is an area with a large contiguous area of tropical rainforest in China. It is one of the key areas of biodiversity with the largest tropical rainforest area and the most abundant species diversity in China. During 2012-2015, the Inventory of Plant Species Diversity of Hainan, List of Species in Hainan, and Illustrated Handbook of Plants in Hainan were published in succession. The progress of related cataloging is relatively advanced in China. However, with the in-depth study of Hainan plants, the names of some vascular plant taxa originally recorded have changed after new taxonomic revision. The classification of families and genera and their names need to be adjusted. At the same time, the original classification system also need to be updated. Based on the List of Species in Hainan and Illustrated Handbook of Plants in Hainan, combined with experience from many years of practical field investigation, we systematically searched the literature to fill the gaps in the existing catalog data, checking for omissions and deficiencies. The name was revised, the classification system updated, and relevant information such as plant distribution areas and protection levels improved. Finally, the cataloging and distribution dataset of wild vascular plants in Hainan Province was complete. As of February 2023, the dataset had 4,945 records, including 39 species of lychophytes belonging to 6 genera of 2 families; 531 species of ferns belonging to 121 genera of 32 families; 27 species of gymnosperms belonging to 10 genera of 6 families, and 4,348 species of angiosperms belonging to 1,380 genera of 181 families. Among them, there were 173 species listed in the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants (2021) (8 species in the first class and 165 species in the second class); there were 4,769 species of native wild plants belonging to 1,448 genera and 216 families (including 516 endemic species of Hainan) and 176 species of exotic and naturalized plants (including 63 invasive species). Compared with the first edition of the List of Species in Hainan, the total number of wild vascular plants increased by 225 species. This dataset can be used as important basic data for vascular plant diversity monitoring and protection in Hainan Province.

    Database/Dataset Profile

    Title A dataset on inventory and geographical distributions of wild vascular plants in Hainan Province, China
    Author(s) Caiqun Liang, Yukai Chen, Xiaobo Yang, Kai Zhang, Donghai Li, Yuexin Jiang, Jinghan Li, Chongyang Wang, Shunwei Zhang, Zicheng Zhu
    Corresponding author Xiaobo Yang (yanfengxb@163.com)
    Time range 1994-2022
    Geographical scope Hainan Province
    Spatial resolution District (county)
    File size 759 KB
    Data format *.xlsx
    Data link https://www.scidb.cn/s/ZBbqy2
    https://doi.org/10.57760/sciencedb.09087
    https://www.biodiversity-science.net/fileup/1005-0094/DATA/2023067.zip
    Database/Dataset composition The dataset consists of 1 data file containing 1 sheet with 4,945 items (rows) and 15 fields (columns) as following: number, main categories of vascular plants, number of family, family name in Chinese, family name, genus name in Chinese, genus name, name in Chinese, scientific name, author, rank in the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants (2021), growth status, the symbol of growth status, distribution and habitat, data sources.
    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Ex situ conservation of plant diversity status and suggestions for the development of botanical gardens in Guangdong Province
    Shiyu Li, Yiqi Zhang, Pu Zou, Zulin Ning, Jingping Liao
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22647.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022647
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    Aims: The evaluation of living plant collections is critical for botanical garden to formulate conservation strategy and future development plans. This paper studies the current geospatial distribution of Guangdong botanical gardens and their status quo and problems of ex situ collections of plant diversity, aims to provide references for an updated conservation strategy of South China National Botanical Garden, a conservation network of Guangdong botanical gardens and the development of China’s national botanical gardens system.

    Methods: On the basis of investigation, we identify the geographic locations and vegetation zones of the all 15 botanical gardens in Guangdong Province with reference to the literature analysis of Chinese vegetation and Guangdong vegetation. According to the plant lists provided by the 12 botanical gardens, we quantify the living plant diversity in ex situ collections, analyze phylogenetic bias, threatened species representation and useful plant composition by synthesis of updated taxonomy, conservation categories and economic uses.

    Results: (1) There is an obvious bias in the distribution of Guangdong botanical gardens from the natural vegetation areas. The gardens are only located in the south subtropical monsoon evergreen broad-leaved forest zone and the north tropical semi-evergreen monsoon forest zone, but no one in the middle subtropical zone. (2) We reveal that the Guangdong botanical gardens manage at least 15,026 species, belonging to 3,030 genera in 329 families. Of which, there are 9,068 vascular plant species native to China, belonging to 2,131 genera in 275 families, equating to 23% of the known vascular plant diversity in China. (3) Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the Guangdong botanical gardens hold a remarkable degree of taxonomic coverage within ex situ living collections for Guangdong native vascular plants, accounting for 95% of the family, 80% of the genera, and 58% of the species, respectively. (4) The analysis of threatened status and key conserved species shows that the Guangdong botanical gardens preserved 64% of the provincial threatened vascular plants native to Guangdong, and 83% of the wild vascular plants distributed in Guangdong Province and listed in the List of National Key Protected Wild Plants (version 2021). (5) The analysis of useful plant collections shows that the Guangdong botanical gardens held 72% of the vascular plants in Guangdong Province in ex situ living collections, covering all the useful categories that are currently common, and the resource preservation rate of each category exceeds 69%.

    Conclusion: The results indicate that Guangdong botanical gardens play an important role in plant diversity conservation, but they should be integrated with in situ conservation institutions and adopted an updated conservation strategy to enhance future biodiversity conservation. We put forward some suggestions: (1) improving the regional ex situ conservation network system, with the South China National Botanical Garden as the core, geographical distribution of ex situ institutions and their integration with the natural reserve system. (2) building a comprehensive preservation capacity system for national collections, focus on increasing research collections of key taxa, undertake conservation collections of priority threatened species and coordinate core collections of germplasm, to expand both conservation efficiency and the utilization of wild plants resources. (3) establishing an experiment research system of “nursery cultivation-artificial community-inter situ planting” for key endangered species, implement an integrated conservation research plan, and promote plant diversity conservation, scientific research and sustainable use.

    Species and structural diversity of forest communities in Qianjiangyuan National Park and their impacts on the occurrence of black muntjac (Muntiacus crinifrons)
    Chenyang Lou, Haibao Ren, Xiaonan Chen, Xiangcheng Mi, Ran Tong, Nianfu Zhu, Lei Chen, Tonggui Wu, Xiaoli Shen
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22518.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022518
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    Aims: The species diversity and structural diversity of forest communities are important factors influencing wildlife habitat selection. Most previous studies on habitat characteristics of vulnerable Muntiacus crinifrons have investigated the effect of forest type on the occurrence of the species, while studies examining the effect of microhabitat factors on the occurrence of the species are relatively scarce.

    Methods: Based on data from 164 sites collected by infrared camera monitoring (camera-trapping) and 20 m × 20 m fixed vegetation plots in Qianjiangyuan National Park, this study investigated the characteristics of woody plant communities of four major forest types (evergreen broad-leaved forest, evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest, coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, and coniferous forest) in two dimensions: species diversity (the number of different plant species in a particular area) and structural diversity (the relative degree of diversity or complexity of vegetation in a habitat area), and their relation to the presence of black muntjac.

    Results: Statistical results indicated that the woody plant diversity of evergreen broad-leaved forest was significantly higher than that of coniferous forest (P < 0.05), and its structural diversity was significantly higher than that of evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest, coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, coniferous forest (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in species and structural diversity among the remaining forest types. No correlation between species and structural diversity of woody plants was found at our sample plots. The analysis of the microhabitat characteristics of black muntjac showed that the species preferred evergreen broad-leaved forest and evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest. The presence of black muntjac increased with the greater elevation and slope, which was also positively correlated with the DBH Shannon diversity of woody species and the average DBH of understory plants (woody plants with DBH < 5 cm). The higher the Shannon diversity index of woody plant diameter at breast height and the average diameter at breast height of woody plants < 5 cm, the higher the probability of black muntjac occurrence.

    Conclusion: Our results show that structural diversity has a real impact on black muntjac populations. Black muntjac prefers forests with high structural diversity coupled with dense growth of individual understory vegetation at high elevation (between 800-1,000 m a.s.l.) and steep areas. Our findings have important implications for habitat restoration and management as well as corridor site selection and construction for black muntjac in Qianjiangyuan National Park.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Investigation of the diversity of mammals and birds and the activity rhythm of dominant species using camera trapping in a fragmented forest in the Dujiangyan region, Sichuan Province
    Kunming Zhao, Shengbin Chen, Xifu Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22529.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022529
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    Aims: The impacts of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity are a critical research area in ecology and conservation biology. However, there is still insufficient understanding of how habitat fragmentation affects species diversity and activity rhythm. The purpose of this study is to investigate the diversity of birds and animals in fragmented forests and to explore the effects of patch size and stand age on the diversity of mammals and birds, as well as the daily activity rhythm of dominant species.

    Methods: From July 2018 to July 2021, researchers used infrared cameras to survey mammal and bird species in 21 fragmented forest patches located in the Dujiangyan region of Sichuan Province. The “vegan” package in R was used to generate the species accumulation curve; the linear mixed model of the “lme4” package in R was used to analyze the relationship between species richness and relative abundance index, and factors such as patch sizes, stand ages, and seasonal variations; the “overlap” package and “activity” package in R were used to analyze the daily activity rhythm and niche overlap of two dominant species and anthropogenic activities, through kernel density estimation and coefficient of overlap analyses.

    Results: This study documented a total of 63 species of wild animals, which belonged to 10 orders and 25 families. These species included 52 species of birds and 11 species of mammals. Notably, 12 of the recorded species are Class-II national protected animals, such as Macaca thibetana, Prionailurus bengalensis, Chrysolophus pictus, and Tragopan temminckii; 7 species are endemic to China, including M. thibetana, Muntiacus reevesi, and Bambusicola thoracicus; 1 species (Arctonyx collaris) is red listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable (VU), and two species (M. thibetana and Elaphodus cephalophus) are listed as Near Threatened (NT). The research found that the species richness and relative abundance index of mammals increased as patch sizes increased. However, there was no significant correlation between bird species richness and relative abundance index, and patch sizes. Stand ages did not have significant correlations with the relative abundance index of mammals and birds. Furthermore, the study showed that the bird species richness and relative abundance index were significantly higher in the dry season than in the wet season. In contrast, the relative abundance index of mammals was significantly lower in the dry season than in the wet season, while mammal species richness did not significantly differ between the dry and wet season. The daily activity rhythm curves of the two dominant species (i.e., C. pictus and B. thoracicus) were highly overlapping and showed no significant niche differentiation; the overlap of daily activity rhythm increased as patch size but decreased with stand ages. In addition, the diurnal activity of the two dominant bird species showed a noticeable avoidance of anthropogenic activities during certain times.

    Conclusion: Our findings indicate that forest fragmentation mainly affects mammal diversity and the daily activity rhythm of dominant birds. Therefore, it is crucial to enhance the use of new technologies such as infrared cameras to monitor, study and protect the diversity of wildlife in areas outside protected zones and national parks. Our results provide valuable insights for further studies on the impact of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity and species coexistence.

    DNA metabarcoding-based winter diet analysis of Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in the northern Greater Khingan Mountains
    Zhenjie Zhan, Chao Zhang, Minhao Chen, Jiadong Wang, Aihua Fu, Yuwei Fan, Xiaofeng Luan
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22586.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022586
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    Aims: The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is a key indicator and flagship species of freshwater ecosystems. Unfortunately, human disturbance and environmental changes have caused a severe decrease in Eurasian otter populations in China, even resulting in extinction in some areas. At present, the species is predominantly found in northeast and southwest China, with the northern part of the Greater Khingan Mountains being one of the most important habitats for Eurasian otter populations in the northeast. Studying the diet composition of Eurasian otter is a valuable tactic in understanding its interspecific relationship and the functioning of its ecosystem, which is essential when assessing their survival status and carrying out conservation efforts. The purpose of this study is to obtain the diet of Eurasian otter in the north of Greater Khingan Mountains using DNA metabarcoding technology.

    Methods: In this study, 50 suspected Eurasian otter fecal samples were collected from the northern Greater Khingan Mountains. Based on DNA meta barcoding technology, 35 samples were confirmed to be Eurasian otter fecal samples. Then, using DNA metabarcoding technology, species in the identified feces were analyzed to gain insight into the diet composition of the otters.

    Results: In this study, 22 species were identified as Eurasian otter fecal samples, including 15 fishes, 2 frogs, and 5 insect species. Cottus poecilopus had the highest relative frequency of occurrence (19.35%) and relative read abundance (27.32%) among all the vertebrate foods, followed by Rana amurensis (15.48% and 21.73%, respectively). At the family level, Cottidae had a significantly higher relative frequency of occurrence (32.26%) and relative read abundance (45.72%) than other fishes.

    Conclusion: The results of this study reveal that fish, primarily from the family Cottidae, are the main prey of Eurasian otters in the northern part of the Greater Khingan Mountains in winter, followed by frogs. In addition, some aquatic insects such as Odonata, Trichoptera and Plecoptera are found in a small amount of otter feces, which might come from otter prey. This research provides valuable insight into the survival status of otter populations, and can be used to inform the development of relevant policies and conservation efforts.

    Global distribution and number of overwintering black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis)
    Jiajia Chen, Zhen Pu, Zhonghong Huang, Fengqin Yu, Jianjun Zhang, Donghua Xu, Junquan Xu, Peng Shang, Dilimulati·Parhati, Yaojiang Li, Jigme Tshering, Yumin Guo
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22400.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022400
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    Aims: Due to low densities and secretive breeding behavior on mating grounds, bird surveys in winter are important for assessing population trends. The black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) was downgraded from Vulnerable (VU) to the Near Threatened (NT) conservation status in 2020, yet the latest version of its population survey was in 2014, which may vary from the current population size. This study aims to investigate the black-necked crane’s population size and overwintering sites to provide important information for conservation.

    Methods: Using the direct count method we surveyed the overwintering black-necked crane’s population size and location from January to March 2022 in Bhutan as well as in 4 provinces of China, namely Xinjiang, Tibet, Yunnan, and Guizhou. In roost sites, we used drone imagery to count densely distributed populations. The location of observation sites and the survey routes were recorded by 2bulu (v7.1.9-1217). Both the distribution map of the overwintering black-necked crane and the roadmap of the survey were drawn in QGIS (v3.22.2).

    Results: A total of 17,389-17,610 black-necked cranes were recorded in this survey, including 11,812-11,895 individuals in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and 5,577-5,715 in Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. A new overwintering site was found in Xinjiang.

    Conclusion: This study provides the latest record of the black-necked crane’s population and overwinter distribution. We also put forward suggestions on dividing overwintering populations in Tibet into the Xigazê overwintering population, the Lhasa-Lhoka overwintering population, and the Nyingchi overwintering population. The results may provide basic data for further conservation and ecological research on the black-necked crane.

    The influence of fence on black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) in southern foothills of Qilian Mountains
    Zhonghong Huang, Jiajia Chen, Lijia Wen, Zhen Pu, Cunxin Ma, Yayue Gao, Yumin Guo
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22554.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022554
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    Aims: As one of the most important pastures in China, the Qilian Mountains is covered with fences. Fence serve as a valuable tool to manage and protect wildlife. However, these also lead to the death of countless animals. Due to the Qilian Mountains being an area with high biodiversity, the fences in this area could cause a significant impact on wildlife, including black-necked cranes (Grus nigricollis). In order to better understand the influence of fences, at the southern foothills of Qilian Mountains, on the black-necked crane, a new study must be implemented that seeks to provide scientific evidence that can be used for evaluating the fence system throughout Qilian Mountains.

    Methods: From 2020 to 2021, our team installed a satellite transmitter on juvenile, black-necked cranes in the southern foothills of the Qilian Mountains. These allowed for the remote monitoring of juveniles, which allowed to determine any abnormal changes in activity. If a carcass was found, cause of death was determined. The post-fledging period and the fully-fledged period of black-necked crane are confirmed by time-series clustering. Kernel density estimation (KDE) and minimum convex polygon (MCP) were used to estimate home range and core area in fence habitats and non-fenced habitats. Mann-Whitney U test was used to test the difference between fence habitat and non-fenced habitat during the post-fledging period and the fully-fledged period.

    Results: The mortality rate of black-necked crane juveniles on the southern foothills of Qilian Mountains was 26.67% in 2020 and 20.00% in 2021. Among them, 50% of the deaths were caused by fences, with most deaths occurring near the Luanhaizi Wetland. The fence will not only cause injury or death to juvenile black-necked cranes but also significantly restrict the home range and core area of black-necked cranes during the post-fledging period. However, this restriction will be greatly reduced in the fully-fledged period.

    Conclusion: In order to reduce the impact of fence on black-necked crane, we suggest changing the type of fence used, with no inclusion of barbed wire. Furthermore, old fences should be removed when new fences are installed, and maintenance on these should be performed regularly. Lastly, the marking of fences should be considered in order to reduce collisions between these and black-necked cranes. This could result in the improvement of wildlife habitat in the southern foothills of Qilian Mountains.

    Does research activity affect nest survival of birds? A case study on the black-throated tit (Aegithalos concinnus)
    Qian Hu, Ye Wen, Lei Lv, Pengcheng Wang, Jianqiang Li, Jiliang Xu
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22570.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022570
    Abstract ( 193 )   HTML ( 12 )   PDF (853KB) ( 180 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The effects of research-related activity (i.e. nest visit and video-filming) on the nest survival of birds has always been of concern. Although recent studies have suggested that the effects are limited, most of these studies were conducted on birds building either open or cavity nests; however, studies demonstrating the effects of research-related activities on species building dome nests remain scarce. To explore the effects of researcher activities on the nest survival of birds building dome nests, we investigated whether researcher-related activities, including nest visit and video-filming, affected the daily nest survival rate of black-throated tit (Aegithalos concinnus).

    Methods: Data were collected in the Dongzhai National Nature Reserve of Henan Province between 2011 and 2018 and were analyzed for black-throated tits’ egg stage (egg-laying and egg-incubation) and nestling stage, respectively. Nest survival analyses were performed using the RMark in R.

    Results: The analysis of egg-laying stage (n = 215 nests) showed that neither researchers’ nest visit nor video-filming activities had a significant effect on the daily nest survival rate of black-throated tits. Similar results were obtained for the nestling stage (n = 200 nests); nest visit and video-filming did not significantly affect the daily nest survival rate of black-throated tits. Furthermore, the daily nest survival rate was not affected by nest height or nest age, but decreased significantly with the increase of egg-laying date at the egg stage and with the increase of hatching date at the nestling stage.

    Conclusion: Our results indicate that research-related activities do not have a significant impact on bird nest survival and are consistent with the findings of similar studies. Although research-related effects on bird nests are limited, researchers should still consider the potential impact of research activities on their research objective.

    Records and population status of sea turtles in the Zhejiang sea area of China
    Jingxuan Chen, Jiajun Zhou, Baoquan Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  23082.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023082
    Abstract ( 359 )   HTML ( 20 )   PDF (3159KB) ( 422 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The waters of Zhejiang Province in China host five species of sea turtles under first class protection in the List of National Key Protected Wildlife: the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and the olive ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea). Due to insufficient studies of sea turtles in the area, sea turtles in this region are not well understood. Therefore, we conducted a large-scale survey in the region and explored the population status of the five species.

    Methods: We retrieved and collected records of sea turtles in Zhejiang Province from various internet platforms, especially short-form video records from Chinese fishermen taken from August 1st, 2018 to December 31st, 2022, and thereby analyzed species composition and abundance in the region.

    Results: In total, we identified 109 records of sea turtles in this region from April 1st, 1981 to December 31st, 2022, comprising 234 individuals, among which 79.1% are loggerheads, 9.4% are green turtles, 6.0% are leatherbacks, 4.3% are olive ridleys and 1.3% are hawksbills. The majority of the records were obtained from short-form video platforms.

    Conclusions: These results indicate that loggerheads make up the largest proportion of the sea turtle population in the sea areas of Zhejiang Province, followed by the green, the leatherback, the olive ridley, and finally the hawksbill. The results prove that the East China Sea is of great importance to the turtles, especially the loggerhead. The study also proves the significance of citizen science projects in the daily monitoring of marine reptiles.

    Soil multitrophic ecological network structure of agroforestry rubber plantation in Xishuangbanna
    Wenting Wang, Rong Wang, Cuiping Niu, Yang Bai, Xiaodong Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22626.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022626
    Abstract ( 222 )   HTML ( 17 )   PDF (10558KB) ( 245 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Monoculture rubber plantations present a serious threat to regional biodiversity by reducing the ecological structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems in Xishuangbanna. The present research was conducted to (1) develop mitigation strategies to improve soil health under land use intensification and (2) to clarify the diversity and network complexity of soil multitrophic organisms under the influence of different land use types.

    Methods: We set sampling sites in the following land use types: monoculture rubber plantation (MRP), rubber with Camellia sinensis (RCS), rubber with Flemingia macrophylla (RFM) and tropical rainforest (TRF). We collected soil samples in the dry (March) and wet (September) seasons. Soil physico-chemical properties, soil enzyme activities, litter mass and root mass were measured. Relevant soil organisms at the multitrophic level were selected for network analysis. Co-occurrence network analysis methods were used to elucidate the complexity of different trophic levels of biological networks in the different land use types.

    Results: The results showed that: (1) richness of fungi and arthropods in rubber plantations was lower than tropical rainforest but bacteria and nematode were densely populated in RFM; (2) when examining samples collected in the dry season, when compared with MRP, the soil multitrophic biological network complexity of the RCS was significantly higher (the number of edges and nodes increased by 38.26% and 37.59%, respectively). Similarly, the proportion of soil arthropods increased in the network structure. The RFM, when compared to MRP, showed significant increase in the complexity of soil multitrophic biological network (the number of edges and nodes increased by 23.38% and 31.58%, respectively). When examining samples collected in the wet season, RFM showed significantly more connecting and modular centers dominated by herbivorous nematodes, root-knot nematodes, ectomycorrhiza and rhizobia; and (3) RFM showed significant increase in the total soil carbon and nitrogen content in dry season but increase in enzymatic activities of β-1,4-glucosidase and acid phosphatase in the wet season.

    Conclusion: Our study provides a methodological approach that can accurately predict biological indicators of soil quality for agro-rubber forests. Moreover, we have generated a comprehensive dataset and technical support for the establishment and improvement of sustainable environmental-friendly rubber plantations.

    Vigilance towards species endangerment and biological invasion risks: Investigating beetle trade on Chinese e-commerce platforms
    Chen Wei, Yijie Tong, Yan Zeng, Ming Bai, Xia Wan
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22541.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022541
    Abstract ( 653 )   HTML ( 13 )   PDF (2528KB) ( 409 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Beetles are one of the most diverse and species-rich groups of animals. Many of them have commercial values as collections or pets except for their important roles in scientific research. There is, however, little knowledge about the beetles’ trade in popular Chinese via the popular e-commerce platforms.

    Methods: We investigated the trade form and quantity of beetle deals through the platforms in two years (October 2018-October 2020) in this study.

    Results: The results showed that the dominant forms for beetle trades were specimens and living bodies dealing. There were 486 species belonging to 234 genera in 24 families on the online categories, with a total transaction amount of about 189,407,277 RMB. Among of them, 13 families and 175 genera, including 355 species were involved in the specimen deal. Living beetle transactions covered 157 species belonging to 98 genera within 21 families, in which included 6 invasive species in 6 genera of 4 families and 15 agricultural and forestry pests in 15 genera of 11 families. Besides, 7 species belonging to 5 genera, 4 families were on the “The list of National Key Protected Wild Animals in China”; one species was on the “List of CITES Appendix II”; 15 species within 10 genera, 5 families were included in the “The List of National Protected Terrestrial Wild Animals with Benefits or Important Economic and Scientific Values in China”.

    Conclusion: The trade of living beetles, especially from overseas, could bring out the biological invasion, pest damage and pathogen transmission, or highly increase the risk of losing genetic diversity for endemic species, even cause the local species extinction. As a summary, our suggestions are presented on supervising the beetle trade through the e-commerce platforms.

    Original Papers: Microbial Diversity
    Impact of Phyllostachys edulis expansion to Chinese fir forest on the soil bacterial community
    Yinger Mao, Xiumei Zhou, Nan Wang, Xiuxiu Li, Yuke You, Shangbin Bai
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22659.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022659
    Abstract ( 335 )   HTML ( 11 )   PDF (1046KB) ( 170 )   Save
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    Aims: Soil microorganisms are an important component of forest ecosystems, and the expansion of bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) causes changes in vegetation types, thereby affecting soil microbial communities. The purpose of this study is to reveal the impact of bamboo expansion into Chinese fir forests on soil bacterial communities.

    Methods: In Nanshan Village, Yuqian Town, Lin’an District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, with pure Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) forest (s) as the control, two kinds of stands of mixed bamboo and Chinese fir forest (h) and pure bamboo forest (m) were selected to explore the impact of bamboo expansion on soil bacterial communities of Chinese fir forest through high-throughput sequencing techniques.

    Results: The expansion of bamboo led to a decrease in the alpha diversity of soil bacterial communities in Chinese fir forests. Compared with Chinese fir forests, the bacterial diversity and richness in mixed forests was decreased by 2.4% and 8.6%, but there was no significant difference, and in moso bamboo forest land was decreased by 5.9% and 16%, with significant differences (P < 0.05). After the expansion of Chinese fir forest by bamboo, the relative abundance of soil bacterial flora was changed; The relative abundance of Proteobacteria, Unassigned, and Verrucomicrobia in Chinese fir forests was the highest, accounting for 32.39%, 3.7%, and 3.2%, respectively; The relative abundance of Acidobacteria and Bacteroides in bamboo forests was the highest, accounting for 45.05% and 5.19%, respectively; The relative abundance of Planctomycotes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi in the mixed forest was the highest, accounting for 7.51%, 6.79%, and 5.12%, respectively. After the expansion of bamboo into a mixed forest, the relative abundance of Planctomycotes and Actinobacteria increased significantly (P < 0.05), increasing by 3.12% and 2.71%. The relative abundance of Elusimicrobia and Germatimonadetes decreased significantly (P < 0.05), decreasing by 0.43% and 0.36%; The relative abundance of Thaumarchaeota decreased significantly (P < 0.05). The beta diversity analysis results showed that bamboo expansion had a significant impact on the soil bacterial community structure of Chinese fir forests (P < 0.05). The soil bacterial structure of bamboo forests and bamboo fir mixed forests was grouped together and separate from the Chinese fir forests. LEfSe analysis showed that the relative abundance of Nitrospira, Gemmatimonadaceae, and Mycobacterium could be used as an indicator for the changes in soil bacterial community structure in the expanded fir forest of bamboo. Soil NH4+ may be the main soil environmental factor that causes changes in bacterial communities.

    Conclusion: These results indicate that the expansion of bamboo into moso Chinese fir forests can cause changes in the soil bacterial community in the forest land, providing basic data for understanding the cycling of soil carbon and nitrogen, expansion mechanism, and expansion regulation of bamboo.

    Reviews
    Effects of mate behavioral compatibility on animal reproduction
    Yuansi He, Yixuan Zhang, Daiping Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22534.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022534
    Abstract ( 218 )   HTML ( 11 )   PDF (606KB) ( 237 )   Save
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    Background & Aim: Mate compatibility is often used to explain why animals have different mate selection tendencies and reproductive success. It is related to the interaction of genes, traits and other aspects between the two sexes. Mate compatibility includes genetic, morphological, and behavioral compatibility, directly or indirectly affecting the reproduction of animals. In recent years, behavioral compatibility is receiving extensive attention since it is related to the maintenance and evolution of personality and the ability of species to adapt to environmental changes. However, further studies are needed on this topic in China.

    Progress: Based on the representative studies over the years, we briefly review the research history and definition of mate compatibility and its impact on reproductive success. Specifically, we expound the research progress of behavioral compatibility and its development potential in evolution and conservation, so to reflect its great significance for the study of why some species become endangered and the recovery and maintenance of animal population. This could help to promote the protection of the entire ecosystem and biodiversity in the region through the protection of flagship species and umbrella species. Also, we put forward the prospect of the future research direction and improvement of techniques.

    Conclusion: More attention should be paid to behavioral compatibility. The development of these fields will rely on innovations in research methods and tools, multidisciplinary integration, and rigorous experimental design.

    Research progress on the effect of urea on bacterial and fungal diversity in soil
    Xiaohua Zhu, Cheng Gao, Cong Wang, Peng Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22636.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022636
    Abstract ( 286 )   HTML ( 19 )   PDF (625KB) ( 275 )   Save
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    Background & Aim: Soil microbiome plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling and maintenance of soil ecosystem function. Nitrogen is a key limiting nutrient in plant growth, while the inactive nitrogen in the atmosphere cannot be directly absorbed and utilized by plants. Soil nutrition is supplemented mainly by applying urea to sustain and elevate crop yields in our country. In recent years, with the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing techniques and bioinformatics, the response of soil microbiome structure to urea application has been thoroughly studied. This study intends to review the pattern and mechanism of effects of urea application on soil microbial diversity and composition.

    Progress: Urea application regulates soil microbial diversity and composition by affecting soil and plants. The threshold value of applying urea to reduce soil bacterial diversity in farmland (excluding rice and rice-wheat fields) is 200 kg N·ha-1·yr-1, and the threshold for reducing fungal diversity in wheat fields is lower than the threshold for bacterial diversity. The threshold value of urea response in rice field or rice-wheat rotation farmland is higher than that in other farmland types; fertilization increases the number of eutrophic bacteria and decreases the number of oligotrophic bacteria; urea application increases the relative abundance of saprophytic fungi and pathogenic fungi, and reduces the relative abundance of mycorrhizal fungi.

    Prospects: We suggest that the food web in soil should be paid more attention in future research, and point out that the design of parallel primers and the use of multi-omics methods to study soil microorganisms are necessary.

    Conservation and Governance
    A comparative analysis of the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals and other wildlife protection lists
    Jinfeng Chen, Xinjing Wu, Hai Lin, Guofa Cui
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  22639.  doi:10.17520/biods.2022639
    Abstract ( 599 )   HTML ( 31 )   PDF (2932KB) ( 516 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The List of State Key Protected Wild Animals is a crucial legal foundation that guides the implementation of species conservation efforts, especially rescue plans for endangered species. The recently published and implement 2021 version of the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals, represents the first major revision in 32 years and is of immense importance for biodiversity conservation in China. Our study aims to assess the efficacy of its species conservation measures dictated by the List, offer insights, and aid future revisions.

    Methods: Our study has summarized and organized a total of 1,520 species (with subspecies) based on the new version of the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals. We then selected four wildlife lists that are representative and relevant to conservation and conducted a statistical analysis of the conservation status and level of threat for the same species across different lists.

    Results: The results indicate that the new version of the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals has broadened the scope of wildlife protection by adding 1,038 species to the previous list of 482 species (with subspecies) which was compiled in 1989, as we previously summarized. Of the new additions, 43 species have been categorized as national category I and 995 as national category II. Moreover, the protection category of some species has also been revised (3 species downgraded to national category I, 66 species upgraded to national category II, and 413 species in total maintaining the same category). However, despite these positive changes, according to China’s Red List of Biodiversity: Vertebrates (2021 Edition) more than half of the endangered species in China are still not covered in the new version of the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals.

    Conclusion: To promote the comprehensive and effective protection of endangered species in China, it is recommended that future adjustments to the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals give comprehensive attention to the endangered species on the list. If species in the Critically Endangered and Endangered categories are listed as national category I key protected wildlife, the existing 164 national category II key protected wildlife should be upgraded to national category I key protected wildlife, and 162 new wildlife species should be added to national category I key protected wildlife. Additionally, if species in the Vulnerable category are listed as national category II key protected wildlife, 340 new national category II key protected wildlife should be added. A comprehensive database of the List of State Key Protected Wild Animals can be established to achieve standardized and dynamic management of the list.

    On the spatiotemporal development and driving factors of national parks in China and the United States
    Shidong Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2023, 31 (6):  23040.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023040
    Abstract ( 282 )   HTML ( 16 )   PDF (389KB) ( 234 )   Save
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    Aims: As the largest developing and developed countries in the world, China and the United States, respectively, have achieved significant achievements in the construction of national parks that reflect the important symbols of a country’s civilization and progress. China’s national parks are still in their early stages and would therefore benefit from an understanding of the development experience of the United States in order to engage in healthy and sustainable development of national parks in China.

    Method: This article adopted a research method that combined comprehensive induction with in-depth research, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and historical assessment in order to address practical needs. Through a comprehensive analysis of the development process of national parks in China and the United States, we conducted a systematic study on their connotation and extension, construction concept, development stage, spatial pattern, driving factors, along with several other aspects.

    Results & Conclusion: The results show that China and the United States have many similarities and differences in the basic concepts of national parks, spatiotemporal development and evolution, and the driving factors associated with that evolution. The basic concepts and construction concepts of national parks in China and the United States are similar, and both are composed of national parks, national park systems, and natural reserve systems. Although China constructed national parks more than 100 years after those developed in the United States, China has a strong late-development advantage in accordance with the medium and long-term development strategy. By 2035, China will reach or even surpass the United States in the number, scale, spatial distribution, comprehensive capacity, and other aspects of the development of national parks. The driving factors of national parks in China and the United States include painter enlightenment, scholar appeal, government contribution, social cooperation, and technological assistance. If we can seek common ground while reserving differences, we can benefit from each other and jointly promote the harmonious progress of human civilization.


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