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    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Effects of genotypic diversity on vegetative growth and reproductive strategies of Scirpus mariqueter population
    Lejie Wu, Zekang Liu, Xing Tian, Qun Zhang, Bo Li, Jihua Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23478.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023478
    Abstract ( 441 )   HTML ( 13 )   PDF (1797KB) ( 264 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Biodiversity is crucial for ecosystem functioning, while intraspecific genotypic diversity constitutes a vital component of biodiversity, and its effects at the population level remain unclear. To bridge that gap, we conducted an experiment examining the effects of genotypic diversity on vegetative growth and reproductive strategies.

    Methods: This study manipulated the genotypic diversity of an endemic coastal wetland species, Scirpus mariqueter, in China (1, 2, 4, and 8 genotypic diversity), and examined the influence of genotypic diversity on the population’s vegetative growth, asexual reproduction, and sexual reproduction.

    Results: Genotypic diversity significantly influenced the productivity of S. mariqueter populations by increasing total biomass and average plant height. Genotypic diversity influenced asexual reproduction, in which corm number, corm biomass, and number of ramets were significantly increased. However, it did not have a significant effect on sexual reproduction. Overall, S. mariqueter populations with high genotypic diversity altered their reproductive strategy to allocate more energy to asexual reproduction. This change would provide S. mariqueter a greater ability for local colonization, which in turn would affect saltmarsh ecosystem processes.

    Conclusions: Genotypic diversity has a significant effect on vegetative growth and reproductive strategies of this wetland plant. These findings highlight the significant role of plant intraspecific genotypic diversity in ecosystem functioning, especially in the population dynamics and sustainability of saltmarsh ecosystems which are often characterized by a single dominant plant species.

    Spatio-temporal changes in biodiversity of epiphyllous liverworts in Qingyuan Area of Qianjiangyuan-Baishanzu National Park, Zhejiang Province
    Qi Wu, Xiaoqing Zhang, Yuting Yang, Yibo Zhou, Yi Ma, Daming Xu, Xingfeng Si, Jian Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  24010.  doi:10.17520/biods.2024010
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    Aims: Epiphyllous liverworts are a unique group with the highest endemism rate amongst bryophytes. Their special physiological and ecological characteristics make them extremely sensitive to climate change and anthropogenic disturbances, rendering them one of the most important groups of bryophytes in need of monitoring and protection. To understand temporal variation in the composition and diversity of epiphyllous liverworts species from 1990 to 2020, the present study conducted systematic sampling and comparative analysis of epiphyllous liverworts in the Qingyuan Area of Qianjiangyuan-Baishanzu National Park, Zhejiang Province.

    Methods: Utilizing the Qingyuan Area of Qianjiangyuan-Baishanzu National Park as the study area, systematic investigation of the diversity of epiphyllous liverworts was carried out at three conservation sites (Baishanzu, Shijiuyuan, Wulingkeng) and compared to historical records of epiphyllous liverworts species. Changes in species richness, taxonomic β-diversity, and functional β-diversity of epiphyllous liverworts were then analyzed in both temporal and spatial dimensions.

    Results: Thirty-one species of epiphyllous liverworts, belonging to ten genera in four families, were reported in the Qingyuan Area in 2020. Compared with historical data, 7 species of epiphyllous liverworts were newly identified while 14 species were not collected. Among the three sites investigated, the number of epiphyllous liverwort species in Wulingkeng increased over the past 30 years, but the number of species in Baishanzu and Shijiuyuan areas decreased. The total functional richness of epiphyllous liverwort species showed a decreasing trend over time at all conservation sites, but the taxonomic and functional β-diversity of species in Baishanzu were the highest among the three sites. Taxonomic β-diversity analysis showed that “turnover” component was most important, while the “nestedness” component was most important for functional β-diversity. Compared to 30 years ago, the taxonomic and functional β-diversity of the epiphyllous liverworts were on the rise, suggesting a positive trend in species heterogeneity at all three conservation sites.

    Conclusion: Given the obvious changes in species composition of epiphyllous liverworts over time, as well as the exacerbation of differences in species composition between different regions over time, it is suggested to conduct similar studies in other centers of occurrence of epiphyllous liverworts in China in order to update species data in a timely manner. It is also suggested to strengthen the connectivity and protection of epiphyllous liverworts between different distribution areas combining with the construction opportunities of national parks.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Bird community diversity patterns and their drivers in the Qinghai region of Kunlun Mountains
    Bin Li, Pengfei Song, Haifeng Gu, Bo Xu, Daoxin Liu, Feng Jiang, Chengbo Liang, Meng Zhang, Hongmei Gao, Zhenyuan Cai, Tongzuo Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23406.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023406
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    Aims: Kunlun Mountains is a crucial part of Qinghai-Xizang Plateau that presents a challenging environment for wildlife surveys and community research due to its high-elevation, cold, and hypoxic environment. This study aims to reveal patterns of avian community diversity across different regions, and their drivers.

    Method: Surveys were conducted on wild birds within the Qinghai region of the Kunlun Mountains in the December 2021 and July 2022 using the line transects method. A total of 102 grids, each measuring 10 km × 10 km, with different altitudinal gradients and habitat types were investigated. Bird community diversity across different regions was calculated using R software. Subsequently, environmental variables were extracted using ArcGIS software, and a generalized additive model (GAM) was employed to fit the potential non-linear relationships between diversity indices and various variables.

    Results: A total of 87 bird species representing 14 orders, 31 families, and 59 genera were recorded. Among these, 5 species were classified as first-class national protected wildlife, 11 species were classified as second-class national protected wildlife, and 8 species were identified as local new distributions. The analysis of distribution patterns demonstrated higher avian community diversity during summer compared to winter, with grassland and meadow habitats showing significantly greater diversity than other habitats. Furthermore, bird community diversity during both winter and summer exhibited similar single peak patterns along the altitudinal gradient. Climate variables revealed seasonal differences in bird diversity, with precipitation of coldest quarter significantly impacting richness during summer and annual precipitation during winter. Additionally, isothermality and temperature seasonality had the most substantial impact on the Shannon-Wiener and Simpson diversity indices in both winter and summer. These findings underscored the significance of water resources and stable climatic conditions on bird community diversity in the Qinghai region of the Kunlun Mountains.

    Conclusion: This study provides a scientific foundation for the conservation of the bird resources in the Kunlun Mountains, and offers crucial data for the planning and establishment of national park in future.

    Earthworm biodiversity and its influencing factors in Baotianman National Nature Reserve
    Xuemeng Li, Jibao Jiang, Zenglu Zhang, Xiaojing Liu, Yali Wang, Yizhao Wu, Yinsheng Li, Jiangping Qiu, Qi Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23352.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023352
    Abstract ( 174 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (736KB) ( 166 )   Save
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    Aims: Baotianman National Nature Reserve is located in the southern Funiu Mountain range in the eastern Qinling Mountains. It is one of the hotspots of biodiversity research. However, the current understanding of earthworm diversity is limited in the literature. Our study aims to investigate the earthworm diversity and their geographical distribution in Baotianman National Nature Reserve, and to discuss the potential factors impacting the formation of earthworm diversity at a local scale.

    Method: Earthworm specimens were collected from nine sampling sites at different altitudes in Baotianman National Nature Reserve during the rainy season using digging and hand-sorting method. Subsequently, five mitochondrial genes (COI, COII, ND1, 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA) were extracted from the tail of the earthworms, and then sequenced. The phylogenetic tree was constructed using the Bayesian method based on the five mitochondrial genes. The standardized effect size-phylogenetic diversity (SES-PD), net relatedness index (NRI), net nearest taxa index (NTI) and α diversity index were calculated using R. Additionally, structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to assess the potential environmental factors influencing the formation of earthworm diversity. The combination of morphological and molecular methods facilitated the identification of the collected earthworms.

    Results: A total of 14 earthworm species belonging to 5 genera and 3 families. The majority of these species were widely distributed across China with Megascolecidae as the dominant family. Earthworm species richness in the Baotianman National Nature Reserve increased with the altitude. However, the species diversity of earthworm at the altitude of 500-1,000 m was particularly abundant with a more uniform species distribution, which was consistent with the middle height expansion pattern. At the local scale, altitude exerted the greatest influence on both the species and phylogenetic diversity of earthworms, followed by soil properties and litter quality.

    Conclusions: Baotianman National Nature Reserve stands out as a significant hotspot for earthworm diversity. The α diversity at the altitude of 500-1,000 m conforms to the middle height expansion pattern. The altitude, soil properties and litter quality play important roles in the formation of species diversity and phylogenetic diversity of earthworms, respectively. The study of earthworm species composition and diversity in Baotianman National Nature Reserve has enriched the species and gene bank of earthworms in China.

    Original Papers: Microbial Diversity
    Soil protozoa community assembly mechanism in different vegetation types of Luya Mountain
    Mengyao Zheng, Yuan Li, Xuerong Wang, Yue Zhang, Tong Jia
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23419.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023419
    Abstract ( 153 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (1619KB) ( 164 )   Save
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    Aims: Protozoa are important components of soil microbial communities, playing dual roles as decomposers and reducers in ecosystems. They are instrumental in maintaining ecosystem balance, health, and acting as hubs for energy flow. Vegetation type is an important ecological factor affecting the characteristics of soil microbial communities, and the diversity of microbial communities also varies under different vegetation types. Most of the studies have focused on soil bacterial and fungal communities, and there are relatively few studies on the assembly mechanisms of protozoan community under different vegetation types. Meanwhile, the trade-offs in the community assembly processes closely relate to biological attributes and habitat conditions. It is of great significance for exploring the characteristics and construction processes of soil protozoan communities under different vegetation types, which could strengthen understanding the assembly mechanisms of protozoan community diversity in various ecosystems and strengthening biodiversity conservation.

    Method: This study used high-throughput sequencing techniques to explore the diversity of soil protozoan communities under forest, shrub and grassland in the Luya Mountain. We aimed to reveal the soil protozoa community assembly mechanisms.

    Results: The results showed that soil protozoan communities encompassed 9 kingdoms, 23 phyla, 58 classes, 117 orders, 215 families, 335 genera, and 1,979 operational taxonomic units in the Luya Mountain. There were no significant differences in alpha diversity of soil protozoan communities among forest, grassland, and shrub in Luya Mountain. The structures of protozoan communities exhibited variations across different vegetation types. Redundancy analysis results showed that soil total phosphorus and water content were the key environmental factors in determining the structures of protozoan communities in different vegetation types. The results of null model analysis showed that the assembly processes of soil protozoan communities in different vegetation types of Luya Mountain were primarily governed by random processes. Molecular ecological network analysis showed that the complexities of soil protozoan communities decreased from grassland to shrub and forest.

    Conclusion: This study revealed key ecological factors affecting the species compositions and diversities of soil protozoan communities in forest, grassland and shrub of Luya Mountain. These results preliminarily clarified the complexities and assembly mechanisms of soil protozoan communities under different vegetation types, and provided theoretical basis and data support for further understanding the interrelationships and assembly mechanisms of soil biological communities at various trophic levels.

    Technology and Methodology
    Identification of common native grassland plants in northern China using deep learning
    Yongcai Wang, Huawei Wan, Jixi Gao, Zhuowei Hu, Chenxi Sun, Na Lü, Zhiru Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23435.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023435
    Abstract ( 534 )   HTML ( 15 )   PDF (21461KB) ( 384 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The classification and identification of grassland plants is an essential part of grassland resource surveillance and biodiversity monitoring. Rapid advancements in computer vision and deep learning have created opportunities for automating this process, however, there is currently a shortage of datasets and models specifically tailored for the identification of grassland plants.

    Methods: This study established a dataset comprising images of 831 species of native grassland plants in northern China. Employing state-of-the-art image classification architectures based on convolutional neural networks (CNN) and vision transformers (ViT), we trained models for the recognition of grassland plant images. Four models (Eva-02, ResNet_RS, MobileNetV3, and MobileViTv2) were evaluated for accuracy, recognition speed, and size.

    Results: Regarding model recognition accuracy, the Top1 accuracy of the Eva-02, MobileViTv2, ResNet_RS, and MobileNetV3 models on the test set were 96.78%, 94.29%, 95.57%, and 91.53%, respectively. The Top5 accuracy on the test set were 99.17%, 98.93%, 98.79%, and 97.56%, respectively. In terms of model size and recognition speed, the MobileNetV3 model exhibited the smallest parameter size and fastest recognition speed, followed by MobileViTv2, making these models suitable for deployment on mobile devices. Conversely, the Eva-02 model had the largest parameter size and the slowest detection speed. Comparing with Pl@ntNet, HuaBanLv, and Baidu-Shitu, all four models developed in this study outperform these three recognition systems.

    Conclusion: The plant recognition models trained in this study can recognize the largest number of natural grassland plant species with the highest accuracy compared to other popular recognition systems. The four models strike a balance between model recognition accuracy and performance that is suitable for deployment on both desktop and mobile platforms. They also fulfill the requirements for indoor and outdoor application scenarios.

    Exploring the interplay of fractal model and species abundance distribution: A case study of shellfish and insect
    Weiqiang Xu, Qiang Su
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23410.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023410
    Abstract ( 183 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (1632KB) ( 164 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The species abundance distribution (SAD) intricately portrays the abundance dynamics of each diverse species within ecological systems, constituting a fundamental facet of diversity studies. Various theoretical models have emerged over time in an attempt to encapsulate SAD complexities, yet discerning the most fitting model remains a challenge. Prior investigations have revealed a recurrent pattern in SAD characterized by numerous rare species and a handful of dominant ones. A research has conducted an extensive analysis, employing a fractal model on approximately 20,000 samples, proposing a distribution pattern of Nr/N1 as 1 : 1/2 : 1/3…… (where Nr and N1 denote the abundance of the r-th and the first species, respectively). While this pattern has been acknowledged, a comprehensive understanding of the general SAD pattern and its connection to the fractal model persists as a research gap. The purpose of this study is to obtain more ideas from researchers that can improve the understanding of underlying mechanisms by testing the fractal model and the general pattern of SAD.

    Methods: This study employs datasets from Bivalvia of the Deep-sea Atlantic Database (242 samples) and Reading University Crop Pollinator Database (926 samples) to scrutinize the applicability of the fractal model and enhance insights into the general SAD pattern.

    Results: The findings revealed that the fractal model aptly fitted both datasets, with R2 ranging from 0.405 to 1.000. Notably, a substantial proportion (85.5% and 67.8%, respectively) of samples exhibit R2 values exceeded 0.8. Furthermore, the predominant SAD pattern observed for both communities aligned with the distribution ration of 1 : 1/2 : 1/3……

    Conclusion: Our investigation underscores the generality of the SAD pattern, supporting across diverse taxonomic groups, including Bivalvia and pollinator communities. The significance lies in introducing an academic inquiry into the inherent mechanisms governing the general SAD pattern. This exploration serves as a catalyst for innovative perspectives in species diversity research, offering a novel entry point for further investigation.

    Bioinventories
    The updated checklist of reptiles in Guizhou Province, China
    Hui Ran, Tianyou Yang, Xiaoqi Mi
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23348.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023348
    Abstract ( 375 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (480KB) ( 337 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aim: Species inventory is a fundamental task in biodiversity research and conservation practices, and detailed species catalogue is of great significance for biodiversity research and conservation. This study aims to update the list of reptiles in Guizhou Province to promote scientific research and protection efforts.

    Method: Based on the reptile checklist of Reptilian Fauna of Guizhou, combining with bibliographies on reptile taxonomy in Guizhou Province published in the past 38 years since the publication of the above monograph, this paper revise and update the list of reptiles in Guizhou Province.

    Results: As of June 30, 2023, a total of 120 species distributed across 2 orders, 21 families, and 57 genera were recorded in Guizhou Province. It comprised 5 species in 5 genera and 3 families of Testudines, and 115 species in 52 genera and 18 families of Squamata (including 27 species in 12 genera and 6 families of Lacertilia, and 88 species in 40 genera and 12 families of Serpentes). The resulting reptilian diversity was the same as Sichuan Province, which were both ranked at the fifth in China, only following Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian Province. For species listed in the Reptilian Fauna of Guizhou, the taxonomy or Chinese common names of 78 taxa were updated or revised accordingly. Furthermore, the provincial records of 3 species were removed, while 23 species were added to the previous checklist (including 5 new species and 18 new provincial records of Guizhou). The composition of the reptile fauna in Guizhou Province was mainly composed of the Oriental Realm (105 species), the remaining 15 species were considered to have a widespread distribution, with no species represented from the Palaearctic Realm. Of the recorded diversity, 11 species were listed as Class II nationally protected, 29 species were considered as threatened based on China’s Red List of Biodersity∙Vertebrates, 27 species were endemic to China, and the type localities of 5 species were in Guizhou, including Gekko liboensis, Hemiphyllodactylus dushanensis, H. huishuiensis, Protobothrops maolanensis, and Goniurosaurus liboensis.

    Conclusion: This article and its data can be used for understanding the changes and distributions of reptile species in Guizhou Province, providing basic data support for the protection of reptile resources in Guizhou Province. It is recommended to increase the research on the classification and distribution of reptiles in Guizhou Province, which will further clarify the reptile resources in Guizhou Province.

    Mammal and avian diversity in Beijicun National Nature Reserve, Heilongjiang Province, China
    Qifan Wang, Xiaohui Liu, Ziwei Zhu, Lei Liu, Xinxue Wang, Xuyang Ji, Shaochun Zhou, Zidong Zhang, Hongyu Dong, Minghai Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  24024.  doi:10.17520/biods.2024024
    Abstract ( 261 )   HTML ( 11 )   PDF (1427KB) ( 259 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: Species diversity constitutes a fundamental component of biodiversity in both structural and functional aspects that plays a unique and irreplaceable role in the protection of rare and endangered species. This study undertook an initial assessment of avian and mammal diversity in the Beijicun National Nature Reserve, filling the gap of biodiversity in the reserve, and providing a basic reference for the in-depth study and conservation management of wildlife in the reserve.

    Method: Between January 2022 and June 2023, 127 camera traps were deployed in the Beijicun National Nature Reserve, Heilongjiang, China. Collectively, these cameras were functionally operational for a total of 19,881 days and obtained a total of 1,704 independent images. Additionally, 30 sample lines spanning 4 km each were estabished to carry out a fixed transect surveys throughout both the cold season of 2022 and the warm season of 2023. The integration of these methodologies facilitated a preliminary exploration into the avian and mammal diversity in the reserve.

    Results: The survey recorded a total of 94 species of avian and mammal in the study area, including 19 mammal species (distributed across 4 orders, 10 families and 18 genera) and 75 avian species (12 orders, 24 families and 49 genera). Notably, seven species were identified as first-class National Protected Wildlife in China, including Amur tiger, which was previously extirpated in the area since the 1960s and is the first time it has been detected in half a century. The top three species of mammals captured by camera traps were Lynx lynx, Capreolus pygargus, and Sus scrofa. The top three species of avian captured by camera traps were Corvus corone, C. corax, and Garrulus glandarius. In the transect survey results, the most abundant mammal species was Martes zibeuina, followed by Capreolus pygargus, Cervus elaphus, Alces alces, and Lepus timidus.

    Conclusion: This study showed that the combination of camera traps and transect surveys was effective in monitoring the diversity of birds and mammals within the reserve. Ungulates were abundant and widely distributed in the study area, while top predators such as wolves were scarce. The emergence of Amur tigers was of great significance for the basic ecological research of mammals in the area.

    Species diversity of powdery mildew fungi (Erysiphaceae) and their host plants in Northeast Asia
    Yujie Chi, Xintian Zhang, Zhixuan Tian, Chengshuai Guan, Xinzhi Gu, Zhihui Liu, Zhanbin Wang, Jinjie Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23443.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023443
    Abstract ( 234 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (4696KB) ( 130 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Aims: The systematic inventory and classification of fungi in various geographical regions are the core focus of biodiversity research. Powdery mildew fungi are a kind of obligate parasitic and pathogenic fungi that are widely distributed worldwide and can cause powdery mildew diseases in forest trees, fruit trees, garden flowers, crops, vegetables, and herbaceous plants. This study aims to comprehend the diversity of powdery mildew fungi and their hosts in Northeast China and other regions of Northeast Asia.

    Method: Based on literature collection, data analysis, combined with the authors’ field specimen collection and specimen examination from 2022 to 2023, we provided inventories of powdery mildew fungi according to the latest classification and inventories of their host plants, and geographic distribution information in Northeast China and other regions of Northeast Asia.

    Results: We found 159 powdery mildew fungi (including 142 species and 17 varieties) in Northeast China, belonging to 1 family, 5 tribes, 10 teleomorphic genera and 1 anamorph genus of Erysiphaceae, distributed on 572 species of host plants (including 37 varieties) in 243 genera and 64 families. A total of 304 powdery mildew fungi (including 258 species and 46 varieties) belonging to 1 family, 5 tribes, 12 teleomorphic genera and 2 anamorph genera were distributed on 1,171 species of host plants (including 163 varieties) in 449 genera and 108 families in Japan. In Republic of Korea, there were 165 powdery mildew fungi (including 150 species and 15 varieties) belonging to 1 family, 5 tribes, 11 teleomorphic genera and 1 anamorph genus, distributed on 515 species of host plants (including 53 varieties) in 255 genera and 79 families. A total of 111 powdery mildew fungi (including 89 species and 22 varieties) belonging to 1 family, 5 tribes, 8 teleomorphic genera and 2 anamorph genera in Russian Far East were recorded. There were 50 shared powdery mildew fungi in Northeast China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Russian Far East, and they belong to eight common teleomorphic genera (Blumeria, Podosphaera, Sawadaea, Erysiphe, Golovinomyces, Neoërysiphe, Leveillula, and Phyllactinia) and were distributed on the same or closely related host plants. Japan and Republic of Korea had the most shared species of powdery fungi (136 species). In Northeast China, Japan and Republic of Korea, 28, 116, and 17 species were endemic, respectively. There were a total of 1,760 species (including 263 varieties) of host plants belonging to 112 families and 541 genera in Northeast Asia.

    Conclusions: There are 318 species and 53 varieties of powdery mildews in Northeast China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and Russian Far East, accounting for 40.33% of the global total, while Northeast Asia only accounts for about 8% of the global land area. Therefore, Northeast Asia is a key area and mycobiota unit for the study of powdery mildew diversity. This study provides a data support for establishing profiles of diversity and mycobiota studies, phylogenetic relationships, and host diversity of powdery mildew fungi in Northeast Asia.

    Reviews
    Advances in lineage sorting theories and their detection methods
    Yanwen Lv, Ziyun Wang, Yu Xiao, Zihan He, Chao Wu, Xinsheng Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23400.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023400
    Abstract ( 288 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (647KB) ( 289 )   Save
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    Background & Aims: Lineage sorting (LS) refers to the process in which multiple populations are descended from a common ancestral population or species and are now reproductively isolated from one another. It provides an approach to gain insights into speciation, and is often classified into the phases of polyphyly, paraphyly, and monophyly. The first two phases are in the state of incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) where gene trees do not correctly reflect species trees. The third phase is in the state of complete LS where gene trees are concordant with species trees. Here, we reviewed relevant theories and summarized recent progresses in method for LS detection.

    Progress: We first systematically discussed the coalescent theories of how genome sites with distinct evolutionary properties (neutral or selective) in an ancestral population were transmitted to progeny populations. We discussed the potential relationships between gene trees and species trees for neutral and selective genes, respectively. Secondly, we delved into LS analyses based on the neutral DNA sequences, including construction of phylogeny under ILS and the network-based phylogenetic analysis. We then discussed the impacts of selection on LS analysis and methods for detecting both directional and balancing selection based on gene trees and species trees. Finally, we discussed a few open questions about the effects of mating system on LS, the detection of ILS, and the effects of pollen and seed flow on LS.

    Prospect: New theories are needed to explore how mating system shapes the LS process for both selective and neutral genes. To appropriately assess ILS for individual genes based on species trees, it is crucial to improve the method estimating species trees and to fully utilize the potential of genome sequence data in future study. Given a high frequency of natural hybridization in plant species, a phylogenetic network method is needed to simultaneously examine pollen and seed flow together with ILS. Answers to these questions could help us to understand in-depth the LS process in plant species.

    Research progress and implications of flagship species paradigms based on latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) model
    Jingzhou Liu, Yixin Qian, Yanxuedan Zhang, Feng Cui
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23439.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023439
    Abstract ( 213 )   HTML ( 4 )   PDF (700KB) ( 156 )   Save
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    Background: The flagship species paradigm is a strategic approach to biodiversity conservation that leverages public influence through representative species. Despite its effectiveness in raising public awareness and funds for conservation, this approach has not yet received significant academic attention in China, stalling its theoretical and practical development. To address this gap, we propose a comprehensive review of relevant studies and offer suggestions to stimulate further research in China.

    Method: This paper conducted a review of English literature relevant to the flagship species paradigm published in academic journals from 2013 to 2023 using the latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) thematic model.The method involved the following steps: (1) retrieving articles from the Web of Science with keywords such as flagship species and charismatic species; (2) employing coherence score and perplexity score indicators following unsupervised learning in Python. (3) identifying the major themes and labeling core words; (4) manually examining articles under each theme, summarizing current research progress.

    Results: This paper identified six themes, including studies on the theories of the flagship species paradigms, case studies on the flagship species program, public attitudes and influencing factors elucidate through questionnaires and interviews, implementation of the paradigm within local context, the negative impacts of adopting flagship species paradigm, and the optimization of the approach. Based on reviewing these six themes, several findings were noticed: (1) conflicts do exist on the definition and determination of the flagship species; (2) adopting flagship species programs may encounter four problems, i.e. negative impacts on animal welfare, the ceiling effect, the “Noah’s Ark” problem, and protectionism due to failure to engage local context; (3) localization, reduction of interruption, elimination of bias, and cross-border dissemination are the four research directions identified to address the identified problems.

    Suggestion: This article provides suggestions based on further discussion of three key issues, i.e., the definition of the flagship species, the selection criteria for flagship species, and the restriction of the flagship species paradigm. More research should be conducted on the realization of the paradigm, coordination and participation of various stakeholders, optimization of selection criteria of flagship species and planning, and improvement of localization and international cooperation.

    The biogeochemical niche based on elementome and its applications in different ecosystems
    Rui Qu, Zhenjun Zuo, Youxin Wang, Liangjian Zhang, Zhigang Wu, Xiujuan Qiao, Zhong Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23378.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023378
    Abstract ( 211 )   HTML ( 9 )   PDF (1761KB) ( 225 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Background & Aims: All biological organisms are constructed with a specific range and ratio of bioelements—namely the elementome. Organisms integrate multiple elements in optimal ratios to adapt to environmental heterogeneity. Biological elementome is assumed to be species-specific, which is determined by evolutionary history (phylogenetic distances) and controlled by inter-species competition and homeostasis. In community ecology, bioelemental composition and the variations in elementome provide an ideal indicator for quantifying the niche segregation of certain species in a community and predicting the possible responses of niche (displacement, expansion or concentration) to changes in environmental conditions. Biogeochemical niche (BN) quantifies species niches using the concept of elementome and n-dimensional hypervolume. On the basis of a brief summary of niche theory and ecological stoichiometry, we introduced the theoretical framework and the confirmatory studies of biogeochemical niche hypothesis (BNH) in this review. The prospects of its applications in different ecosystems were also discussed.

    Review results: According to the BNH, the biogeochemical niche of certain species is defined as a function of phylogenetic distances (taxonomy), species sympatry (inter-species competitive pressure) and homeostasis/plasticity (the ability to maintain a stable elemental composition). This theory applies not only to plants, but also to animals and microbes. Using “biogeochemical niche(s)”, “metabolomic niche(s)”, “stoichiometric niche(s)” as key words, we conducted literature searches utilizing Web of Science (WoS) and CNKI, and manually picked out 84 relevant studies in November 2023. The studies mainly focused on C, N and P, and the most common keywords were “ecological stoichiometry” and “elemental composition”. In terms of taxa, the main taxa concerned in the studies were plants (54 articles), followed by animals (14 articles) and microorganisms (14 articles). We review the recent progress of BNH by taxa in this article.

    Prospects & Suggestions: We suggest that the study of BNH be extended from C, N and P to more bioelements, to identify the species niche more accurately in higher dimensions. In different ecosystems, especially in stressful habitats, organisms should change their elementome to adapt to varied environments. More studies focusing on additional taxa (aquatic plants, plankton, fish, etc.) or certain habitats (freshwater or saline lake, river, high mountain, desert, etc.) are likely to help validate the universality of BNH. Furthermore, we propose to study the variations in biogeochemical niche at different life history stages of living beings, and bridge BN and population dynamics, to provide evidence for mechanism of species coexistence.

    Conservation and Governance
    The necessity and feasibility of establishing conservation compatible land in China
    Rui Yang, Shuyu Hou, Yin Zhang, Zhicong Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2024, 32 (4):  23454.  doi:10.17520/biods.2023454
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    Background & Aims: The 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) proposed the “30×30” target, calling for 30% of the world’s land and sea area to be effectively conserved by 2030. As one of the countries with the richest biodiversity in the world, however, China’s protected areas have problems such as insufficient protection coverage, lack of connectivity, insufficient expansion space, and limited compatibility with other land types, and it’s challenging to achieve the global goal of biodiversity conservation. Meanwhile, the globally advocated concept of other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) still face difficulties in its adaptability to the actual situation in China. These issues highlight the fact that China needs to establish an indigenized in-situ conservation system that complements the protected areas and is in line with China’s national conditions. The purpose of this study is to explore the necessity and feasibility of nominating conservation compatible land (CCL) as an in-situ conservation approach outside the protected areas in China, contributing China’s wisdom and solutions to the global “30×30” conservation goals.

    Perspective: The concept of “conservation compatible land” (CCL) is herein defined as an area of land or water where conservation and sustainable development goals coexist. It can be established by various entities, approved by different levels of government, and managed with long-term and effective conservation objectives. The preliminary contents, characteristics, necessity, and feasibility of CCL are further analyzed and discussed. We argue that the China’s terrestrial and aquatic areas can be categorized into three basic types, specialized nature conservation areas (protected areas and ecological conservation redline), CCL (integrated conservation goals with other development functions such as agriculture, forestry, fishery and animal husbandry, culture, and residence), and sustainable land use (other areas with limited conservation concerns), according to the extent to which being conserved. By proposing a nationwide land-use system governed at different levels, conserved to various degrees, and coexisted with diverse objectives, we hope that every inch of China’s land can be compatible with both conservation and development functions.


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