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Table of Content
    Volume 26 Issue 1
    20 January 2018
    Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area is noted for the striking beauty of landscape and provides important habitat for a number of threatened species. It has been listed in the World Natural Heritage Sites. Taking the site as an empirical case, Chen et al identified buffer zones and ecological corridors in landscape security patterns (for details see pages 36–43 of this issue). The picture shows the natural landscape of Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area. (Photographed by Jie Chen)
    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Longitudinal patterns in α and β diversity of the taxonomic and functional organizations of stream fish assemblages in the Qingyi River
    Dong Zhang, Fengying Wan, Ling Chu, Yunzhi Yan
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  1-13.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017263
    Abstract ( 1911 )   HTML ( 41 )   PDF (1446KB) ( 1821 )   English Version Save
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    Identifying the spatial and temporal patterns of fish diversity in streams is the basis for the conservation and management of stream fishes. The “upstream-downstream” pattern in the taxonomic diversity of stream fish assemblages has been widely studied. However, spatial patterns in functional diversity of stream fishes along longitudinal gradients have been given less attention. Based on data collected in 15 segments representing 1st- to 5th-order streams in the Qingyi River basin during April, July, October 2009 and January 2010, we examined the variations in taxonomic and functional organizations of stream fish assemblages across 1st- to 5th-order streams, and determined the longitudinal patterns of both taxonomic and functional diversities along the stream-order gradient. According to the feeding habits and functional morphological traits, all 56 species collected were divided into four trophic groups, five locomotion groups and 14 combined groups. Two-way crossed ANOSIM showed that both the taxonomic and functional organizations varied significantly across 1st- to 5th-order streams, but did not present significant among-season variation. Two-way ANOVA showed that both α and β diversity of the taxonomic and functional organizations differed significantly with stream order, but not with season. According to the results of regression analysis, α diversity of both the taxonomic and functional organizations had positive linear correlations with stream order, but the maximum α diversity occurred in 4th-order streams. β diversity of taxonomic and functional organizations showed a quadratic distribution (i.e., U-shape) with increasing stream order. The spatial variation in the taxonomic β diversity was mainly driven by species turnover, but variation in the functional β diversity was mainly driven by function nestedness. Our results suggest that, along the “upstream-downstream” gradient, α and β diversity of stream fishes may present different spatial patterns. Although the taxonomic and functional α diversity show similar longitudinal distributions, the ecological processes driving the longitudinal variations in β diversity may be different for the taxonomic (i.e., species turnover) and functional organizations (i.e., function nestedness).

    Spatial heterogeneities of ground-dwelling Coleoptera adults and their spatial correlations with environmental factors in a typical broad-leaved Korean pine forest in the Fenglin Nature Reserve
    Juanping Ni, Saisai Cheng, Meixiang Gao, Tingyu Lu, Guangze Jin
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  14-26.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017255
    Abstract ( 1506 )   HTML ( 15 )   PDF (1402KB) ( 1102 )   English Version Save
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    Spatial heterogeneities of soil animal communities and their associations with environmental factors are important for revealing the patterns and processes of soil ecosystems and maintenance mechanisms of soil biodiversity. This experiment was conducted in a typical mixed broad-leaved Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) forest plot in the Fenglin Nature Reserve in August and October of 2015. Geostatistics was used to reveal the spatial patterns of species number and individuals of ground-dwelling Carabidae and Staphylinidae adult communities and dominant species, and to explain the associations between these spatial patterns and soil water content and topographic variables. In total, 26 and 19 species of Carabidae and Staphylinidae beetles were caught and 617 and 222 individuals were collected, respectively. Variabilities in individuals and species numbers of communities were moderate in August and strong in October. Community compositions were significantly different between the two months. Carabidae and Staphylinidae communities showed moderate spatial autocorrelations in both growing (August) and relatively cold (October) seasons. Spatial heterogeneities of the Carabidae and Staphylinidae communities were determined by both random and structural factors. However, most species individuals exhibited significant spatial heterogeneities and these heterogeneities were controlled by structural factors. Individuals and species number of communities and dominant species individuals formed mosaic patterns with patches and gaps. Spatial associations between individuals and species numbers of communities and dominant species individuals with environmental factors were complex. Spatial associations were mainly controlled by structural or random factors. CCA analysis showed that soil water content in August had a significant effect on the species distribution of Carabidae and Staphylinidae adults in August. In October, the convexity had a significant impact on the distribution of Carabidae adults, and altitude was significantly related to the distribution of Staphylinidae adults. This experiment suggests that the spatial heterogeneities of Carabidae and Staphylinidae adults were obvious in the growing season, but not obvious in the relatively cold season. The results of this study will help us to understand the spatial variation and biodiversity maintenance mechanisms of soil animal communities at multiple scales.

    Original Papers: Ecosystem Diversity
    Evaluating the effectiveness of Shennongjia National Nature Reserve based on the dynamics of forest carbon pools
    Shuyu Deng, Xiangzhong Dong, Mingzhe Ma, Zhenhua Zang, Wenting Xu, Changming Zhao, Zongqiang Xie, Guozhen Shen
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  27-35.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017240
    Abstract ( 1472 )   HTML ( 36 )   PDF (705KB) ( 1391 )   English Version Save
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    Nature reserves are a cornerstone of global conservation strategies. However, the effectiveness of the reserve in conserving ecosystem function such as carbon storage is poorly understood. The Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is a conservation icon and has taken exceptional efforts to protect forests. It provides a unique case to address this question. Here, we quantified the carbon storage from aboveground carbon, belowground carbon, litter, coarse woody debris, and soil organic carbon inside and outside the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve between 1990 and 2010, based on inventory data and digitized historical land cover maps. The result showed that the woodland covered 92.76% of the reserve, most of which was coniferous forest (51.85%), deciduous broad-leaved forest (35.11%), and evergreen broad-leaved forest (4.47%). Between 1990 and 2010, the area of the woodland has increased 0.11%, while the area of shrubland and cropland has declined 8.85% and 6.06%, respectively. The Shennongjia National Natural Reserve has accumulated 24.24 Tg carbon (22.57-26.62 Tg C) until 2010, of which 90.68% was contributed by soil organic carbon and aboveground carbon. A total of 95% of the carbon storage in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve are contributed by evergreen broad-leaved forest, deciduous broad-leaved forest and coniferous forest. Between 1990 and 2010, the aboveground carbon pool and soil organic carbon pool has increased 14.50 kt C (11.81-18.31 kt C) and 6.84 kt C, respectively. The carbon density inside the reserve is 22.37 t C/ha higher than that outside the reserve. Our results indicated that the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is efficiently conserving forest carbon.

    Algorithm improvements and applications for biological conservation security patterns
    Jie Chen, Nianxing Zhou, Zhuomin Tao
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  36-43.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017124
    Abstract ( 1150 )   HTML ( 15 )   PDF (2180KB) ( 1160 )   English Version Save
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    Using biological movement as a basis, landscape security patterns are an effective approach to biological conservation. This study probes the recognition technique to buffer zones with the aid of utility formulas, and improves the method of recognition of ecological corridors with the help of gradient descent algorithms. These habit islets, which are located within low-resistance areas outside the buffer zone and of a certain distance from suitable sources for the subsistence of targeted protected species, can be considered source candidates. Regions, which are situated within high-resistance areas inside the buffer zone and close to unsuitable sources for maintaining targeted protected species, can be categorized in ecological restoration areas. The intersection between ecological corridors and high-resistance areas should be identified as a key point for ecological restoration. Taking the Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area (WSA) as an empirical case, the study formulates the landscape security pattern of Macaca mulatta, in which the core area of the reserve is comprised of four discrete source Macaca mulatta habitats and is supplemented by three source candidates. A few ecological corridors and connections between sources that aimed to improve connectivity of the inter-population were delimited, and strategic points of ecological restoration are discerned. This study not only identifies buffer zones and ecological corridors in landscape security patterns but also attaches great practical significance to biological conservation exemplified by the Macaca mulatta population in WSA.

    Planning and conducting field surveys of invasive alien species based on GIS
    Hong Chen, Xiaoqing Xian, Rongzhou Qiu, Meixiang Chi, Jian Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  44-52.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017314
    Abstract ( 1515 )   HTML ( 22 )   PDF (4323KB) ( 1527 )   English Version Save
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    Pre-planning plays a vital role in developing invasive alien plant surveys rapidly and conveniently in the field. This study combined survey technical standards of invasive alien plants and field survey planning methods based on GIS to develop a targeted field survey planning program. LocaSpace Viewer and Orvital maps, which provide rich map resources and powerful functions, were mainly applied. The detailed workflow was as follows: Firstly, the target areas for invasive alien plant field surveys were selected by integrating high-resolution remote sensing data and geographical annotation data in the LocaSpace Viewer; Secondly, according to standards of invasive alien plant field surveys, survey geographic grids, survey points, sample plots, standard-plots, and quadrats were established through the functions of spatial analysis and editing geographic elements in the LocaSpace Viewer, of which information were stored and shared in the KML format; Finally, positioning and navigation of survey points were implemented by Data Management and Navigation functions in the mobile terminal software of the Orvital map. Comparative experiments and applications of proposed technology and methodology have been carried out in Fujian, Guangxi, and Yunnan provinces. Results suggested that the developed technology and methods for planning invasive alien plant surveys and field operations based on GIS technology can help to fulfill surveys in 6 sample points and collect more than 80 records per day. The direct distance of daily invasive alien plant survey is approximately 180 km. The navigation accuracy of survey points is better than 15 m. Planning-based surveys have double the time utilization rate of unplanned surveys. The technical route presented in this study greatly contributes to improving the efficiency of invasive alien plant surveys and provides powerful technical support for invasive alien plant survey in the field and insight into biodiversity field surveying.

    Biodiversity information resources. II. Environmental data
    Fenglin Zhang, Xin Wang, Jian Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  53-65.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017189
    Abstract ( 2028 )   HTML ( 71 )   PDF (628KB) ( 2038 )   Save
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    Environmental data are the basis for addressing many important ecological issues, including biodiversity distribution patterns, mechanisms of biodiversity formation and maintenance, and species conservation. Recently, many types of environment data at regional and global scales have dramatically increased, with the continuous expansion of global environment monitoring networks and emergence of new monitoring technologies. However, the vast amounts of data are scattered all around the world, making it much more difficult for biodiversity researchers to access detailed information and use these data efficiently. In this paper, we combine the main sources of environmental datasets, and classify them into five major groups, including (1) climate, (2) topography, soil and habitat heterogeneity, (3) land cover, (4) hydrology variables, and (5) other data sets. We then select several datasets with high-frequency usage to briefly introduce the data source, data structure, data availability, and data quality. We also select several previous studies to showcase the use of these datasets. In summary, we include 45 environmental data sets in this paper, covering several frequently used data in ecology (e.g., WorldClim and Harmonized World Soil Database), as well as some latest released or seldom used data (e.g., climate change velocity, EarthEnv habitat heterogeneity data, global forest coverage data, and global light pollution data). In addition, it is important to point out that these data sets are only a small fraction of currently available and continuously increasing environmental data. Overall, we hope that the incomplete list of environmental data can provide guidelines for researchers to select and utilize them and other similar data accurately and effectively.

    Characteristics of natural Platycladus orientalis forests in the Yin Mountains of Northwest China
    Long Chen, Shuai Qin, Ri Xu, Liu Yang, Liqing Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  66-74.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017306
    Abstract ( 1954 )   HTML ( 18 )   PDF (1048KB) ( 1455 )   Save
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    Natural Platycladus orientalis forests in the Yin Mountains are the northwestern boundary of natural Chinese P. orientalis forests and also one of the most important forests in the Yin Mountains, with respect to erosion prevention, soil conservation, water conservation, and habitat improvement. This study examined details about the characteristics of the population, community, and distribution of natural P. orientalis forests, to allow for better management as well as to provide a theoretical basis. Natural P. orientalis forests in Daqing Mountain and Wula Mountain were selected as the research subjects, and through quadrat investigations, were divided into 6 associations. Characteristics of the flora and the structure were analyzed. We also discussed the diameter structure of each association of P. orientalis and the distribution succession series between associations. The main results are as follows: (1) There were 96 vascular plants belonging to 70 genera of 30 families found in the natural P. orientalis forests, and the geographic components of species contained 8 types and 18 subtypes, which were mainly distributed in the East Pan-North Pole, followed by East Asia; (2) From the analysis of community structure, well-developed natural P. orientalis forests were characterized by a tree layer and herb layer, however the shrub was sensitive to interference, and coverage was generally lower in areas with more human interference, and could even disappear; (3) The diameter structure of P. orientalis followed a normal distribution which is a stable community type, and average plant height increased with the diameter overall growth model; (4) Due to strong interference and harsh habitats, the average diameter of P. orientalisis was small, and they were also more bifurcation which is not suitable for timber forests. We suggest regarding these natural P. orientalis forests as ecological and provenance forests.

    Mammal diversity in Shangyong Nature Reserve, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province
    Defeng Bai, Ying Chen, Junsong Li, Qing Tao, Lifan Wang, You Piao, Kun Shi
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  75-78.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017223
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    Research on the plant collection of Kuan-Kuang Tsoong, the forerunner of Chinese plant collections
    Shiyong Meng, Huiyuan Liu, Mengting Yu, Quanru Liu, Jinshuang Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  79-88.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017328
    Abstract ( 1923 )   HTML ( 18 )   PDF (1282KB) ( 1207 )   Save
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    Through literature and specimen research, we studied the collection history of Kuan-Kuang Tsoong, the forerunner of Chinese plant collections. Results showed that Kuan-Kuang Tsoong was the first scholar who conducted large-scale plant specimen collections in China and confirmed that the earliest specimen collected by Kuan-Kuang Tsoong was collected in 1912 (from Beijing) and the last specimens were collected in 1933 (from Zhejiang). Currently, 10,228 specimens collected by Kuan-Kuang Tsoong have been found, including specimens founds at the Herbarium, Department of Biology, Peking University (PEY, 4,584 sheets), Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences (PE, 2,966) and Herbarium, College of Life Science, Beijing Normal University (BNU, 2,032). These herbaria preserved most specimens (9,582 sheets, accounting for 93.7% of the total). Our study also found that a small number of specimens collected by Kuan-Kuang Tsoong (16) were preserved by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (K), the Edinburgh Botanic Garden (E), and Harvard University Herbaria (A).

    Methodological assessment on scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services and impacts on China within the IPBES framework
    Yuxue Pan, Yu Tian, Jing Xu, Boya Zhang, Junsheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  89-95.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017228
    Abstract ( 1661 )   HTML ( 28 )   PDF (309KB) ( 1616 )   Save
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    With increasing international concern for biodiversity conservation, biodiversity and ecosystem services-related scenarios and models have become the foci of international processes and treaties. The Methodological Assessment on Scenarios and Models of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services was included in the 2014-2018 Work Program of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as one of the first rounds of rapid assessment activities. The assessment report and its Summary for Policymakers were adopted at the Fourth Session of the IPBES Plenary. This research summarizes the assessment report through its main contents and conclusions based on the IPBES framework, and also explores the relationship between IPBES deliverables and other international processes, and possible impacts on policy making in China. The report provided a comprehensive analysis of the existing scenarios and models of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and also provided corresponding solutions for coping with data and knowledge gaps, as well as guidance for the development, use, and optimization of scenarios and models. IPBES assessments have been ushering in the development of biodiversity science and ecosystem services, offering an efficient platform for countries to undertake communication, and provide trade-offs and gains in the field of biodiversity to maximize their own interests. As a developing country with rich biodiversity, China is bound to actively participate in activities of IPBES and use its own voice, which would be an ideal way to deal with the future development of IPBES.

    The University Forests of Japan and implications for biodiversity conservation and national park development in China
    Shitao Xu, Xiqiang Song, Peng Ling, Yuanjun Chen, Mingxun Ren
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (1):  96-104.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017293
    Abstract ( 1579 )   HTML ( 14 )   PDF (741KB) ( 1122 )   Save
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    The University Forests of Japan are the forests and woodlands belonging to a university, which are established mainly for undergraduate education, scientific research, biodiversity conservation, and sometimes ecological tourism and wood production. Such systems of university forests are an important base for environmental protection and economic growth in Japan due to long-term stable conservation and utilization, resulting from clear responsibility, rights, and benefits. Currently, there are 30 universities that have university forests. In 1894, the University of Tokyo was the first university to set up a university forest. There are three main roles of a typical university forest, including agricultural and forestry education and practice, scientific research, and social service. University professors act as managers in charge of the university forest, and are engaged in both teaching and study, as well as management of the forest and determining how to open the forest to the public. Therefore, university forests can be a key platform for uniting education, research, conservation, and tourism. Such university forest systems help professors and the public to understand each other better and allow the public to get involved in biodiversity conservation. Currently, China is developing sustainable biodiversity conservation and national parks, therefore universities, especially those with agricultural and forestry colleges, should consider co-opting the university forest system utilized in Japan. Universities and professors should participate in the establishment and management of local nature reserves, national parks, city parks, or relatively isolated woodlands in these regions. When universities are engaged with the forest system, nature reserves, or national parks, academic knowledge and student participation can be of vital significance for the sustainable conservation of biodiversity and development of national parks in China.

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