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Table of Content
    Volume 26 Issue 3
    20 March 2018
    Freshwater crab is a key species of freshwater benthic macroinvertebrate community and is an important indicator for the ecological environment of waters. China has the highest biodiversity of freshwater crabs in the world and the number of species described is comparable to the total of the Neotropical realm. Sun’s research team has comprehensively summarized the classification and distribution of China’s freshwater crabs (for details see pages 274–282 of this issue). The picture shows the Arquatopotamon jizushanense, a new species that the team has discovered and described in recent years. (Photographed by Hongying Sun)
    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Assessment of the evolutionary history of Lauraceae in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve using DNA barcoding
    Hou Qinxi, Ci Xiuqin, Liu Zhifang, Xu Wumei, Li Jie
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  217-228.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017336
    Abstract ( 1740 )   HTML ( 53 )   PDF (1466KB) ( 1275 )   English Version Save
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    Global biodiversity is diminishing at an unprecedented rate due to anthropogenic changes in the environment and establishing nature reserve is one of the most effective strategies for reducing biodiversity loss. Xishuangbanna, located in Southwest China, is a famous biodiversity hotspot and Lauraceae plants play an important role in the composition of its forest vegetation. To assess the role of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve (XNNR, established in 1958) in the conservation of evolutionary history of Lauraceae and to demonstrate the importance of combining phylogenetic information with biodiversity conservation, the evolutionary distinctiveness (ED), phylogenetic diversity (PD), species richness (SR), and endangerment categories of Lauraceae plants in Xishuangbanna were investigated. Results show that XNNR conserves only half of Lauraceae species (54.5%) found in Xishuangbanna, while 88.8% of PD was protected. However, there are still some areas (e.g. Daluo Town and Yiwu Town) with high PD that are not listed as conservation areas. A total of 19 species with high ED values (> 0.1) were found in Xishuangbanna, of which five species (26.3%) were not conserved in the XNNR, while 20 (37.0%) of 54 endangered species were not distributed in the nature reserve. Only three species with both high ED and endangerment categories were not found in the nature reserve. Our study shows that the XNNR has protected a large proportion of PD and species with high conservation value, however, some important evolutionary history and endangered species of Lauraceae are still not conserved in the XNNR, indicating that the traditional assessment solely based on species richness could not incorporate phylogenetic information completely. We therefore conclude that PD should be considered in establishing nature reserves to maximize the evolutionary potential in an uncertain future.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Comparing the effectiveness of camera trapping to traditional methods for biodiversity surveys of forest birds
    Zhang Qianwen, Gong Yuening, Song Xiangjin, Wang Xincai, Yang Changteng, Shu Zufei, Zou Fasheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  229-237.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017275
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    To compare the effectiveness of camera trapping to more common mist netting, fixed-distance line transect, and fixed-radius point count methods of forest birds, we surveyed bird species diversity at Nanling National Nature Reserve and Chebaling National Nature Reserve, Guangdong, China from 2011 to 2016. At Nanling, 222 bird species were recorded by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods, 43 bird species were captured by mist netting and 47 bird species were trapped by cameras. One species was captured only by mist netting, six species only by camera-trapping, and 164 species only by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods. At Chebaling, 109 bird species were recorded by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods, 42 by mist nets and 27 by cameras. Nine species were recorded only by mist netting, three only by camera-trapping, and 97 only by fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count methods. At both sites, the number of birds captured by mist netting was negatively correlated with increasing body size, whether measured as body weight, body length, wing length, or tarsus length. By contrast, the number of birds photographed by camera traps was positively correlated with the same measures of body size. These results show that bird surveys using different methods may yield different results and that method should be selected to suit the body size of the target bird species. In surveying bird diversity of a wide range of body sizes, mist netting and camera trapping together would be complimentary methods. Our results suggest that a combination of research methods may be necessary to obtain reliable avian diversity estimates.

    Mitochondrial genetic diversity and maternal origin of Guangdong indigenous chickens
    Xunhe Huang, Zheqi Yu, Zhuoxian Weng, Danlin He, Zhenhua Yi, Weina Li, Jiebo Chen, Xiquan Zhang, Bingwang Du, Fusheng Zhong
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  238-247.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017259
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    The evaluation of the genetic diversity of indigenous chickens and the tracing of their matrilineal origin need to be facilitated to protect and utilize the germplasm bank of quality poultry. Twelve indigenous chicken breeds from Guangdong Province and its adjacent regions were used for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop sequencing, and analyses of genetic distance and genetic relationship between breeds were conducted. We constructed a phylogenetic tree and median-joining network based on haplotypes. Sixty mutation sites were detected in 360 samples, and all of these were found to be in transition. Eighty-five haplotypes, belonging to haplogroups A, B, C, and E, were defined. B was the predominant haplogroup (187, 51.94%), followed by E (76, 21.11%). Haplogroups A, B, C, and E were distributed in all the 12 breeds. B02 and C01 were the predominant haplotypes (85, 23.61%; 48, 13.33%), which were shared by all twelve breeds; and E03 ranked third (35, 9.72%), and was absent in the Xinghua, Huanglang and Ningdu yellow chicken. Xinghua chickens occurred mainly in haplogroup B, while Huiyang bearded and Zhongshan shalan chickens were distributed mainly in E. The number of haplotypes of Huaixiang chicken was the largest, while the Zhongshan shalan chicken had the fewest. The genetic distance between Guangdong chicken breeds ranged from 0.012 to 0.015, with haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity ranging from 0.805 ± 0.047 to 0.949 ± 0.026, and from 0.0102 ± 0.0017 to 0.0138 ± 0.0009, respectively. Eighty-five haplotypes were divided into clades A, B, C, and E in the phylogenetic tree and median-joining network. Similar patterns of geographical distribution of mtDNA haplotypes was found in the chicken from Guangdong Province and its adjacent regions. A neutral test indicated that Guangdong indigenous chickens have not sustained obvious population expansion. Our results suggested that Guangdong chickens have a desirable conservation status, as they carry high levels of genetic diversity, and demographic histories were influenced to some extent, by the gene flow of domestic chickens from adjacent provinces and northern China. The red junglefowls from Southeast Asia have an important genetic contribution to the indigenous chickens of Guangdong Province.

    Faunal communities of deep soil layers in suburban Beijing
    Wei Mo, Zhiliang Wang, You Li, Jianjun Guo, Runzhi Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  248-257.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018027
    Abstract ( 1340 )   HTML ( 14 )   PDF (1666KB) ( 1504 )   English Version Save
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    In order to reveal composition of faunal communities in deep soil, we investigated soil at 30 and 55 cm at the Olympic Campus of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in a suburb of Beijing using trap collectors. A total of 10,163 individuals representing 20 orders belonging to ten classes and three phyla were captured in eight surveys carried out over five years. The dominant groups were Hymenoptera (61.0%), Acarina (12.1%) and Collembola (11.2%). The individuals and groups in the 30 cm soil layer were greater than at 55 cm. The dominant group of the 30 cm soil layer was Hymenoptera (69.4%) while at 55 cm, Hymenoptera (45.7%), Acarina (21.8%) and Collembola (16.4%) were all dominant. The number of individuals and groups recorded from April to October was greater than October to April of the next year. Annelida appeared only between October to April of the next year, while Thysanoptera, Psocoptera, Dermaptera appeared only between April to October. The lowest Jaccard value of soil faunal communities in different vegetation forms was 0.75. None of Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Simpson dominance index and Pielou evenness index showed significant differences between different vegetation types (P > 0.05). The results showed that there were abundant soil faunal communities in deep soil. The number of individuals and groups decreased with increasing soil depth. Soil faunal community structure was different in different seasons and the composition was highly similar between different vegetation types.

    Original Papers: Ecosystem Diversity
    Ecosystem status and health assessment of Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve
    Sun Youfang, Lei Xinming, Lian Jiansheng, Yang Jianhui, Wu Yingying, Huang Hui
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  258-265.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017312
    Abstract ( 1890 )   HTML ( 49 )   PDF (834KB) ( 1673 )   English Version Save
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    To assess the health of Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve (SCRNNR), we surveyed corals, reef fish, and macrobenthos at three stations (Dongdao, Luhuitou, Dadonghai). We compared these data with historical data together with expert consultations, and identified first and second class indices of coral reef ecosystem health and their weights (coral reef ecosystem health assessment comprehensive index method). We recorded 37 species of hermatypic corals, and three species of soft corals, averaging 14.31% and 0.19% of the benthic cover, respectively. The highest cover of hermatypic corals was 21.58% at Luhuitou. Thirty-six species of coral reef fishes belonging to 14 families and 28 genera were recorded, of which Pomacentridae was the dominant family. Density of reef fishes was highest at 4 m depth on Luhuitou reef reaching up to 154/300 m2. Corallivorous snail and lobsters were rarely observed while corallivorous snails, Drupella, were common at all sites. Our results indicate that the health status of Dongdao, Luhuitou, Dadonghai coral reef ecosystems are “general”. We conclude that this survey approach provides a feasible and practical method for scientific research and management departments to assess the health status of coral reef ecosystems.

    Methods of observing typical steppe plant communities: Applications to two typical formations
    Gao Chenguang, Guo Ke, Qiao Xianguo, Lu Shuaizhi, Liu Changcheng, Hou Dongjie, Wang Zi
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  266-273.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017330
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    A typical plant community, which reflects the basic community characteristics of a vegetation classification unit, can be designated as a standard unit for describing a distinct vegetation type. Providing observations of typical plant communities in the steppe is the main function of the Steppe and Desert Biodiversity Observation Network and Sino Biodiversity Observation Network (Sino BON). Methods of observing typical plant communities have been published. We set up permanent observation plots of Form. Stipa krylovii and Form. Thymus mongolicus as examples during the summer of 2017. Observation methods were applied and validated, and included stand selection and plot design, vegetation surveys, and data analysis. Based on practical observations and analysis, we demonstrated the applicability of the observation methods presented in the previously published paper “Methods of observing typical plant communities in the Steppe and Desert Biodiversity Observation Network, Sino BON”. Suggestions for the improvement of the content, methods, and indices of observation were presented with respect to problem areas. We aim to provide a case demonstrating the applicability of the standard methods for future observations.

    A checklist for the classification and distribution of China’s freshwater crabs
    Chu Kelin, Ma Xiaoping, Zhang Zewei, Wang Pengfei, Lü Linna, Zhao Qiang, Sun Hongying
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  274-282.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018062
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    China has the highest species-richness of freshwater crabs in the world. However, due to the recent and rapid discoveries of freshwater crab species in China there is currently no systematic checklist for classification. Here we present for the first time a checklist of all freshwater crab species found in China that follows the latest classification of Brachyura by Ng et al (2008). The checklist is based on the most recent taxonomic literature and provides updated distributions for each species. There are 311 species of Chinese freshwater crabs in 45 genera and two families. The Potamidae Ortmann, 1896, includes 44 genera and 283 species and subspecies, while the Gecarcinucidae Rathbun, 1904, includes one genus and 28 species. The degree of endemism was found to be high, with 302 species and subspecies (97%), and 38 genera (84%) that are found only in China. The highest species diversity occurs in Yunnan Province (16 genera and 50 species), followed by Taiwan (4 genera and 41 species). The checklist provides a baseline for further studies of the freshwater crabs of China and will be a particularly important reference point for future conservation projects.

    Camera trap survey of mammals and birds in Ziwuling National Nature Reserve and Qiaoshan Provincial Nature Reserve, Shaanxi
    Xie Bing, Han Siyu, Wang Yazhou, Zhao Guojing, Gao Zhiqi, Wu Chenghao, Liu Xiangzhong, Bai Jianbo, Liu Miao, Gao Jinlong, Feng Limin, Yang Haitao
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  283-285.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017241
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    Evaluation of the effectiveness of marine protected areas: Methodologies and progress
    Ruiling Song, Jinxian Yao, Kaiyue Wu, Xiaochuan Zhang, Zhi Lü, Zhengguang Zhu, Lijie Yin
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  286-294.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018005
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    The continued decline of global biodiversity presents a huge challenge for biodiversity conservation, especially for marine biodiversity conservation. As an effective way to protect biodiversity, evaluating the effectiveness of MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) is becoming a critical issue. However, only limited assessment methodologies were specially designed for MPAs so far. Moreover, evaluation indicators have mainly focused on management effectiveness. Recently, the establishment of global biodiversity monitoring networks and databases and the application of new technologies (including remote sensing, sonar system, satellite tracking, and genomics) have provided available data and information for quantified conservation effectiveness evaluations at multiple levels from ecosystems to genes. Future evaluation should be based on long-term scientific monitoring with the assistance of new technologies, promoting the establishment of the biodiversity monitoring database and information sharing, and developing integrated and interdisciplinary evaluation systems to evaluate conservation effectiveness.

    Progress on the breakdown of one-to-one rule in symbiosis of figs and their pollinating wasps
    Jianfeng Huang, Rui Xu, Yanqiong Peng
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  295-303.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017219
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    The fig-fig-pollinating wasp symbiosis provides a model system for investigating the mutualistic interaction between plants and animals. A simple one-to-one rule was proposed to describe the highly specialized reciprocal relationships between figs and their species-specific pollinating fig wasps based on the initial studies: each fig tree species is obligatorily pollinated by one fig wasp species, and each wasp species can only reproduce in one fig species. With the deepening of research, however, increasing cases of breakdown in species-specificity have been reported, especially the reveal of cryptic pollinating fig wasp species progressively weaken the universality of one-to-one rule in fig-fig-pollinating wasp symbiosis. The documented cases of breakdown in the one-to-one rule were divided into two types, including copollinator and pollinator sharing, which have their own different mechanisms. Pollinator sharing is pollination of different species of Ficus by the same pollinator, while copollinator is the co-occurrence of more than one species of pollinators in one host fig. Here, the research progress on the breakdown of one-to-one rule is presented in three stages, i.e. morphological description, multidisciplinary evidence and discovery of cryptic pollinating wasp species. Some future challenges and research prospects resulted from the breakdown of one-to-one rule are outlined. Copollinators may lead to the interspecific hybridization between pollinator species, while pollinator sharing may result in the hybridization of host figs. Nonetheless, the hybridization in fig-fig-pollinating wasp symbiosis is very rare and suggests a strong level of reproductive isolation. Furthermore, the incidence and pattern of pollinator sharing and copollinator are differentiated in dioecious and monoecious figs, which suggests a differentiated host-specificity. The identification of cryptic species triggers the research of its speciation and co-occurrence, as well as the reassessment of pollinator biodiversity. Failing to recognize cryptic species also will limits the effectiveness of the controlled experiment in fig-fig-pollinating wasp symbosis. Each pair of fig and pollinating wasp possesses its distinctive coevolutionary history, and there are more than 750 pairs across the globe, which provide rich materials to explore the coevolutionary process and mechanism between plants and animals. The integrated study of formation, maintenance and breakdown mechanisms of the host-specificity will contribute to the understanding of fig-fig-pollinating wasp mutualism, and the coevolutionary process and mechanism between plants and animals.

    “Science, art and responsibility”: The scientific and social function changes of a 500-year history of botanical gardens. II. Intension of sciences
    Hongwen Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  304-314.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017331
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    The advance trajectory of scientific research in the world botanical gardens over past 500 years is not only a microcosm of the whole history of biological sciences, but also reveal the unremitting pursuit of mankind exploration and utilization of plant resources for development of economy and society. From the 16th-17th centuries, botanical garden’s main studies on medicinal plants and drug discovery, to the 18th-20th centuries’ founding plant taxonomy and then branching to various botanical disciplines, to nowadays’ plant molecular biology and genomics, metabolomics and so on, scientific research connotation of botanical gardens have been mainstream process during these centuries when not only laid the foundation of plant taxonomy in the 18th century, but also made indelible contributions to many biological discoveries and establishment of theoretical system since the 18th century. Meanwhile, since the 16th century, the introduction and domestication of crop plants across continents, regions and countries have profoundly changed the world economic and social structure and affected the rise and fall of many countries. The botanical gardens have played a pilot and leading role for introduction and spread of crop plants over the past 500 years. This paper attempts to review historical track of intension of sciences of botanical gardens in recent 500 years for revealing future trend of the research fields relating to plant macro and micro biology and era of big data in today’s botanical gardens in order to provide reference of valuable thinking for scientific research in botanical gardens of China.

    Overview and classification outlook of natural protected areas in mainland China
    Yangjing Peng, Jian Fan, Shaohua Xing, Guofa Cui
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (3):  315-325.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017235
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    By the end of 2016, China had established approximately 10 types and a large number of natural protected areas since the first nature reserve was established in 1956. With ecological civilization construction, to establish a natural protected areas system based on national parks is not only an important project put forward by the state, but also the inevitable trend for future development. However, problems including ambiguous concepts, confused classification systems, vague dominant functions, and geospatial overlap also accompanied these natural protected areas. There is still no unified classification system that can be applied in all types of natural protected areas in China, this lack of classification system has seriously impeded ongoing optimization and integration of the existing natural protected areas and the construction of a national park system and is not convenient for international academic exchanges. Therefore, defining natural protected areas is urgently needed and is essential for the establishment of a classification system that is applicable to our country and conducive to international communication. Here we mainly discuss the concepts and connotation of natural protected areas in China, tease out their development processes, and summarize the construction and classification of 10 types of natural protected areas, while comparing the similarities and differences of these concepts and classifications. Finally, based on the IUCN protected area management classification system, the natural attribution of protected objects, and social attribution of management objects, we propose three classification systems to provide a reference for establishing a natural protected area classification system and national park system. We hope these systems will play a role in the study of the classification system of natural protected areas in the future.

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