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Table of Content
    Volume 26 Issue 6
    20 June 2018
    The Altay Prefecture of Xinjiang, China, which shares international boundaries with Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, has typical landscapes of boreal coniferous forest and temperate desert. The diverse habitats have developed a specific reptilian fauna. Tao et al (for details see pages 578–589 of this issue) studied the reptilian fauna and elevational patterns of the reptile species diversity in Altay Prefecture. They analyzed the impacts of annual mean temperature and annual precipitation on the pattern of reptiles, and discussed the possible reasons for the changes of reptile diversity along the altitude. From the left to right, from the upper to bottom, they are the representative species of the sub-order of Serpentes in the Altay Prefecture: Tartar sand boa Eryx tataricus (photoed by Chunwang Li), desert sand boa E. miliaris (photoed by Chunwang Li), steppe ribbon racer Psammophis lineolatus (photoed by Ming Fan), European adder Vipera berus (photoed by Shaopeng Cui), and central Asian pitviper Gloydius intermedius (photoed by Chunyan Jiang).
    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Difference in survival response of tree species to neighborhood crowding in a lower subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Dinghushan
    Qinhong Ma, Yanpeng Li, Juyu Lian, Wanhui Ye
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  535-544.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018056
    Abstract ( 1215 )   HTML ( 24 )   PDF (775KB) ( 1279 )   English Version Save
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    Identifying the mechanisms that drive community structure and dynamics is one of the most fundamental goals in ecology. The local neighborhood in which trees grow significantly influences species survival. In order to understand the mechanisms underlying the various survival responses to neighborhood crowding among species, we compared the survival responses of focal tree species through modeling tree survival in terms of neighborhood effects. These effects were quantified in different ways, based on the survival monitoring and functional trait data of 90 species commonly observed in a lower tropical evergreen broad-leaved forest 20-ha plot in the Dinghu Mountains. We found that among all species tested, 58% showed sensitivity to neighborhood effects and that the survival response of 50% were mediated by functional trait differences among co-occurring species. Shade tolerance of species is associated with species sensitivity to its neighborhood as species with lower shade tolerance are intended to be sensitive to their neighbors. Lower specific leaf area, higher leaf dry matter content, wood density and maximum diameter at breast height indicate higher shade tolerance. Niche difference associated with light acquisition strategies may underlie species coexistence at the neighborhood scale. Our study provides new insights into quantifying neighborhood interaction and species coexistence at the local neighborhood scale.

    Relationships between species richness and biomass/productivity depend on environmental factors in secondary forests of Dinghai, Zhejiang Province
    Chuping Wu, Wenjuan Han, Bo Jiang, Bowen Liu, Weigao Yuan, Aihua Shen, Yujie Huang, Jinru Zhu
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  545-553.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017320
    Abstract ( 1498 )   HTML ( 19 )   PDF (680KB) ( 1218 )   English Version Save
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    Experimental studies of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) have mainly been conducted in artificial ecosystems with randomly assembled species, highlighting the need of testing this relationship in real world. In particular, these studies did not consider the effects of environmental factors on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Hence, we used secondary forests, which are widely distributed in the subtropics, as research objects. We used model fitting methods to study the relationship between species richness and biomass/productivity. Meanwhile, we also explored the effects of environmental factors (e.g., elevation, aspect, slope, and soil depth) on biomass and productivity and on BEF relationships. Our results showed that there was a significant linear correlation between species richness and biomass, and a quartic correlation between species richness and productivity (i.e., humped curve) when environmental factors were not considered. Considering that biomass was significantly affected by stem density and soil depth, while productivity was not affected by environmental factors, we found that only under the environmental conditions characterized by steep slopes, south aspects, or higher soil depths, was species richness significantly correlated with biomass. The relationship between species richness and productivity showed a significant quadratic correlation under higher elevation, but not under any other environmental conditions. These results suggest that the relationship between species richness and productivity is different from the relationship between species richness and biomass, and both these relationships depend on environmental factors.

    Comparison of morphology, photosynthesis, and growth among Xanthium strumarium, X. sibiricum and their hybrid under different nitrogen levels
    Chenyang Xue, Yufeng Xu, Bo Qu
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  554-563.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018002
    Abstract ( 1348 )   HTML ( 16 )   PDF (1155KB) ( 931 )   English Version Save
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    Hybridization of invasive plants with native plants may alter their invasiveness. To investigate whether hybridization can promote plant invasions, we carried out a pot experiment to compare morphology, photosynthesis, and growth of the invasive plant Xanthium strumarium, the native plant X. sibiricum and their hybrid (X. strumarium♀ × X. sibiricum♂) under three nitrogen (N) levels, i.e. low, medium and high. Total biomass of the hybrid was smaller than that of X. strumarium but larger than that of X. sibiricum at the medium and high N levels. However, stem diameter of the hybrid was significantly higher than its parents at the low N level, its total chlorophyll content and transpiration rate were significantly higher than X. strumarium at the high N level, and its relative growth rate was higher than its parents at the low and high N levels. Moreover, plant height of X. strumarium was significantly lower than that of X. sibiricum at all three N levels, but plant height of the hybrid was not significantly different from that of X. sibiricum at the medium and high N levels. These characteristics may improve the hybrid’s ability to capture and use resources, which can not only help the hybrid adapt to a poor nutrient environment, but can also help to improve its advantages under favorable conditions. The higher growth rate of the hybrid may be associated with the invasiveness of X. strumarium.

    Water utilization sources of Populus euphratica trees of different ages in the lower reaches of Tarim River
    Jiang Zhang, Guifang Li, Yaling He, Yudi Mu, Li Zhuang, Hongling Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  564-571.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017342
    Abstract ( 1274 )   HTML ( 13 )   PDF (589KB) ( 978 )   Save
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    Water availability is one of the most important factors affecting the growth and reproduction of terrestrial plants, particularly in arid regions. Understanding the strategies of desert riparian plants to circulate and utilize water can reveal the scientific basis for ecological water conveyance engineering and contribute to planning ecological restoration of similar areas. In this study, we examined whether Populus euphratica trees of different ages in the lower reaches of Tarim River differed in their water sources by using the stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope technology. Specifically, for P. euphratica of different ages in the same habitat, we measured hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope ratios (δD and δ18O) values of xylem water and potential water sources (soil moisture and ground water). Then, we used multi-isotope mass balance analysis (IsoSource) to calculate the possible contributions of potential water sources to the total water content in plants. We found significant differences of δ18O value for soil moisture at different soil depths. Also, the δ18O values of young wood (-7.83 ± 0.07‰), mature wood (-8.53 ± 0.11‰) and over-mature wood (-9.36 ± 0.21‰), which were significantly different, while δD values did not differ statistically among the forest types. Furthermore, δ18O values of P. euphratica in three kinds of forest age became lower while the distance was deeper from soil surface and gradually approached to ground water on the whole. The shallow soil water in 0-60 cm was significantly affected by evaporation. The isotopic composition of soil water had experienced a strong evaporation and fractionation process. And soil water content was small, while δ18O values were large. Finally, our results showed that water utilization of P. euphratica of different ages came from different sources. The young wood of P. euphratica used an average of 16.2% of its water from 80-140 cm of the soil, 21.4% from 140-220 cm, and 24.6% from 220-340 cm and the average utilization ratio of ground water was 24.5%. In comparison, mature wood of P. euphratica mainly utilized the water from 220-340 cm of the soil and the ground water, with the utilization rate being 36.9% and 42.3%, respectively. Over-mature wood had water utilization ratios of 32.8% from 140-340 cm of soil and 49.3% of ground water.

    Conservation status of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations in China
    Zejin Zhang, Yanpei Guo, Jin-Sheng He, Zhiyao Tang
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  572-577.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017271
    Abstract ( 2523 )   HTML ( 89 )   PDF (1279KB) ( 1956 )   English Version Save
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    China is characterized as one of the countries with the greatest diversity worldwide, mostly because of its vast area and heterogeneous topography. Meanwhile, the long history of human activity has led to the decrease of populations for considerable species in China. To protect these species, the Chinese government proposed a list of the first batch of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations (PSESP). In this study, we developed a fine-resolution distribution database for 120 PSESPs, explored the distribution patterns, and evaluated the in situ conservation status of the PSESPs by overlapping species distribution with terrestrial national and provincial nature reserves (NNRs and PNRs) in China. We found the greatest richness of PSESPs in the southeast regions of Yunnan, the southwest regions of Guangxi, and the southwest regions of Hainan Island. On average, NNRs covered 21.5%, while PNRs covered an additional 10.9% of the distribution areas of PSESPs. However, 35 PSESPs (29% of the total) were not covered by NNRs and 17 PSESPs (14%) were not covered by either NNRs or PNRs. We proposed that nature reserves specifically designed for the PSESPs need to be constructed in the Yunnan and Hainan provinces.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Reptilian fauna and elevational patterns of the reptile species diversity in Altay Prefecture in Xinjiang, China
    Xiaqiu Tao, Shaopeng Cui, Zhigang Jiang, Hongjun Chu, Na Li, Daode Yang, Chunwang Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  578-589.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017194
    Abstract ( 1903 )   HTML ( 26 )   PDF (2883KB) ( 1474 )   English Version Save
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    The Altay Prefecture in China, which shares international boundaries with Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia, is a special area in the mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The diverse landform of this area encompasses mountainous terrain, vast plains and desert lands. We conducted three expeditions from 2014 to 2016 to survey reptiles of the Altay Prefecture. We actively searched for reptiles using spotlighting at night. We collected a total of 392 specimens, which we identified as 16 species belonging to six families of the order Squamata. Combined with previous literature, the number of reptile species in this region is now 23 representing eight families of the order Squamata. All these species belong to the Palearctic ecozone, including 17 mid-Asia species versus six Palearctic species. From the geographical view, this region is a transitional zone between Euro-Siberian and Central-Asiatic regions. Next, we assessed how reptile species diversity correlated with elevation, which corresponded with changes in environmental factors in this region. We found that the Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Simpson dominance index showed a pattern of low-elevation plateaus with a mid-elevation peak, the Pielou evenness index showed a pattern of increasing, and the richness showed a pattern of decreasing. The peak values of Simpson dominance index and Shannon-Wiener diversity index were observed in Group 2 (500-600 m). The Pielou evenness index peaked for Group 15 (1,800-1,900 m), and richness peaked for Group 10 (1,300-1,400 m). The three environmental variables (altitude, annual mean temperature and annual precipitation) only weakly explained the observed patterns of diversity, richness and evenness, but their combined explanatory power was stronger. In fact, the combination of altitude and annual mean temperature best explained the observed patterns in diversity, richness and evenness of reptiles in the Altay Prefecture.

    Butterfly diversity and its influencing factors in Saihanwula Nature Reserve
    Xuemeng Hong, Xinyu Ge, Junlan Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  590-600.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018025
    Abstract ( 1468 )   HTML ( 17 )   PDF (826KB) ( 1046 )   English Version Save
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    To explore the factors explaining butterfly diversity in a landscape mosaic of different habitats, we conducted a series of field surveys in the Saihawla National Nature Reserve. This reserve comprised of seven habitats: typical grassland, wetland, mountain valley meadow, degraded grassland, farmland, mountain xerophytic shrub and mountainous shrub. From May to September 2017, we recorded a total of 2,290 butterfly individuals belonging to 63 species, 42 genera, and 5 families. Nymphalidae, with the most species (34) and the most individuals (991), was the dominant family in the reserve. Five species dominated the community: Papilio Xuthus, Pontia daplidice, Aporia crataegi, Aglais urticae, Speyeria aglaja. The species-abundance analysis showed a normal distribution model, suggesting a relatively stable community with the range of butterfly activity extending to different habitats due to the continuity of vegetation types. However, we also found that butterfly distribution in Saihanwula was closely related to the distribution and composition of vegetation among habitats. The Mountainous shrub had the highest biodiversity index and the lowest dominance index, whereas degraded grassland had the lowest biodiversity index and species richness, but the highest dominance index. The Mountain valley meadow had the most number of families, genera, species, and individuals, the degraded grassland had the lowest number of families, genera, species, and individuals. Faunal distribution analysis show that widely distributed species occupied 63.49% and Palaearctic species occupied 36.51%. Furthermore, butterfly diversity in the different habitats of the reserve varied significantly between months. Finally, we found that numbers of butterfly individuals and species increased with higher temperatures, while rainfall had no significant correlation. In conclusion, We believe that appropriate interference is conducive to the development of butterfly diversity, strong human disturbance seriously destroyed grassland environment, affected butterfly survival and reproduction, and reduced butterfly diversity.

    Ecological niche analysis of dominant shrimp species in the Jiushan Islands Marine Nature Reserve
    Kaida Xu, Kaner Lu, Zhanhui Lu, Qian Dai
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  601-610.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017339
    Abstract ( 1432 )   HTML ( 16 )   PDF (1244KB) ( 852 )   Save
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    The broad aim of our study was to understand shrimp communities and the relationship between dominant species by conducting ecological niche analyses. We collected data with respect to quantities, biomass and species identification on shrimps from the Jiushan Islands Marine Nature Reserve in November 2015 and again in February, May and August of 2016. Using indices such as the index of relative importance (IRI), niche breadth and niche overlap, we analyzed the ecological niche of dominant shrimp species. Finally, we compared niche breadth to understand the relative resource utilization capacity of different shrimp species in the community and also identify whether shrimp species are evenly distributed across the sampling sites/seasons. We used spatio-temporal niche breadth which is a comprehensive descriptor of resource utilization and the product of temporal and spatial niche breadth. In total, we captured 16 warm-temperate and warm-water species in the marine reserve, belonging to 8 families and 12 genera. Seven dominant shrimp species (IRI > 500) were identified, belonging to four families and five genera. Results showed that relative shrimp resources varied with season and further revealed that shrimp biomass in spring and autumn were higher compared to summer and winter. Spatio-temporal niche breadth of all dominant species (except Exopalaemon carinicauda) was higher than the other species. The spatio-temporal niche overlap value between Alpheus japonicus and Parapenaeopsis tenella was the highest, indicating that these two species had highly similar resources utilization. On the other hand, Exopalaemon annandalei and Parapenaeopsis hardwickii, were least similar in their resource utilization. The importance ranking results calculated using IRI and niche breadth were not identical: Palaemon gravieri had the highest spatio-temporal niche breadth value, yet Alpheus japonicus had the highest IRI value. We note however that the indices used cannot reflect biomass of the species.

    Original Papers: Microbial Diversity
    Difference in pH value and nutrient and bacterial diversity in the Carya cathayensis forest soil under different management models
    Mei Zhang, Mashui Lin, Xiuxiu Cao, Shumin Zhao, Daqing Jiang, Bingxuan Wang, Shiying Wang, Yandi Fan, Ming Guo, Haiping Lin
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  611-619.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017268
    Abstract ( 1422 )   HTML ( 17 )   PDF (3025KB) ( 1143 )   English Version Save
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    To optimize management of the Carya cathayensis forest through the diversity and function of soil bacteria, disease index, soil pH, and nutrient and soil bacterial diversity were investigated under ecological management and excessive management during the Botryosphaeria dothidea infected period using 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing technology. The correlations between each interrelationship factors were also analyzed. Results showed that the disease index of the ecologically managed forest was 3.3±3.35, which was significantly lower than that of the excessively managed forest with 81.9±1.27. Moreover, ecological management significantly improved the ability of hickory forest resistant to B. dothidea. The soil pH value of the ecologically managed forest was near neutral with a reading of 6.64±0.06, which was significantly higher than that of excessively managed forest soil with 5.80±0.04. The contents of available phosphorus, available potassium, and available nitrogen in the excessively managed forest soil were 18.10±0.58 mg/kg, 698.63±11.24 mg/kg and 227.13±3.81 mg/kg, which were significantly higher than those in the ecologically managed forest respectively, with 14.94±0.27 mg/kg, 497.13±6.19 mg/kg and 195.28±6.01 mg/kg. There were 14 and 21 major bacterial genera found in the ecologically and excessively managed forest soil samples, respectively. In ecologically managed forest soils, the dominant genera were Sphingomonas, Gaiella and Lysobacter, and the relative abundance of these was significantly higher than excessively managed forest soils. Bryobacter, Candidatus Solibacter, and Bradyrhizobium were the dominant genera in the excessively managed forest soils, and their relative abundance was significantly higher than the ecologically managed forest soils. There was no significant difference of OTUs or Ace, Chao, Shannon and Simpson indices between ecologically and excessively managed forest soils. Redundancy analysis (RDA) and Monte Carlo testing showed that pH value, available phosphorous and available nitrogen had significant effects on the bacterial flora of the dominant bacterial species in the soil (P < 0.05). Our results can provide valuable references for the sustainable management of hickory forests.

    Preliminary surveys of wild animals using infrared camera in Wanglang National Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province
    Cheng Tian, Junqing Li, Xuyu Yang, Lin Yu, Dan Yuan, Yunxi Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  620-626.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017082
    Abstract ( 1491 )   HTML ( 53 )   PDF (543KB) ( 1319 )   Save
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    We used infrared camera to monitor wild animals in Wanglang National Nature Reserve. Our goal was to estimate species diversity, the relationship between the number of cameras and number of species, the relationship between the camera days and number of species, and the relative abundance of species. Across 42 locations, we recorded a total of 1,793 images in which we found 25 species of wildlife. Species found in our camera traps included three national first-class protected species such as giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), Sichuan takin (Budorcas tibetanus) and buff-throated partridge (Tetraophasis szechenyii). We also recorded eight national second-class protected wild animals such as the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula), Chinese serow (Capricornis milneedwardsii), Chinese goral (Naemorhedus griseus). These 25 species were captured when we increased the number of trap-days increased to 23 or any single the trap was placed for at least 180 days. Furthermore the blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) (29.28) and the tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus) (15.78) had the highest relative abundances in the reserve. The relative abundance index for the giant panda was 8.09 and the indices for temminck’s tragopan (Tragopan temminckii), Chinese serow and buff-throated partridge was between 2 and 5. The Chinese goral, koklass pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha), Asiatic black bear, Sichuan takin and blue eared-pheasant (Crossoptilon auritum) had the lowest relative abundance values (all < 1). In summary, we found camera-trapping to be an effective method for wildlife survey. Our findings suggest that less abundant species need more camera trapping effort. Nature reserves are important for protecting habitats of endangered species.

    Discussion and recommendation regarding the spelling of Chinese names of plant taxonomists
    Lingli Deng, Cheng Du, Shuai Liao, Jinshuang Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  627-635.  doi:10.17520/biods.2018047
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    Before the Chinese phonetic alphabet of Hanyu Pinyin was officially adopted, Chinese plant taxonomists recorded in early literature were mainly based on the Wade-Giles system, but also contained a variety of historical phonetic systems. In addition, scholars were accustomed to abbreviating when recording names in the literature, caused various problems in the spelling of author’s names used from history to modern times, particularly when querying Chinese scholar’s work in databases. This paper briefly reviews the phonetic systems used in the early times of Chinese plant taxonomy and summarizes the transformation rules of Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin. Based on related records of all Chinese botanical literature and authors indices, combined with international websites and databases of plant taxonomy, we integrate a more complete information table on Chinese plant taxonomists by spellings. Based on statistical analysis of related information, we fully discuss encountered problems. From past to now, the problems in the spelling author’s names are: (1) Phenomenon of non-standardization in historical records; (2) Phenomenon of confusion in recognition and use of different phonetic systems; (3) Inconsistency in the ordering, capitalization, connection symbols of double names and abbreviations in modern spelling. Finally, we propose recommendations that apply to the Chinese spelling of authors names and their citations.

    Effects of Bt crops on non-target insect pests
    Zhengjun Guan, Shunbao Lu, Yanlin Huo, Haoyong Hao, Jianbin Cao, Wei Wei, Biao Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  636-644.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017315
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    The long-term large-scale planting of genetically modified (GM) crops may have potential impacts on the health and stability of agricultural ecosystems while benefitting agricultural production. Bt proteins expressed in Bt crops have a good control on target pests. However, non-target insects that are not susceptible to Bt toxins may have increased populations rapidly, causing significant damage to crops. With the long-term continued cultivation of insect-resistant GM crops, different reports and views on the amounts of pesticide applications have been reported. Based on existing research, we reviewed the characteristics and status of non-target insect pest outbreaks and analyzed the main causes of the outbreaks (such as insecticide use, decrease of natural enemies, and species replacement). In addition, we discussed the effects of GM crops on non-target pests over long-term cultivation using Bt corn and cotton as examples. Given the existing problems of non-target insect outbreaks due to commercial applications of Bt crops, further studies on monitoring the efficacies of insect-resistant GM crops are necessary to prevent outbreaks of non-target pests needed for sustainable agriculture.

    Protection of Chinese traditional knowledge in the backdrop of the Nagoya Protocol: A case study on acid tea of the De’ang Minority
    Weilin Fu, Mei Dong, Wenhua Yang, Xingyuan Yang, Yujue Wang, Gong Cheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2018, 26 (6):  645-650.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017237
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    China entered the Nagoya Protocol on September 6, 2016, signaling its establishment of the regime regarding protection of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge as well as the Access and Benefit Sharing system (ABS) at both the national and international levels. It is stated that the purpose of defensive protection is to prevent bio-piracy while that of constructive protection is to facilitate benefit sharing. Based on years of field research, we reveal in this study that a user of De’ang acid tea, which is associated with local traditional knowledge, has applied for its patent without the consent of the original holder of its traditional knowledge, thereby constituting an act of bio-piracy. To achieve the purpose of defensive protection, we suggest that domestic patent laws be amended to make it mandatory (for any applicant) to disclose the origin of the traditional knowledge concerned to prevent bio-piracy. To achieve the purpose of constructive protection, we propose that, in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol, a sui generis system should be established through legislation to creatively develop a workable benefit sharing system, which involves identification of various traditional knowledge holding subjects, follows the principles of Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT), and adopts the measure of compensation liabilities or Creative Commons License (CC) with the view to fulfill two major objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, namely conservation and sustainable use.

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