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Table of Content
    Volume 27 Issue 12
    20 December 2019
    Among totally 18 penguin species, Adélie penguins only breed along the coast of the Antarctic Continent. Zhang et al (pages 1291–1297 of this issue) analyzed the genetic structure of Adélie penguins breeding on Inexpressible Island using genomic SNPs. The results indicated that there was no significant genetic differentiation among sub-populations on Inexpressible Island. The cover shows Adélie penguin chicks on Inexpressible Island. (Photographed by Yanyun Zhang)
    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Explaining the diversity and endemic patterns based on phylogenetic approach for woody plants of the Loess Plateau
    Xuerui Dong, Hong Zhang, Minggang Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1269-1278.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019224
    Abstract ( 1732 )   HTML ( 89 )   PDF (4064KB) ( 1524 )   Save
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    The Loess Plateau is home to various vegetation types as it contains famous transitional forests, grasslands, and deserts. Due to natural resource limitation and intensive human activities, this natural environment faces serious conservation challenges. In order to effectively conserve this natural environment, spatial mapping of species diversity is key to conservation efforts. In this study, we first modeled the potential distribution of 293 woody species based on specimen records and climate data and then calculated the spatial patterns of species richness and weighted endemism. Secondly, we calculated phylogenetic diversity and phylogenetic endemism and identified environmental drivers of the observed spatial patterns. Finally, we analyzed endemism types and tested their significance. Our results suggest that biodiversity hotspots are distributed on the southern edge of the Loess Plateau and are highly related to the flora of Qinling Mountains. The biodiversity patterns of this transitional region are driven by annual precipitation and minimum temperature of coldest month. Endemism hotspots were found on the southern edge of the Loess Plateau, which contain paleo-endemism and mixed-endemism, but no neo-endemism. We concluded that most woody species of the Loess Plateau originated in tropical or subtropical regions, and the species richness patterns of this region are maintained by dispersal rather than speciation. Our study indicated the importance of incorporating the evolutionary history in biodiversity conservation.

    Intraspecific variation of leaf functional traits along the vertical layer in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Dinghushan
    Ruyun Zhang, Yanpeng Li, Yunlong Ni, Xujun Gui, Juyu Lian, Wanhui Ye
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1279-1290.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019267
    Abstract ( 1374 )   HTML ( 52 )   PDF (5301KB) ( 1015 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Exploring how functional traits vary along environmental gradients has always been one of the core issues of trait-based community ecology. While functional traits vary both among species and within species, little is known about how intraspecific variation changes along environmental gradients. We explored how intraspecific trait variations of four leaf functional traits (specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf thickness, leaf area) varied along vertical layer within community using data for 2,820 individuals belonging to 16 species in a 1.44-ha plot in the south subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Dinghushan. First, we quantified the relative importance of intra- and interspecific trait variation within the canopy crane plot using linear random effect model. Trees were classified into three categories: shrub, subcanopy, canopy using the Kmeans method and investigated the patterns of intraspecific trait variation in different vertical layer using regression models. Finally, we explored whether intraspecific trait variation in different vertical layers depended on species differences using linear mixed effect models and a one-way analysis of variance. Results suggest that general intraspecific trait variation was lower than interspecific variation in the local community. Moreover, the pattern of intraspecific trait variation differed significantly among different vertical layer, and intraspecific trait variation was positively correlated with the vertical range. Intraspecific variation of leaf functional traits strongly depended on species differences, so species differences were relatively more important than microenvironment in explaining trait variation. In addition, intraspecific variation of different leaf functional traits showed different trends along vertical layer. Our study found the important role of intraspecific trait variation in species coexistence.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Population genetic structure of Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) from Inexpressible Island, Antarctica, using SNP markers
    Jian Zhang, Lu Dong, Yanyun Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1291-1297.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019255
    Abstract ( 1229 )   HTML ( 32 )   PDF (1289KB) ( 837 )   Save
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    China has proposed to establish an Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) to protect the Adélie penguin, Pygoscelis adeliae, colonies on Inexpressible Island. However, the boundary of the proposed ASPA is disputed mainly by whether the South Bay population is a distinct genetic population in need of protection. We collected samples of Adélie penguins from the South Bay and neighboring Seaview Bay on Inexpressible Island and identified SNPs via Illumina sequencing for population structure analysis. Our results indicated that there was no significant genetic difference between the South Bay colonies and the Seaview Bay colonies, or between the higher and lower elevational colonies in the Seaview Bay. Thus, the breeding populations of Adélie penguin on the island could be recognized as a single conservation unit. The currently proposed boundary of the ASPA, which covers the majority of breeding populations in Seaview Bay, would be sufficient to protect the genetic diversity of Adélie penguins in Inexpressible Island.

    Diversity in benthic and environmental characteristics on alpine micro-waterbodies and stream ecosystems in northwest Yunnan
    Shuoran Liu, Daode Yang, Xianfu Li, Lu Tan, Jun Sun, Xiaoyang He, Wenshu Yang, Guopeng Ren, Davide Fornacca, Qinghua Cai, Wen Xiao
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1298-1308.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019157
    Abstract ( 1651 )   HTML ( 32 )   PDF (1701KB) ( 912 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Due to the small area and the cascaded structure formed by surface water, alpine micro-waterbodies are often considered to have similar habitats to alpine streams. However, due to the differences between the environmental factors and the benthic diversity, the functions of these two habitats in the ecosystem may be completely different. Northwest Yunnan hosts one of the richest global biodiversity hotspots where alpine micro-waterbodies and streams are densely concentrated. These two fresh water ecosystems have important functions in regional benthic biodiversity maintenance, however, these peculiar freshwater ecosystems have barely received research attention. In order to compare the similarities and differences of environmental factors and biodiversity between these two habitats and their maintenance effects on benthic diversity, in this study, benthic biodiversity and the environmental factors of 27 alpine micro-waterbodies and a stream in the same region (9 sample sites within an altitude gradient of 500 m) were investigated in an alpine valley of Gongshan County, Nujiang, Yunnan Province in June of 2015. Results showed that: (1) The common characteristics of benthic communities in alpine micro-waterbodies and the stream were that the dominant taxa have large population size, while, the rare taxa had higher richness but small population size. (2) However, the environmental factors, species diversity, functional diversity and community structures were quite different between the alpine micro-waterbodies and the stream, the alpine stream had higher species richness, species diversity and functional diversity than alpine micro-waterbodies. (3) the benthic biodiversity and formation of community structure in alpine stream were related to the elevation and aquatic environmental factors relating to flow rate regulation, while, the aquatic environmental factors of alpine micro-waterbodies did not act as the drivers for the distribution of benthic biodiversity. Therefore, these findings suggest that alpine micro-waterbodies and streams are distinct ecosystems that each feature has very different characteristics, they cannot be regarded as similar ecosystem types. Both of them play an important role in the maintenance of regional benthic biodiversity and ecosystem functions.

    Distribution patterns and environmental interpretation of beetle species richness in Helan Mountain of northern China
    Guijun Yang, Min Wang, Yichun Yang, Xinyun Li, Xinpu Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1309-1319.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019184
    Abstract ( 1590 )   HTML ( 39 )   PDF (1578KB) ( 1002 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Spatial patterns of species richness and mechanism are vital to biodiversity conservation. Based on the distribution of beetles and combined the climate and habitat heterogeneity, we explored the distribution patterns and effect factors of beetle species richness of overall and six dominant families in Helan Mountain of northern China. The results showed that species richness and fauna differentiation intensity of beetles were the highest in the middle of Helan Mountain, the southern section was higher than the northern section, and the western section was higher than the eastern section. After clustering analysis of species distributed in 183 grids, the distribution of beetles could be classified into three groups (xerophilic landscape beetle groups in the northern section, semi-hygric landscape beetle groups in the middle-western section, and semi-xerophytic beetle groups in the middle-east and south section). The mean annual temperature and precipitation were the most significant factors on beetle distribution by analyzing of RDA. Meanwhile, water and energy factors together explained 57.1% of the spatial variation in overall beetle species richness, only 5.9% and 7.1% separately, followed by habitat heterogeneity (35.2%) and only 1.8% separately. The relative effect of dominant species richness were inconsistent with climatic and habitat heterogeneity, but water and habitat heterogeneity have significant effect on beetle species richness in southern and northern of Helan Mountain. Water and energy factors dominantly impacted beetle spatial distribution, and habitat heterogeneity increased the species richness. Therefore, we suggested that topographic and soil factors may also have an important influence on beetle species richness in Helan Mountain according to the unexplained proportion.

    Original Papers: Microbial Diversity
    Community composition and diversity of cultivable endophytic bacteria isolated from Dongxiang wild rice
    Zhiyuan Chen, Jun Liu, Xingpeng Yang, Meng Liu, Ya Wang, Zhibin Zhang, Du Zhu
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1320-1329.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019219
    Abstract ( 1272 )   HTML ( 37 )   PDF (2488KB) ( 921 )   Save
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    Endophytic bacteria are essential to the growth and metabolism of their host plants. To better understand the community structure and diversity of endophytic bacteria on plants, we isolated 94 strains of endophytic bacteria from the roots, stems and leaves of Dongxiang wild rice (Oryza rufipogon). Subsequent 16S rRNA sequence alignments and phylogenetic analyses revealed that the 94 strains could be categorized into 17 genera of 14 families in 3 phyla (Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes).Bacillus and Microbacterium, accounting for 27.7% and 20.2% of the diversity, respectively, were the two most dominant genera. The distribution and diversity of endophytic bacteria differed across different tissues of Dongxiang wild rice: the roots contained the most endophytic bacteria strains (n = 34, 36.2%), followed by leaves (n = 32, 34.0%), and stems (n = 28, 29.8%). Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H′ = 2.52), Simpson dominance index (D = 0.88) and Pielou evenness index (E = 0.72) were higher in the roots than in the stems or leaves. Meanwhile, the Jaccard similarity index between roots and stems (C = 0.29) was lower than that between roots and leaves (C = 0.47), or that between stems and leaves (C = 0.45). Our efforts to uncover the diversity of endophytic bacteria in Dongxiang wild rice confirms that roots contain the most diverse strains but that the composition of endophytes varies across tissues.

    Research Bulletin
    Characteristics and diversity of nekton functional groups in the coastal waters of south-central Zhejiang Province
    Rijin Jiang, Linlin Zhang, Kaida Xu, Pengfei Li, Yi Xiao, Ziwei Fan
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1330-1338.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019281
    Abstract ( 1074 )   HTML ( 13 )   PDF (1367KB) ( 865 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    To understand the status of nekton communities and diversity in the coastal waters of south-central Zhejiang Province, we carried out two bottom trawl surveys in April and May of 2016. By using diversity index and redundancy analysis, we studied the composition of functional groups. We divided 166 species of nekton into six functional groups according to their feeding habits. The average abundance percentage of zooplanktivores/piscivores functional group was the highest while that of benthivores functional group was the lowest. Meanwhile, the average biomass percentage of zooplanktivores functional group was the highest while that of detritivorous functional group was the lowest. The results of ANOSIM showed a significant monthly difference between functional group structure of nekton communities in April and May, and the mean value of functional group diversity was 1.30 and 1.23 in those months, respectively. Functional group diversity of nekton communities was significantly positively correlated with the total biomass of large individual species (body mass > 50 g), and functional group diversity was positively correlated with species diversity. Redundancy analysis showed that the piscivores functional group were greatly affected by temperature, while benthivores functional group was greatly affected by water depth. Through the analysis of functional group composition, we found the nekton community structure was stable in the coastal waters of south-central Zhejiang Province.

    Camera-trapping survey of mammalian and avian biodiversity in Qianjiangyuan National Park, Zhejiang Province
    Jianping Yu, Jiangyue Wang, Huiyun Xiao, Xiaonan Chen, Shengwen Chen, Sheng Li, Xiaoli Shen
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1339-1344.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019345
    Abstract ( 1544 )   HTML ( 61 )   PDF (806KB) ( 1391 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    From May 2014 to April 2019, we conducted camera-trapping surveys in the Qianjiangyuan National Park, Zhejiang Province. We divided the park into a grid containing 267 1 km × 1 km plots, with 3 fixed survey stations (> 300 m apart from each other) in each plot. One camera trap was set up in each plot and rotated among the stations within the plot every four months. In the Gutianshan section of the park, the cameras were running for 14 rotations from 2014-2019. The survey started in Hetian, Qixi and Changhong in 2018, and the cameras were rotated once in Qixi and twice in Hetian and Changhong. With a survey effort of 140,413 camera-days from 741 stations in 253 grids, we obtained 268,833 pictures/videos resulting in 74,368 independent detections. The survey recorded 21 wild mammalian and 72 avian species, as well as 5 domestic animal species. Among the species, two (black muntjac Muntiacus crinifrons and Elliot’s pheasant Syrmaticus ellioti) are Class I, and seventeen are Class II national protected animals, accounting for 20.4% of total recorded wild species. Five species are red-listed by the IUCN as Vulnerable and four as Near Threatened, accounting for 9.7% of the total recorded wild species. One species is red-listed as Endangered, nine as Vulnerable and ten as Near Threatened by Red list of China’s vertebrates, accounting for 21.5% of the total recorded wild species. The most detected mammal species was Reeve’s muntjac Muntiacus reevesi, and the most detected bird species was silver pheasant Lophura nycthemera. Our results provide reliable baseline information on the species composition, their spatial distribution, and relative abundance of mammals and birds in the Qianjiangyuan National Park.

    A catalogue of animal type specimens from the Libo World Nature Heritage Site, China
    Yi Zhou, Tianyou Yang, Jingcheng Ran, Xu Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1345-1351.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019246
    Abstract ( 1180 )   HTML ( 16 )   PDF (774KB) ( 908 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    In order to understand the history of specimens, to fulfill requirements of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, and for biodiversity conservation broadly, we cataloged all the animal type specimens from the Libo World Nature Heritage Site. The information of animal type specimens were collected and analyzed, and here, we provide an updated catalogue. The results show that: (1) There are 204 species of animal type specimens at the Libo World Natural Heritage Site, belonging to 3 phyla, 6 classes, 22 orders and 60 families. (2) The collection of animal type specimens can be traced back to 1955, with the most recent additions in 2013, spanning 58 years, while the peak period of collections being 1995-2004. (3) A large number of species (93 species, 45.59%) were published by three scholars. (4) The shelf time (from collection to publication) of type species was severely delayed, with the longest delay at 47 years. (5) Type specimens were catalogued by 66 collectors/teams, and most of them were Chinese scholars (63, 95.45%). (6) These animal type specimens are preserved in 27 Chinese and foreign research institutions or private collections, of which 1,504 were collected from China and 7 from foreign countries. (7) New species from type specimens at the heritage site were published in 169 articles, 155 in Chinese and 14 in foreign languages. With the expansion of research at the Libo World Natural Heritage Site, more and more new species have been found, which indicates that the species resources in the heritage site are abundant and that biodiversity is likely to be underestimated. We suggest that effort still needs to be devoted to the classification of heritage sites worldwide.

    An overview on assessment systems for threatened plants in China
    Zhangjian Shan, Lina Zhao, Yuchang Yang, Dan Xie, Haining Qin
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1352-1363.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019244
    Abstract ( 1467 )   HTML ( 52 )   PDF (1273KB) ( 1637 )   Save
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    Endangered species conservation is an important part of biodiversity conservation, heavily helped by threatened species assessment guides. The assessment of threatened level has gradually evolved from being qualitative to quantitative with qualitative supplement. This paper reviews the research progress of the domestic threatened plant species quantitative assessment system, and introduces the mature IUCN Red List Assessment System, CITES Assessment System, and the National Natural Conservation Association Assessment System. Through this, we propose future development requirements of quantitative assessment criteria for threatened species should have the following characteristics: (1) a clear, unified, and reasonable definition of category setting, (2) quantitative, objective, and non-redundant criteria for endangered categories, (3) adaptation to different geographical range while simultaneously expressing threatened category over different ranges, (4) evaluation indicators contain the dynamic information of the species which can quantitatively analyze the change of the species through time. In addition, the domestic quantitative assessment system for threatened species should form a standardized outline with increased publicity to combine theoretical research with specific conservation actions. Lastly, China should adopt the widely-used endangered rating systems to assess species threatened level and integrate domestic biodiversity conservation work into the global scale.

    The complexity-stability relationship: Progress in mathematical models
    Guanghua Xu, Xiaoyu Li, Chunhua Shi
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1364-1378.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019138
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    In the 1970s, the intuition that complex communities are more stable than simple ones was challenged by mathematical models which gave diametrically opposing conclusions. Since then, this “paradox” has been heavily researched making the complexity-stability relationship of continued interest. Here, we analyzed the concepts of “complexity” and “stability” and classified the half-century of mathematical models generated by this field into linear approach and nonlinear approaches. The former is also referred to as community matrix, while the latter could be further classified into interaction matrix, numerical simulation of complex network, and food web module dynamics. Based on different community construction methods and adopting different stability criteria, together they provide a rich knowledge of how species interact and coexist, enabling us to reveal the vain of the paradox. In general, species diversity and connectivity play a negative role in the stability of randomly constructed community models. However, in models that mimic natural, empirical communities, several characteristics (including network topology, interaction intensity distribution, and interaction mode) provide mechanisms for maintaining stability, enabling these communities to reach higher levels of complexity. The study of complexity-stability is far from over. The complex interactions in natural communities is still beyond the reach of current models, and the concept of stability also needs to be expanded. The in-depth study of this topic will contribute both ecological theory and ecosystem management practice profoundly.

    Application of digital sequence information in biodiversity research and its potential impact on benefit sharing
    Baoping Li, Dayuan Xue
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1379-1385.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019242
    Abstract ( 1346 )   HTML ( 28 )   PDF (706KB) ( 847 )   Save
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    Digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources is a product of unprecedented improvements in genetic sequencing technology in recent years. The application of genetic DSI can help to explain the molecular basis and evolutionary theory of life and provide new technical methods for the conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity. With the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, the Conference of the Parties (COP) has gradually deepened their understanding of benefit-sharing and adopted effective legislative and administrative measures to control their biological genetic resources. As a special kind of “non-physical” information resource, the application of genetic digital sequence information will bring challenges to access systems and benefit sharing. In recent years, genetic digital sequence information has become the focus of negotiations for CBD. China, as a large country with rich biodiversity, a contracting party of Nagoya Protocol, and also one of the countries with rapid development in biotechnology in recent years, should strive to participate in relevant research on this topic and actively respond to the challenges arising therewithin.

    The Belt and Road initiative and access and benefit-sharing to biological genetic resource: Connection, pathway and strategies
    Yiding Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1386-1392.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019229
    Abstract ( 1081 )   HTML ( 11 )   PDF (667KB) ( 771 )   Save
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    The Belt and Road initiative has significant timely meaning and profound historical influence. As still pushing and make in practice to the initiative mentioned above, the concrete content of the initiative becomes abundant and pluralism. Access and benefit-sharing to biological genetic resource is a focus area and hot issue in the field of biodiversity persistently and long-term that have inter-connection with the initiative of the Belt and Road in ideas, goals, manner and subject. For China, in the background of the Belt and Road, it should be make a choice to two side pathway as principal and multi side pathway as auxiliary. In the future, China may consider to raise the regional or trans-regional initiative of access and benefit-sharing to biological genetic resource and implement it, push and stipulate the legislation and administrative regulate system relates to this issue continuity, and carry out the programe of capability construction enhancement.

    Ratifying Bonn Convention, promoting global conservation of migratory animals
    Zhigang Jiang, Zhengwang Zhang, Runzhi Zhang, Zhijun Ma, Hongjun Chu, Yiming Li, Changqing Ding, Yahui Zhao, Jiliang Xu, Xiaoge Ping, Yan Zeng, Shaopeng Cui, Na Li, Dandan Cao, Supen Wang, Jing Xu, Yingjie Qi, Chunwang Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2019, 27 (12):  1393-1395.  doi:10.17520/biods.2019379
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