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Table of Content
    Volume 18 Issue 1
    20 January 2010

    Under the globe climate change, ex-situ conservation is an effect measure to prevent the extinction of species. Here is the story about the pollination and reproductive success of two orchids with different distribution range in the same ex-situ garden. Both Ludisia discolor (left picture) from local distributed range, and Calanthe argenteo-striata (right picture) from other place, are pollinated only by the butterfly Pieris rapae. The butterfly carried the pollinaria of these two orchids on different placements. The upper-middle picture showed that the left-twisted anther and stigma of Ludisia discolor fitted to the left-leg pollination of the butterfly. The below-middle picture indicated that the symmetrical floral structure of Calanthe argenteo-striata matched well with the proboscis pollination of the butterfly. For details see pages 11–18 of this issue. (Photographed by Liqiang Li)

    Species-specificity and coevolution of figs and their pollinating wasps
    Yan Chen, Hongqing Li, Min Liu, Xiaoyong Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  1-10.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.001
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    Mutualism is one of the most important ecological interactions, with strong influences on almost all levels of biological systems. Their long-term persistence raises many challenging evolutionary questions, especially those involving high-level coevolution and coadaptation. Figs and their pollinating wasps are among the most tightly integrated mutualisms known, and provide a model system for developing and testing theories of coevolution. Initial studies suggested specific coevolution between them, described as the famous rule of one fig one wasp. However, more and more exceptions have been revealed by recent studies, and cryptic species in pollinating wasps and host switching were found common in some regions and within some Ficus groups, inducing debates on the levels of species specificity and coevolution. A broad-sense coevolution model to describe the relationship of the related groups of figs and their pollinating wasps was proposed recently. The diverse relationships between figs and their pollinating wasps indicated coexistence of both specific and diffuse coevolution in this mutualism system, producing different species-specificity level. However, which model is the dominant one in this system is still keeping open. The species specificity could be tight or loose in different regions and fig groups involved. Consequently, the frequencies and mechanisms of breakdowns of the one-to-one rule within different fig groups as well as in different regions are essential for the understanding of the relative importance of the competing finer-scale cospeciation or broad-sense coevolution models.

    Original Papers
    The butterfly Pieris rapae resulting in the reproductive success of two transplanted orchids in a botanical garden
    Hongfang Zhang, Liqiang Li, Zhongjian Liu, Yibo Luo
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  11-18.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.011
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    Ex-situ conservation is an effective measure to prevent extinction of species. In order to learn the plant-pollinator relationship in ex situ habitat and shed insights into the ex situ conservation, we studied the pollination system and reproductive strategy of two orchids Ludisia discolor from Wutong Mountains, Shenzhen and Calanthe argenteo-striata from Malipo, Yunnan in the Botanical Garden of the National Orchid Conservation Center (NOCC), Shenzhen, southeastern China in 2007 and 2008. Both species have inflorescences with many white flowers which have spur with a narrow entrance. The butterfly, Pieris rapae, was their solely legitimate pollinators. The pollinaria of L. discolor were carried on the legs of butterflies, while that of C. argenteo-striata on the proboscis. The pollination efficiency in both orchids was high, and the ratio of pollinaria removal to massulae deposition was 1.14:1 and 0.74:1 in L. discolor and C. argenteo-striata, respectively. In 2007 and 2008, fruit set of open pollination in L. discolor was higher than that in C. argenteo-striata, which could be explained by that the former provides rewards to its pollinators while the latter is deceptive, as well as by that the flowering period of L. discolor was synchronized with the abundance of butterflies, which favored the orchid to exploit its pollinators, whereas the flowering period of C. argenteo-striata was lagged behind the outbreak period of butterflies, which made the flowers suffer insufficient pollinator visitation. Both species were self-compatible but there were no spontaneous autogamy or apomixes. The fruit sets of cross-pollination and self-pollination showed no significant difference. Ludisia discolor and C. argenteo-striata grow well after being transplanted to NOCC, and new seedlings were found near parent plants, indicating the population tended to expand, and the ex situ conservation was feasible. It could be predicted that these two orchids have the potential to establish stable populations in NOCC in the future.

    Species composition of alien plants in the built-up area of Beijing
    Juanjuan Zhao, Zhiyun Ouyang, Hua Zheng, Weihua Xu, Xiaoke Wang, Yongming Ni
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  19-28.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.019
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    The widely-used practice of planting alien plant species has become a major concern in Chinese urban management. It is imperative to investigate the composition of alien plant species in urban areas for plant diversity protection and green space management. In this study, we investigated 1050 tree plots, 797 shrub plots and 2,228 herbaceous plots based on stratified random selection, within the fifth ring road area of Beijing. The results revealed the following: (1) There were 324 plant species from 208 genera and 80 families recorded in the study area; (2) The percentage of alien plants in the built-up area of Beijing was as high as 53%, and 64% of the alien species originated from America and Asia, and evergreens and lianas had the highest percentage of alien species among the various life forms present; (3) The major alien plant species in terms of high coverage, density and occurrence were Buchloe dactyloides, Amaranthus blitum, Chloris virgata, Euonymus japonicus, Sabina chinensis, Robinia pseudoacacia and Pinus bungeana. Some of these species had become the dominant plant species in the green spaces of the study area; (4) The percentage of alien plant species in institutional green spaces was higher than other green spaces; (5) The chorological spectra of the alien plant genera were wide; and (6) Compared to native species, the percentages of tropical elements were higher and the percentages of temperate elements were lower in the study area. Our results highlighted the changes in plant species composition in Beijing caused by intensive introduction of alien plants with aesthetic values.

    Diversity of plant traits of weedy rice in Liaoning and Jiangsu provinces
    Chuan Wu, Weimin Dai, Xiaoling Song, Sheng Qiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  29-36.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.029
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    Liaoning and Jiangsu are main regions seriously infested by weedy rice (Oryza sativa f. spontanea ) in China. Weedy rice samples collected from 29 sites in 14 cities of the two provinces were cultivated in Nanjing, and 23 traits during vegetative and reproductive growth stage were observed and measured in order to reveal the diversity and identification traits of weedy rice. The results showed that there were differences of traits in terms of plant height after one month, tiller number after one month or two months during vegetative stage, and in terms of pericarp color, grain length/width ratio, 100-seed weight, shattering habit, culm rigidity, flag leaf width, flag leaf length, yellow maturity, half-yellow maturity-half-heading, full yellow maturity during reproductive stage between weedy rice and cultivated rice in the two provinces. The scatter plot of the first and second principlal components (their cumulative contribution accounting for 43.24%) also showed that there were differences between Liaoning and Jiangsu weedy rice, as well as between weedy and cultivated rice of the two provinces. Cluster analysis based on Euclidean distance showed that weedy rice populations could be divided into two types: Japonica-like and Indica-like weedy rice. Liaoning weedy rice populations fall into first category. Jiangsu weedy rice populations fall into both categories. Weedy rice of the two provinces can be further divided into 6 classes: (I) the Japonica-like type with strong shattering, light grain weight, short stem and prematurity; (II) the Japonica-like type with no awn, many panicle, late maturity, narrow flag leave and strong dormancy; (III) the Japonica-like type with long awn, weak tillering, few pancle and weak shattering; (IV) the Indica-like type with hard culm, wide flag leave, late maturity and strong dormancy; (V) the Indica-like type with red pericarp, long grain, soft culm, and heavy grain weight; (VI) the Indica-like type with no awn, tall stem, long flag leave and long panicle. The study on the morphological index and classification of weedy rice in the two provinces may provide theoretical basis for prevention and control of weedy rice.

    Phenotypic diversity of sugarcane variety germplasm
    Xinlong Liu, Qing Cai, Caiwen Wu, Li Ma, Xiongmei Ying, Xin Lu, Yuanhong Fan
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  37-43.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.037
    Abstract ( 3289 )   HTML ( 7 )   PDF (213KB) ( 3996 )   Save
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    Sugarcane varieties are important in providing parental resources in sugarcane breeding programs. In order to improve efficiency in selecting sugarcane varieties as parents, to provide guidance in choosing the best parent combinations for crossing, and to assist in choosing core collections of parents, the genetic variation, genetic structure and relationships of a range of traits were studied in a set of sugarcane varieties from different origins. Seventeen qualitative traits and five quantitative traits were studied, and a range of statistics were determined including genetic variance for each quantitative trait, genetic distance, coefficient of genetic divergence, and genotypic relationships based on cluster analysis. The coefficient of variance (CV) of all quantitative traits differed among different groups of varieties based on their origins, that population from Hainan Province exhibited the largest genetic diversity. The analysis of genetic diversity of qualitative traits revealed that variety populations from the USA, Taiwan of China, and Australia had high levels of genetic diversity in trait values, suggesting there had been greater use of diverse parental materials in programs in those places. Results from analysis of coefficients of genetic divergence (Gst = 0.0479 for quantitative traits, Gst = 0.0950 for qualitative traits) indicated that a high proportion of total genetic variation was retained within the groups of origin, with a high level of overlap in variation between most groups, and the high gene flow (Nm = 4.7632 for qualitative traits, Nm = 9.9493 for quantitative traits) showed the active genetic exchange was found between different origins. Based on analysis of genetic distance, relationship between variety populations from different origins was examined. The genetic distance between origins ranged from 0.0261 to 0.2945, with the greatest similarity being evident in variety populations between Fujian and Guangdong provinces (China), Cuba and USA, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces (China), Australia and Philippines, Jiangxi and Sichuan provinces (China), Brazil and France. This may reflect similarities in ancestors of parents used in these pairs of programs, in particular for the variety populations from Fujian and Guangdong which were the most similar. It is suggested these sugarcane variety populations which possess rich phenotypic diversity should be utilized and those crosses between sugarcane variety populations within the same groups from cluster analysis should be avoided. Sugarcane variety populations from Mexico, which are quite dissimilar to most other groups, should be given a higher priority in breeding programs.

    A comparison of line transect and point count surveys: a case study of spring saltmarsh birds at Chongming Dongtan
    Yinting Cai, Xiaojing Gan, Zhijun Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  44-49.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.044
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    We compared fixed-distance line transect and fixed-radius point count surveys for estimating saltmarsh bird richness and abundance at Chongming Dongtan. A total of 24 bird species were recorded during five surveys in spring 2008, 19 during line transects and 21 during point counts. The average number of species detected per survey did not differ between the two methods. Density estimates of individual species from the two methods were correlated, suggesting that the two methods consistently estimate relative abundance. However, density of individual species and of all species combined as estimated by point count surveys were higher than those by line transect surveys. Our results indicate that it is important to account for different survey methods when comparing temporal and spatial differences in bird species richness and abundance.

    Community structure and diversity of macrozoobenthos in Lake Taihu, a large shallow eutrophic lake in China
    Yongjiu Cai, Zhijun Gong, Boqiang Qin
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  50-59.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.050
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    To explore the status of macrozoobenthic communities and their response to ecological changes in Lake Taihu, we carried out a quarterly investigation on macrozoobenthos between February 2007 and November 2008. We recorded 40 species from 19 families, 7 classes and 3 phyla. Mean density and biomass varied largely among the 30 sampling sites. The highest mean density of macrozoobenthos occurred in Meiliang Bay, Zhushan Bay and river mouth, and communities were dominated by Tubificidae. Mean biomass was highest in Gonghu Bay, Western region, East Taihu and East Bays, these sites were dominated by Mollusca. Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri, Rhyacodrilus sinicus, Corbicula fluminea, Bellamya aeruginosa, Tanypus chinensis and Gammarus sp. were the dominant species in Lake Taihu. Cluster analysis and one-way analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) classified the 30 sites into three groups with different macrozoobenthic communities (P < 0.05). K-dominance curves, Shannon-Wiener and Pielou indices indicated that species richness and evenness were highest in East Taihu and East Bays, dominated by Gastropods. Communities in Meiliang Bay, Zhushan Bay and river mouth had low species diversity and were dominated by L. hoffmeisteri and R. sinicus. Gonghu Bay, Central region and Western region contained intermediately diverse communities dominated by C. fluminea. Our results suggest that trophic status, habitat types and macrophytes are important factors regulating macrozoobenthic communities in Lake Taihu.

    Comparative study of the macrobenthic community in intertidal mangrove and non-mangrove habitats in Tong’an Bay, Fujian Province
    Xiping Zhou, Lizhe Cai, Sujing Fu, Wen Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  60-66.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.060
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    Research on the biodiversity of mangrove ecosystems should include not only the plants but other components, such as the macrobenthos. In order to understand the response of the macrobenthos to a mangrove habitat with high organics and nutrients, we compared the mangrove and non-mangrove macrobenthic communities, and analyzed their spatial-temporal distributions in these two habitats from April 2006 to January 2007 in Tong’an Bay, Fujian. Six sampling stations were set in Tong’an Bay, four of them (FL1, FL2, XA-A and XA-B) were in the mangrove habitat, the other two (FL3 and XA-C) were in the non-mangrove habitat. An analysis of sediment properties showed that total organic matter (TOM) of the three sampling stations at Fenglin exceeded the critical threshold, namely 3.4%, and TOM in mangrove stations was higher than in the non-mangrove ones. A total of 91 macrobenthic taxa were obtained from the six sampling stations in Tong’an Bay, including 77 and 67 taxa from the mangrove and non-mangrove habitats, respectively. Mean macrobenthic densities in the mangrove and non-mangrove habitats were 4,445.8 inds/m2and 1,707.2 inds/m2, respectively. Mean biomasses in the mangrove and non-mangrove habitats were 51.1 g/m2 and 94.6 g/m2, respectively. The results of an independent-samples t-test showed that mean density and mean biomass were significantly different in the two habitats. The present study revealed that the mangrove habitat has a positive influence on the Oligochaeta, such as Limnodriloides sp., that thrives in the high TOM sediments. Because of the shorter inundation period in the mangrove habitat, however, free-living molluscs and crustaceans preferred the non-mangrove habitat. Other sediment properties such as interstitial salinity and median particle diameter also affected the macrobenthic community.

    Species composition and diversity of zooplankton in tidal creeks of the Chongming Dongtan intertidal flat
    Qiang Li, Chuanguang An, Qiang Ma, Linlin Xu, Yunlong Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  67-75.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.067
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    In order to reveal the diversity of zooplankton in tidal creeks of the Chongming Dongtan intertidal flat, we sampled zooplankton at 18 stations in six tidal creeks during four seasons from April to December in 2008. The species composition, dominant species, community structure, and species diversity were recorded. A total of 44 species, belonging to 6 taxa, were identified. Among them, Copepoda were dominant, accounting for 79.5% of the total recorded species. There were nine dominant species. Sinocalanus tenellus was the most dominant species in spring, Schmackeria poplesia in summer, Schmackeria poplesia and Sinocalanus sinensis in autumn, and Sinocalanus sinensis and Limnoithona etraspina in winter. Shannon-Wiener indices (H′) were higher in summer and winter, species richness indices (d) were higher in summer and autumn, and Pielou evenness indices (J′) peaked in winter. Compared with data from North Channel and the North Branch of the Yangtze River Estuary, only six common species were found, demonstrating significantly different species composition. The ecological characteristics of zooplankton were also related to tide; species diversity was slightly higher during flood tide than ebb tide. In addition, the dominant species were different during flood and ebb tide. Environmental factors, such as salinity, temperature, runoff, and tidal current influenced the temporal and spatial distributions of zooplankton in tidal creeks.

    Diversity of fungi associated with Rhododendron argyrophyllum and R. floribundum hair roots in Sichuan, China
    Yu Zheng, Bo Gao, Lifu Sun, Yanhong Bing, Kequan Pei
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  76-82.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.076
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    We investigated the fungal associates of Rhododendron argyrophyllum and R. floribundum in Sichuan Province. A total of 41 fungal taxa were identified from hair roots based on ITS sequence analyses belonging to the following orders: Helotiales, Eurotiales, Pezizales, and Pleosporales in Ascomycetes, Sebacinales and Agaricales, Erythrobasidiales, and Filobasidiales in Basidiomycetes. Fungal diversity was rich, including ericoid mycorrhizal (ERM), ectomycorrhizal (ECM) and other root-associated fungi. Sebacinales and Helotiales occupied a high proportion of total fungal samples.

    Effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from different sources on the growth and physiology of Ardisia crenata
    Hongping Mu, Yizhu Chen, Honglin Cao, Wanhui Ye
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  83-89.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.083
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    Ardisia crenata, a shrubby flowering plant native to East and Southeast Asia, is now invasive in southern USA and elsewhere. We used the trap culture method with A. crenata root fragments of as inocula to obtain host-associated arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. AM fungi were obtained from the species’ invasive range in Texas, USA, and its’ native range in Dongguan in Guangdong Province, Emei Mountain in Sichuan Province and Xingshan in Hubei Province in China. The influences of these AM fungi from different sources on the growth and physiology of A. crenata were determined. Inoculation with all strains of AM fungi increased leaf area ratio (LAR) and relative growth rate (RGR), but did not influence net photosynthetic rate at saturated light (Pn), respiration rate (Rd), ratio of root to shoot (R/S), nitrogen and phosphorus concentration. There were some differences in the effects of AM fungi from different sources. AM fungi sourced from Dongguan in the native range and Texas in the invasive range had equal influence on A. crenata, being more stimulative than AM fungi from other sources. AM fungi sourced from the invasive range did not promote more growth of A. crenata than the combined AM fungi sourced from the native range. Therefore, we conclude that the effects of AM fungi may not be an important factor leading to higher density of A. crenata in invasive populations than in native populations.

    Comparison and applications of methodologies for management effectiveness assessment of protected areas
    Jia Quan, Zhiyun Ouyang, Weihua Xu, Hong Miao
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  90-99.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.090
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    Establishment of protected areas is one of the most important approaches for biodiversity conservation. Assessment of management effectiveness of protected areas is critical to understand the management situation, to improve the management level, and to achieve the management targets. Based on the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) of IUCN framework for assessing management effectiveness of protected areas and protected area systems, specific assessment methodologies have been developed and implemented in many countries according to their own situations. The assessment methodologies are generally generalized into four types, including in-depth evidence-based assessments, comprehensive system-wide peer-based assessments, rapid expert-based scorecard, and categorical assumption-based assessments. In the present paper, we compare the four types in terms of application scales, targets, objectives, assessment forms, advantages, disadvantages and adaptable situations. Eight categories of methodologies are summarized in terms of the assessment indicators and current application status. On the basis of this analysis, applications and problems of the assessment methodologies in China are further discussed and a proper assessment indicator system is proposed.

    A comparison of FAO and CITES aquatic species management regimes
    Yujing Zhou, Enyuan Fan, Baoxiang Liu, Gengfei Feng, Ying Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2010, 18 (1):  100-107.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.100
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are both involved in the protection of biodiversity. CITES is a mechanism which limits international trade in wildlife, while the FAO is more concerned with scientific management of the agricultural and fishery industries in order to promote their sustainable development. Consequently, these two organizations employ different goals and methodologies in their management of aquatic species, and their work is complementary. Over the past few years, the FAO has begun to cooperate with CITES on issues of aquatic species management. However, to date the organizations have not precisely defined their respective responsibilities, their technological standards are not coordinated, and the FAO has not assented to certain provisions in CITES on species management. This article compares FAO and CITES management of several important aquatic species, and offers several recommendations directed at improving Chinese conservation management of aquatic species and conformance to respective FAO and CITES management regimes, while preserving Chinese legal rights and interests.

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