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Table of Content
    Volume 16 Issue 6
    20 November 2008

    The fruits of Ficus racemosa and the ovipositing non-pollinator Apocrypta sp. In the fig–fig wasp reciprocal mutualism, the pollinating wasps and non-pollinating wasps coexist via the mechanism of diet segregation. Sun et al. investigated the diet segregation of six species of fig wasps in the fruits of F. racemosa and the effect on maintaining the stability of the system. For details see pages 525–532 of this issue. (Photographed by Darong Yang)

    Original Papers
    Diet segregation of fig wasps and the stability of fig-fig wasp mutualism
    Baofa Sun, Ruiwu Wang, Zhong Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  525-532.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08216
    Abstract ( 4193 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (296KB) ( 4796 )   Save
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    In the fig-fig wasp reciprocal mutualism, understanding mechanisms of coexistence between pollinating wasps and non-pollinating wasps is an important and relevant topic. Niche partitioning has widely been considered as the most important mechanism in the coexistence of pollinating and non-pollinating wasps. In this study, we experimentally examined the diet of five species of non-pollinators and the relationship among fig wasps in Ficus racemosain Xishuangbanna, southern China, from Dec. 2006 to Jun. 2007. Platyneura testacea and P. mayri are gall-makers, but oviposit sequentially, utilizing different female flowers at different developmental stages; Apocryptasp., A. westwoodi and P. agraensis are parasitoids of P. testacea, P. mayri and Ceratosolen fusciceps respectively, presenting species-specific relationships with the hosted species. Species correlation coefficients differed greatly among seasons and conditions, suggesting that the use of correlation analysis to deduce or identify relationships between species in previous studies may be of limited value. Pollinators were the dominant species at our study sites. In these conditions, non-pollinating wasps exist at relatively low population density, and therefore may have a weak impact on the stability of the mutualism, potentially enabling the non-pollinating wasps coexist with the mutualism between figs and fig wasps.

    A comparison of genetic diversity between wild and cultured populations of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus, based on microsatellite analyses
    Yan Meng, Yanqing Yang, Yan Zhang, Hanbing Xiao
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  533-538.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08105
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    The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is world’s largest amphibian and is endemic to China. Wild populations of the species have declined drastically, while domesticated populations have increased in recent years. To estimate genetic variation in the Chinese giant salamander, we analyzed ten microsatellite loci of 44 individuals from two wild and one domesticated populations. A total of 52 alleles were found from seven loci shown to be polymorphic. The number of alleles ranged from 6 to 9 (mean 7.4). The polymorphism information content (PIC) of all populations at all loci exceeded 0.54 except the YQY at GS134 (0.3750), suggesting high polymorphism at microsatellite markers. Compared with the wild populations, some alleles in the domesticated population were drifted and thePIC was lower. Our results may provide a theoretical basis for conservation and exploitation of giant salamanders in China.

    Foraging sites selection of green peafowl (Pavo muticus imperator) in different seasons in Shiyangjiang Valley of upper Yuanjiang drainage, Yunnan
    Zhao Liu, Wei Zhou, Rengong Zhang, Yichang Xie, Qingwen Huang, Yunyan Wen
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  539-546.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08098
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    From March to April and October to November in 2007, we investigated foraging site selection of green peafowl (Pavo muticus imperator) using line transect bird survey and quadrant habitat sampling in Shiyangjiang Valley of upper Yuanjiang drainage in Yunnan Province, China. We measured twenty one habitat and landscape variables at used and random plots. The results suggested that distance to road, tree type, and liana density were different between used and random plots in spring, but were not different in autumn. The logistic regression analysis showed that green peafowl chose locations with abundant fruits, close water resource, gentle slope, higher degree of trees coverage, and larger trees as their foraging sites in both seasons. Foraging sites in spring and autumn could be discriminated by coverage of trees and grasses and distance to road, residential area, and forest edge. The map of distribution probability and spatial analysis indicated that the foraging sites tended to be clumped with partially overlap between spring and autumn. The results from principal component analysis showed that human disturbance affected foraging site selection.

    Diversity and community analysis of soil nematodes associated with three plant species in Mu Us sandy land of Ordos Plateau
    Jianbo Wu, Weibin Ruan, Fengxing Xie, Jing Li, Yubao Gao
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  547-554.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08141
    Abstract ( 4160 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (378KB) ( 3577 )   Save
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    The objective of this study was to investigate soil nematode communities associated with three naturally-distributed plant species (Artemisia ordosica, Caragana korshinskii and Cynanchum Komarovii) in Mu Us sandy land in the Ordos Plateau, Inner Mongolia. Total abundance of nematodes was 6,098, mean individual abundance was 169 per 100 g dry soil, represented by 43 genera from 19 families. Acrobeles, Aphelenchus, Rotylenchus and Dorylaimus were the most dominant genera in bacterivores, fungivores, plant-parasites and predators-omnivores, respectively. No differences in the diversity, richness, evenness and the total abundances of soil nematode community were observed among three plant species (P > 0.05). Structure index was significantly (P < 0.05) different among three plant species whereas channel index and enrichment index were not. Plant species not only modified abundance of plant-feeding, omnivorous and predatory nematodes, but also percentage of each trophic group. Bacterivorous and fungivorous nematodes were affected most by the differences in plant species. Results presented here indicated that plant species modified nematode community structure in arid ecosystems.

    Screening of SSR core primers with polymorphism on a cotton panel
    Zhao-E Pan, Junling Sun, Yinhua Jia, Zhongli Zhou, Baoyin Pang, Xiongming Du
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  555-561.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08132
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    A large number of polymorphic Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) primers are needed to assess genetic diversity and construct genetic maps for cotton varieties. Our objective was to screen the cotton core primers with polymorphism based on a standard cotton panel. In the experiment, 12 accessions with significantly different phenotypes and genetic background were used as panel germplasm for screening 5,914 pairs of SSR primers obtained from the Cotton Microsatellite Database ( A total of 4,800 pairs of SSR primers accounting for 90. 6% of the 5,300 effectively amplified primers were polymorphic among different species. Of these, about 500 pairs of primers, 9.4% of effectively amplified primers, could distinguish among cotton varieties. We suggest the use of 319 pairs of polymorphic primers with suitable amplification and clear bands as core primers for evaluating cotton germplasm and depicting fingerprints. We found 277 pairs of polymorphic primers that can identify upland cotton varieties. Moreover, we recommend 13 SSR primer pairs with polymorphism in all three species of upland cotton, sea island cotton and Asiatic cotton as the first-choice markers for molecular fingerprint and germplasm identification. Here we publish 319 core primer pairs and their polymorphic information, which will be helpful to regulate the procedure and promote the efficiency for screening SSR primers, and will play an important role in cotton genetic diversity evaluation, fingerprint construction, seed genuineness and purity identification of the cotton varieties.

    Genetic diversity in natural populations of Sorbus pohuashanensis
    Jian Zheng, Yongqi Zheng, Chuanhong Zhang, Yichen Zong, Bojing Li, Chao Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  562-569.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08201
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    Sorbus pohuashanensis is a tree species native to northern China with high potential for ornamental use. The genetic structure and diversity of eight natural populations of Sorbus pohuashanensis were studied at ten loci encoding four isozymes using horizontal starch gel electrophoresis. Genetic diversity was high at the species level with the mean number of alleles per locus Na= 2.2000, the percentage of polymorphic loci P = 100%, and the mean expected heterozygosity He= 0.4240. Values of the three parameters of He, Ne, and Shannon′s information index indicated a random pattern of genetic diversity among the eight populations. A low level of genetic differentiation among populations (Fst= 0.0758) and a high estimate of gene flow (Nm= 3.0472) were detected together with a high level of genetic identity (I) among the populations (from 0.8585 to 0.9872). Wright’sF-statistics analysis indicated an excess of heterozygotes both at the individual population level (Fis= -0.4180) and at the total population level (Fit= -0.3105). χ2-tests (P<0.05) indicated that 73.62% of the assayed loci departed from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The UPGMA cluster analysis suggested that the genetic distances among populations were weakly correlated with their geographic distances.

    Seed dormancy and release of grapes from different proveniences
    Yangying Gan, Shaohua Li, Songquan Song, Weiqing Wang, Hongyan Cheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  570-577.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08049
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    To investigate dormancy and release mechanisms of grape seeds, we compared seed morphological characteristics and germination behavior of different grape varieties and their dormancy release under different conditions including an alternative temperature change simulation for a season cycle. The grape varieties tested included species introduced from three distribution centers (America, Europe-Asia and East-Asia) and their cross breeds. Seed dormancy of all varieties was attributed to physiological dormancy, but varied in degree of dormancy. The dormancy-releasing requirements of different varieties also differed, correlating to their genetic backgrounds. As a whole, seeds of Europe-Asia species and East-Asia species exhibited a lower degree of dormancy, compared to a relatively high degree of dormancy for American species. For Europe-Asia species, East-Asia species and their cross breeds, seed dormancy was effectively broken by cold stratification (5ºC) and partially broken by alternative temperature stratificationviz. 20ºC (14 h) /10ºC (10 h) and 30ºC (14 h) /20ºC (10 h) for two months. As for American species and cross breeds with Europe-Asia species, seed dormancy could only be broken by more than six-month cold stratification; neither alternative temperature stratification nor warm stratification (25ºC) affected seed dormancy release. Experiments simulating seasonal alternative changes further showed that seed dormancy degrees were related to their proveniences and adaptations to environment. Our results provide basic data for germplasm introduction and breeding of grapes.

    Historical invasion and expansion process of Alternanthera philoxeroides and its potential spread in China
    Lili Chen, Yan Yu, Xingjin He
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  578-585.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08195
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    Alternanthera philoxeroides is a perennial herbaceous amphibious aquatic weed of the family Amaranthaceae, native to South America. It was first found in Shanghai, China in 1892. After a stagnant phase of 50 years (1890s-1940s), A. philoxeroides spread rapidly throughout areas of central and southern China, and the range is still expanding. It is one of the most harmful and widely distributed alien species in mainland China. We applied Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Production (GARP) ecological niche modeling to predict the species’ potential range in China on the basis of occurrence points within colonized areas whereA. philoxeroides had reached equilibrium. Environmental factors such as slope, flow accumulation, mean annual temperature, annual precipitation greatly influenced the size of A. philoxeroides’s potential range, while parameters such as solar radiation and elevation had little impact. Areas that we predict to have potential for invasion were still larger than those areas that had been invaded. Therefore,A. philoxeroides is predicted to continue to expand in China. Most Chinese provinces excluding Tibet, Qinghai, western Sichuan, southern Xinjiang, western Gansu, north-eastern Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang and Hainan are likely to be invaded. Because they are adjacent to areas that had been invaded, Shaanxi, Shanxi and south-eastern Gansu were most liable to be invaded; hence urgent measures should be taken there to prevent this species from further spreading.

    Bacteria diversity in paddy field soil by 16S rDNA-RFLP analysis in Ningxia
    Jianping Zhang, Naiyuan Dong, Haobin Yu, Yongjun Zhou, Yongliang Lu, Ruimei Geng, Liuqing Yu
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  586-592.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08118
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    Rice is one of the most important crops in the Ningxia region of China, and rice planting helps to maintain ecosystem balance and prevent land desertification. Soil microbial diversity provides basic functions for rice field soil ecosystems. To better understand bacterial diversity and community composition in Ningxia paddy soil, the total bacterial DNA was extracted from paddy soil collected from a typical rice field of Ningxia using the culture independent method. A 16S ribosomal DNA (16S rDNA) clone library of soil bacteria was constructed. The 16S rDNA fragments were analyzed by PCR-RFLP. Further sequencing and cluster analysis were conducted to elucidate the bacterial diversity. Over 23 kb DNA fragments were obtained from the paddy soil and 74 MspI restriction endonuclease types were detected by PCR-RFLP analysis. Sequence analysis revealed that 77.3% of clone sequences were similar to those of uncultured bacteria in the environment, while only 22.7% clone sequences were most closely related to those of cultured bacteria in GenBank, suggesting great potential for undeveloped bacterial resources was available in paddy fields. Our phylogenetic analysis found that the sequenced clones fell into 12 major lineages within the domain bacteria. Among them, members of the Proteobacteria were the dominant group, accounting for 37.8%, including α-Proteobacteria (13.5%), γ-Proteobacteria (12.2%), δ-Proteobacteria (6.8%) and β-Proteobacteria (5.4%), followed by Acidobacteria, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi and Planctomycetes division with 16.2%, 12.2%, 10.8%, 10.8%, 8.1%, respectively. Firmicutes, Gemmatimonadetes, and Verrucomicrobia were less well represented. Our study revealed an extensive diversity of soil bacteria in a paddy field in Ningxia.

    Isolation of mineral potassium-solubilizing bacterial strains from agricultural soils in Shandong Province
    Fei Zhao, Xiafang Sheng, Zhi Huang, Linyan He
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  593-600.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08121
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    In the search for mineral potassium-solubilizing bacterial strains with multiple activities that may be relevant for a beneficial plant-microbe interaction–potassium solubilization, indoleacetic acids (IAA) and siderophore production, a total of 23 heterotrophic eugenic strains were isolated from rhizospheric soil in Shandong Province using a medium with feldspar as the sole K source. All strains produced IAA or their derivatives, and 43.5% of the strains displayed a very high level of siderophores. Seventeen percent of the strains showed better growth on feldspar and effects on solubilization of K in liquid cultures, suggesting that they were a valuable pool for discovering plant growth-promoting bacteria. Two bacterial strains, AFM2 and AC2, exhibited greater K release efficiency than other isolates. Amplified rDNA restriction analysis (ARDRA) revealed that all isolates could be divided into 11 groups at the similarity level of 60%. Most strains exhibited a unique 16S rDNA restriction pattern even when strains were isolated from the same soil type or plant species. Strains AC2 and AHZ1 of group XI were highly related toBacillus mucilaginosus, strain AFM2 of group IV shared 99% sequence homology with Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

    Research Bulletins
    Effect of artificial nestboxes on the diversity of secondary cavity-nesting birds and the stability of breeding bird community
    Zhen Li, Liyuan Yang, Wen Liu, Wenhong Deng
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  601-606.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08122
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    Artificial nestboxes are widely used in ecological research and conservation practices. However, we know little about the effects of nestboxes on breeding bird communities and their actual conservation value to bird communities. We chose two sample plots with similar plant communities in Xiaolongmen National Forest Park, Beijing. Fifty artificial nest-boxes were hung in the experimental plot and the other plot as a control. From March to August in 2007, we monitored artificial nestbox use by secondary cavity-nesting birds, reproductive rates of birds in nestboxes, and breeding bird and plant communities in the two sample plots. Twenty of 50 boxes were used by secondary cavity-nesting birds, such as the songar tit (Parus songarus), yellow-rumped flycatcher (Ficedula zanthopygia), Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea) and great tit (Parus major). We found that the density of yellow-rumped flycatcher was greater in experimental plot with nestboxes. Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H') andPIE were higher in experimental plot while dominance index (λ) were lower. Indices of total breeding bird communities changed in the same way. Because secondary cavity-nesting bird and breeding bird communities are interrelated, these results may be attributed to the use of artificial nest-boxes. We conclude that nestboxes changed the distribution patterns of some secondary nesting birds and increased the population density and diversity of secondary nesting birds. So, in our study, artificial nest-boxes made good conservation sense for breeding bird communities.

    Genetic diversity and evolution of Fujian domestic duck breeds
    Huifang Li, Wenjuan Xu, Wenqi Zhu, Sumei Xue, Kuanwei Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  607-612.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08179
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    To study the genetic diversity and evolution of four breeds of Fujian domestic ducks, the 667 bp control region (D-loop) of mitochondrial DNA from 32 individual domestic ducks and eight spot-billed ducks (Anas zonorhyncha) were sequenced. The results showed that in the D-loop region of four domestic duck breeds, the content of A, G, C and T nucleotides was 25.5%, 15.2%, 33.5% and 25.8%, respectively. Eight haplotypes were found, in which Hap2 (consistent with haplotype A7 in GenBank) was dominant. The average haplotype diversity (Hd) and nucleotide diversity (Pi) of domestic ducks were 0.75202 and 0.21%, respectively. The Hdand Pi of Jinding duck was the highest among the four domestic duck breeds. Kimura 2-parameter genetic distance among the four duck breeds were 0.00094-0.00395. Combined with the sequences of mallard (A. platyrhynchos) and spot-billed ducks taken from GenBank, a total of 30 haplotypes were used in the phylogenetic analysis, and the results showed that the four domestic duck breeds originated from A. platyrhynchos.

    Soil nematode density inside and outside a pesticide factory in Anhui
    Jihai Zhou, Jun Tao, Xiaoyun Chen, Feng Hu, Huixin Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  613-617.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08128
    Abstract ( 3599 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (227KB) ( 3791 )   Save
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    Soil nematodes are useful as indicators of soil health. To understand the contribution of overuse of pesticides to soil pollution, we investigated the total number and relative abundance of soil nematodes in several different land use types with different degrees of pesticide use. These different land use types, found inside and outside the factory of Anhui Huaxing Chemical Industry Co., Ltd. in Hexian county, Anhui Province, China, include bare land inside the factory (BIF), stands of pagoda pine (Pinus armandii) trees inside the factory (PIF), bare land outside the factory (BOF), soybean field outside the factory (SOF), paddy field outside the factory (POF), and corn field outside the factory (COF). Soil nematode numbers varied greatly among landuse types, and when ranked in order of greatest to lowest number were PIF>SOF>COF>POF>BOF>BIF. Total count of soil nematodes was higher in lands with vegetation than in bare lands (P<0.01). The number of trophic levels except bacterivores and predators/omnivores were higher in areas with vegetation coverage. Land uses with vegetation coverage had the largest number of plant-parasites while bare land had the largest number of bacterivores. Relative abundance of plant-parasites of PIF was 84% while relative abundance of bacterivores of BOF and BIF were 74% and 72%, respectively. Taken together, these results indicate overuse of pesticides has an effect on the amount and relative abundance of soil nematodes, and an important role for vegetation coverage in mitigating environment pollution.

    Biodiversity conservation and a conception for a national desert park in Dzungaria Basin, Xinjiang
    Haiping Tang, Lijuan Yan, Xinshi Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2008, 16 (6):  618-626.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2008.08185
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    Dzungaria Basin in Xinjiang possesses the most abundant biological resources of animals and plants among the temperate deserts in the world. It has been influenced negatively by the human disturbance such as overgrazing, farming, wood harvesting, digging herbs and illegal hunting as well as by the rapid industrial development for mineral and energy resources such as oil and coal. A plan for biodiversity conservation is so urgent for the basin that the contradiction between biodiversity protection and economic development can be solved. Here, we propose a conception for a national desert park in the basin. Firstly, the boundary of the Dzungaria Basin was determined through topographic mapping, field investigation, and historical data. Secondly, the current biological diversity in terms of the desert vegetation types, ephemeral plant species, and the wildlife was then analyzed in details. The most important items in the plan include three types of desert vegetation (such as dwarf semi-arboreous desert, shrub desert and semi-shrub, and dwarf semi-shrub desert), the ephemeral plant resources and the wild ungulate animals like Equus przewalskii as representative. Thirdly, the feasibility of biodiversity conservation was also analyzed based on the distribution of key areas for further development of energy and mineral resources, the current status of nature reserves and the international experience of national preserves. Finally, the schematic planning of the national desert park, legislation, demarcation of the ecological red-line zone, management system, and the cooperation management of different departments were generally discussed for the establishment of Dzungaria National Desert Park.

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