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Table of Content
    Volume 15 Issue 5
    20 September 2007

    The Three Gorges Reservoir area is the protective screen of the Yangtse River basin. A hydro-fluctuation belt of 349 km2 will appear when the Three Gorges Dam comes into operation. We should solve some environmental problems such as low stability of the reservoir shores, and vegetation and landscape deterioration due to land bareness. Zongqiang Xie’s research group is working on the techniques and demonstration models for ecological restoration and renovation in this area. (Photographed by Zongqiang Xie)

    Special Issue
    Species diversity and distribution of epiphytic lichens in the primary and secondary forests in Ailao Mountain, Yunnan
    Su Li, Wenyao Liu, , Lisong Wang, Guoping Yang, Dawen Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  445-455.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070078
    Abstract ( 3977 )   PDF (306KB) ( 4093 )   Save
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    Epiphytic lichens, an important component of epiphytes, play vital roles in biodiversity sustainability, water and nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems. Species composition and distribution of epiphytic lichens on trunk at 0–2.0 m height were surveyed on 525 individual trees, and lichen litterfall was collected over two year (2005–2006) in primary forest and three secondary forests in Xujiaba region of Ailao Mountain, Yunnan. The results showed that the epiphytic lichens were abundant in thses forests. In total, 61 lichens species belonging to 26 genera and 17 families were recorded. Of them, 51 species were found in the primary forest, 53 species in oak coppice and 46 species in Populus bonatii forest, while only 26 species in Zanthoxylum bungeanum plantation. There were significant differences in composition and diversity of epiphytic lichens on trunks between the primary and secondary forests, whereas the main species of lichens was similar in canopies of the primary and secondary forests. The primary forest had more lichen species, with unevenness distribution. The Shannon-Wiener index and Simpson index of lichens on trucks at 0–2.0 m height were 2.71 and 0.89 for the oak coppice, 2.43–2.45 and 0.88–0.89 for the secondary P. bonatii forest and Z. bungeanum plantation, and 1.25 and 0.67 for the primary forest, respectively.The composition and distribution of lichens were influenced by the aspects of the trucks, host trees and their sizes. Richer number and amounts of lichens are found on southern aspect of trunks. Vaccinium duclouxii was the host tree with the richest epiphytic lichens in the forests in the area. Most epiphytic lichens occurred on medium stems of DBH 5.0–25.0 cm. The rich species diversity of epiphytic lichens and their distribution patterns were important for maintaining biodiversity and ecological processes in the montane forest ecosystems.
    Endophytic fungi diversity in root of Doritis pulcherrima (Orchidaceae)
    Haili Ke, Xiqiang Song, Zhiqiong Tan, Hongxia Liu, Yibo Luo
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  456-462.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070060
    Abstract ( 4541 )   PDF (237KB) ( 3244 )   Save
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    Symbiotic relationship is maintained for endophytic fungi community throughout the life cycle of Orchidaceae plants. Endophytic fungi communities may have various biodiversities associated with different orchid species from different habitats. From July 2004 to October 2005, we studied the diversity of endo-phytic fungi communities in the roots of epiphytic Doritis pulcherrima with two different plant morphologi-cal variants and from two habitats in Bawangling Nature Reserve of Hainan Island. A total of 83 endophytic fungi strains were isolated from fresh root samples of the plants growing on rocks or shrubs, and with red-purple lower leaf surface or with green lower leaf surface. The isolated strains were identified into 19 genera. Fusarium (24.1%) and Rhizoctonia (14.5%) were identified as two dominant genera. Two D. pul-cherrima leaf color variants have similar abundance level of endophytic fungi communities, but significant difference of the abundance level of endophytic fungi communities was presented between two habitats. The Shannon biodiversity index (H) of endophytic fungi was much higher from the D. pulcherrima growing on shrubs than growing on rocks. Our results suggested that the species diversity of endophytic fungi communi-ties in D. pulcherrima is affected more by its different habitats than by its plant morphological variations.
    Soil animal communities and their seasonal change in the greening litters of different functional zones in Baoshan Steel Plant, Shanghai
    Jinfeng Wang, Wenhui You, Lan Yi
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  463-469.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070016
    Abstract ( 4087 )   PDF (283KB) ( 2798 )   Save
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    To find out the relationship between the abundance and diversity of soil animals and soil characteristics in industrial zones, we investigated soil animals in litters of different functional zones in Baoshan Steel Plant. A total of 52,070 soil animals were collected using Tullgren funnel, belonging to three phyla, 10 classes and 19 orders. The dominant groups were Arcarina and Collembola, accounting for 90.60% of the total in terms of individual numbers. The common groups were Lepidoptera and Oligochaeta plesiopora. The results indicated that different functional zones had similar dominant groups but different common groups. Soil animal reduced along a gradient of production zone, transition zone, office zone. Similarity index showed that the five indices were different in different functional zones. The density-group index (DG) showed the following pattern: production zone > transition zone >office zone. The seasonal change of the total number of soil animals were ranked as: winter>autumn>summer>spring, while the number of soil animal groups were ranked as: winter=autumn>summer=spring. The pH, TOC, TN and TP of litters in different functional zones were different, which might have impacts on the distribution of soil animals.
    Genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationship of Chinese cashmere goats based on microsatellite DNA markers
    Ran Di, Xiaohong He, Jianlin Han, Weijun Guan, Yabin Pu, Qianjun Zhao, Baoling Fu, Yuehui Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  470-478.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070138
    Abstract ( 3940 )   PDF (511KB) ( 3286 )   Save
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    Genetic diversity of nine indigenous Chinese cashmere goat populations and one West African breed were investigated using 19 microsatellite DNA markers and fluorescence PCR. The aim was to investigate the status of the genetic resources of Chinese cashmere goats. Fourteen of the microsatellite loci were highly polymorphic and effective markers for analysis of genetic diversity and relationship among goat populations. Analysis of polymorphic information content and genetic heterozygosity showed that the Chinese goat populations have high genetic diversity. Both UPGMA dendrogram and scatter plots of estimates from principal component analyses showed that the Chinese and African goat populations belong to different clades. Among the Chinese goat populations the Hegu and Hexi populations were genetically more distant from the other goat populations. The remaining seven Chinese goat populations were clustered into two clades. The first clade contained Liaoning, Xinjiang, Chaidamu and Shanbei goat populations, while the sec-ond clade was made up of goat populations from Inner Mongolia. These results may provide a scientific basis for the characteristization, conservation and utilization of Chinese cashmere goats.
    Growth trends of Crofton weed (Eupatorium adenophorum) seedlings in different habitats
    Aifang Li, Xianming Gao, Weiguang Dang, Jinfang Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  479-485.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060231
    Abstract ( 3966 )   PDF (356KB) ( 3244 )   Save
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    Crofton weed () seeds took a speculative strategy to germinate, and its seeds would germinate at any time all the year round as long as the conditions were suitable. The peak of the seeds’ germination occurred in the rainy season while few seeds germinated during the dry seasons. The un-flowering individuals of Crofton weed keep growing all year, and its growth rate would be influenced by the illumination intensity, humidity and temperature distinctly. The results showed that all of the growth pa-rameters of seedlings germinating during autumn changed slowly in the dry season. The optimum habitat was the sunny sites, then entirely shaded ones, and the shrub habitats were the last. The fastest growth of the seedlings period began in June and ended in October. Usually the seedling would flower and seed during the first dry season, but those germinated later or did not develop well would keep vegetative growth without flowering. The growth dynamic of un-flowering seedlings was similar to those flowering and seeding, but the life history periods between them were different: only those crossing two or enven more winters could the former seedlings bloom and fructify to finish their life history circle. The result of this study further indicated that reinforcement each other of both sexual reproduction and clone would promote the renewal and spread of their population increase of Crofton weed.
    Allelopathic effects of Eupatorium adenophorum on five species of the family Gesneriaceae
    Yuanbo Li, Han Xu, Lei Shi, Zhenyu Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  486-491.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060213
    Abstract ( 4370 )   PDF (244KB) ( 3788 )   Save
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    Eupatorium adenophorum (Compositae), a highly invasive plant in southwestern China, has increasingly invaded the habitats of the gesneriaceous plants. All species of Gesneriaceae in China have been listed in China’s Red List and some of them have been categorized as the National Key Protected Species. To examine the possible allelopathic effect of E. adenophorum on Gesneriaceae, five species in three genera of Gesneriaceae (Chirita spinulosa, C. heterotricha,C. liboensis, Aeschynanthus acuminatus, and Titanotrichum oldhamii) were treated with three parts of E. adenophorum, i.e., aqueous root, stem, and leaf extracts (8%), respectively. The results indicated that aqueous leaf extracts of E. adenophorum had very different impacts on C. spinulosa, C. liboensis and C. heterotricha, of which it was the most obvious on C. spinulosa. Seedling growth of C. spinulosa were totally inhibited when aqueous leaf extracts 2.4%, 3.2% and 4.0%. The aqueous stem extracts of E. adenophorum showed some impacts on T. oldhamii. Seedling growth of T. oldhamii were inhibited 40% when the stem extracts of E. adenophorum was 1.6% . Aqueous leaf and stem extracts of E. adenophorum had little effect on seedling growth of A. acuminatus. However, aqueous root extracts of E.adenophorum also had no significant suppression on these five species. Therefore, our experiments con-firmed allelopathy of E. adenophorum on Chirita and Titanotrichum but not so much on Aeschynanthus. The gesneriaceous species on rocks seemed more susceptible to allelopathy of E. adenophorum than their allied species on trees.
    Seed dormancy and germination characteristics of Manglietia patungen-sis, an endangered plant endemic to China
    Faju Chen, Hongwei Liang, Xu Wang, Zhengquan He, Fenglan Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  492-499.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060238
    Abstract ( 3929 )   PDF (627KB) ( 3583 )   Save
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    Manglietia patungensis, an endangered tree species endemic to China, is listed in National Key Protected Species. To explore the underlying mechanisms relevant to the impediment in its sexual reproduction, we studied the morphological and physiological characteristics of seeds during its dormancy and after-ripening process. The results showed that the incomplete development of embryos was the main reason for seed dormancy. The immature embryos continued differentiating and developing during the after-ripening process. As the seed coat was permeable, it would not induce seed dormancy. Germination inhibitors existed in different parts of seeds, especially in the endosperm, which was believed to be a major factor for the ger-mination delay. Endogenous hormone ABA and IAA played an important role in the dormancy and germina-tion of seeds. ABA was the key factor for seeds dormancy while IAA benefited germination. Therefore, the change of IAA/ABA ratio was crucial to seed dormancy and germination. Only at a temperature as low as 4°C and in a humid environment, could M. patungensis seeds complete the morphological and physiological after-ripening process. In fact, it was observed that the after-ripening process of M. patungensis seeds oc-curred in autumn, a season characterized by low rainfall and drought in this area. Evidently, viability loss of seeds caused by water deficit during the after-ripening period may explain the poor regeneration of this spe-cies.
    Spatial and temporal pattern of seed rain of Abies fargesii in Shennongjia Nature Reserve, Hubei
    Li Zou, Zongqiang Xie, Qingmei Li, Changming Zhao, Chuanlong Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  500-509.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060234
    Abstract ( 4591 )   PDF (345KB) ( 3884 )   Save
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    Abies fargesii is endemic to China and its distribution center is located in Qinling-Bashan Mountains. To study the spatial and temporal pattern of seed rain of Abies fargesii, we conducted experiments from 9 October to 24 November in Shennongjia Nature Reserve, Hubei in 2005. The results showed that patterns of Abies fargesii seed rain were different in three communities. In Abies fargesii–Fargesia nitida community, the average seed rain intensity was 167.93±111.14 seeds per m2, in which the proportion of viable seed was 22.31%; and the seed rain pattern mainly showed clump distribution which peaked in 27 October to 2 No-vember. In Abies fargesii–Skimmia reevesiana community the seed rain intensity was just 16.41±14.41 seeds per m2 in which viable seed only accounted for 3.05%. In Abies fargesii–Sorbus koehneana community, seed traps were set up in four lines at 90°intervals, of which two lines run directly up and down the hill slope. In this community, the seed rain intensity peaked from 15 October to 21 October. And the most quantity of seed rain was concentrated under the crown, which accounted for 87.95% of the total amount. One-Way ANOVA analysis showed that no significant differences existed among four directions but significant difference existed between 0–6 m and other distance from the center mother tree in terms of seed rain quantity. The distri-bution pattern of seed rain in Abies fargesii–Sorbus koehneana community fitted the equation y=ae–bx2. The result showed although Abies fargesii had high seed rain intensity, but inviable seeds accounted for a large proportion, and the dispersal distance of seed rain was limited. These characteristics would influence the pat-tern and regeneration of Abies fargesii population.
    Spatial pattern of plant species diversity in the inundation and resettle- ment region of the Three Gorges Reservoir
    Changming Zhao, Weilie Chen, Handong Huang, Ziqiang Tian, Yue Chen, Zongqiang Xie
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  510-522.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070084
    Abstract ( 4622 )   PDF (689KB) ( 3930 )   Save
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    To reveal the spatial pattern of plant species diversity in the inundation and resettlement region of the Three Gorges Reservoir, 129 plots were investigated along 14 sample belts. The sample belts were located at different aspects on both sides of Yangtze River, within the counties of Xietan, Wushan, Fengjie, Wanzhou, Fuling and Chongqing as well as the dam area. The investigated plots in each sample belt were taken at altitude intervals of approximately 50 m within an altitude range of 70–610 m above sea level. The spatial pattern along the altitude gradient was firstly examined by adopting the number of species and the Shannon-Wiener index based on coverage as species diversity indices. Secondly, DCCA (Detrended Canoni-cal Correspondence Analysis) was used to illustrate the relationship among environmental variables and spe-cies diversity indices to explore factors involved with spatial patterns of species diversity. The results indi-cated that the species diversity was higher on the southern side of Yangtze River than on the northern side. Species diversity increased but not so evidently with an increase of altitude. There was no evident correlation found between stream position (upstream or downstream) and species diversity, however it was found that the belts with the highest species diversity were located in the dam area and Wanzhou, while the lowest were in Chongqing and Wushan. DCCA revealed that the environmental variables most affecting species diversity was firstly the southern or northern location on the Yangtze River and secondly altitude. DCCA also revealed that the coverage of the canopy layer positively affected the species diversity, but the coverage of shrub layer affected it negatively. This suggests that the species diversity was determined by the characteristics of com-munity structure, especially the coverage of the arbor layer. It was concluded that the relationships between the spatial pattern of species diversity and environmental factors were altered by human disturbances, which are long-term and heterogeneous in space and intensity. The species diversity of the disturbed community was determined by characteristics of community structure, especially the coverage of the canopy layer.
    Effects of point source pollution from a phosphorus chemical factory on terrestrial plant communities in the Three Gorges Reservoir area
    Chuanlong Li, Zongqiang Xie, Changming Zhao, Gaoming Xiong, Li Zou
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  523-532.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070083
    Abstract ( 4322 )   PDF (375KB) ( 3140 )   Save
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    In order to reveal the response of terrestrial plant communities to pollution in the Three Gorges Reservoir area, we selected 32 sampling sites with similar environmental factors but different distances from the pollution source, a phosphorus chemical factory. A total of 284 vascular plant species were recorded in these sites, belonging to 182 genera and 76 families, including 35 tree species, 139 shrub species and 110 herbage species. Species richness and Pielou evenness index were used to measure species diversity. Species richness in polluted area was 32–67, while in control area it was 47–82. Pielou evenness index of tree layer was 0.1161–0.8509, while those of shrub layer and herb layer were 0.1763–0.3249 and 0.0443–0.2601, respectively. The results showed that both species richness and Pielou evenness index were influenced by the point source pollution. Species importance values showed significant differences between polluted area and control area. Dominance of different species had changed, and some species even disappeared under the pressure of pollution, indicating a process of species replacement in plant communities. Such species replacement can provide a scientific basis for species selection for restoration of human-damaged ecosystem. The natural regeneration of Quercus variabilis was insensitive to pollution, while Cupressus funebris was effected seriously. Therefore, the results implied that point source pollution in the Three Gorges area had a strong negative effect on the composition and diversity of terrestrial plant communities. Further study needs to be carried out to study the long-term succession of the plant communities.
    Vegetation and plant species richness on six pre-islands, the Three Gorges Reservoir
    Gaoming Xiong, Zongqiang Xie, Jiangshan Lai, Guozhen Shen, Changming Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  533-541.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070085
    Abstract ( 3747 )   PDF (310KB) ( 2961 )   Save
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    We studied the vegetation on six pre-islands (land areas which will become islands as a result of flooding) in the Three Gorges Reservoir with a focus on plant species richness for each community. A total of 28 community types were found on these pre-islands, comprising of 12 hassocks, 7 shrubs, and 9 forests. The results showed that natural vegetation was characterized by intense degradation, implied low vegetation cov-erage, restricted distribution of forests, low community diversity and high ratio of ruderal community types. The species richness of wild vascular plants on the six pre-islands was 126, 157, 175, 189, 242, and 254, re-spectively. The average species richness was 42.9 for forest, 15.96 for shrub, and 17.89 for hassock commu-nities. In all hassock communities, species richness was high in ruderals but was low in typical degraded hassocks. Species richness was generally low in all shrub communities. In the process of secondary succes-sion from conifer-broadleaf forest to broadleaf forest, species richness fluctuated remarkably. Exotic plants significantly impacted the landscape, resulting in degradation of the natural vegetation. These pre-islands are valuable for scientific research, we suggest establishing some nature reserves on them.
    Ecophysiological responses of Buxus ichangensis to summer waterlogging
    Yanhong Xue, Fangqing Chen, Dayong Fan, Zongqiang Xie
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  542-547.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060236
    Abstract ( 3602 )   PDF (393KB) ( 3899 )   Save
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    As a widely distributed shrub species on the hydro-fluctuation belt in the Three Gorges Area, Buxus ichangensis is of vital importance for conservation of soil and water, and recovery of vegetation in this area. To determine its tolerance to flooding, we performed simulated waterlogging on this plant and then examined its responses in photosynthesis, roots activity and pigment contents. Our experiment showed, all the B. ichangensis plants could survive after 60-day inundation treatment, partly because of morphological adapta-tion triggered by the waterlogging, such as development of lenticels and adventitious roots. However, the variables of net photosynthesis rate, stomatal conductance and root activity reduced to 19.24%, 24.04% and 4.78% of the control, respectively, and the decreasing amplitude varied in different flood periods, sig-nificantly decreasing primarily and resumed a little at the end of experiment. Chlorophyll A content signifi-cantly decreased along with waterlogging time, whereas chlorophyll B and carotenoid contents presented indistinctive changes after different waterlogged durations. Based on these, we concluded that B. ichangensis had strong tolerance to summer flooding. We provided some suggestions on how to utilize the species in the restoration of degraded riparian vegetation in reservoir area of hydroelectric project.
    The ecological effects of biological invasions on birds
    Xiaojing Gan, Bo Li, Jiakuan Chen, Zhijun Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  548-557.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070010
    Abstract ( 4838 )   PDF (452KB) ( 3801 )   Save
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    Biological invasion is recognized as one of the greatest threats to the global biodiversity because invasive exotic species not only alter the local environments but also have serious ecological effects on native species. Birds are positioned at high trophic level within the food web in the ecosystem, and thus any changes within the system can affect the birds in one way or another. The ecological effects of different exotic taxa like mammals, birds, invertebrates and plants on native birds are reviewed in this paper. In summary, the exotic species can affect native bird species in four main ways, 1) predation of birds or eggs by the exotic mammals; 2) competition for habitats and foods with exotic birds, and loss of genetic diversity by hybridization with the closely-related exotic species; 3) direct and indirect alterations of native habitats and food resources, and predation by the exotic invertebrates; and 4) loss and fragmentation of habitats for native birds through altering species composition and structure of native plant communities by exotic plants. The unsolved questions and future research directions in this field are also addressed.
    Research progress in effects of urbanization on plant biodiversity
    Yu Peng, Xuehua Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  558-562.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070058
    Abstract ( 5402 )   PDF (177KB) ( 4628 )   Save
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    An overview of research progress of urbanization impacts on plant biodiversity was given. With a worldwide expanding of urbanization, especially in developing countries, effects of urbanization on biodiversity are attracting more attention. Urbanization reduces native plant species whilst increases introduced plant species. As for distribution of plant species, richness of native plant decreases along rural, rural-urban fringe and urban gradient. However, richness of introduced plant species increases, which results in increasing of total plant species richness along the same gradient. Urbanization also produces the great influence on plant species composition and makes the dominant species varying along the gradient. The mechanism of urbani-zation affecting plant biodiversity mainly lies on three aspects, i.e., introduction of exotic species, change of microhabitat, and altering of landscape pattern. Concerning further researches, four main trends will become more and more important: (1) systematical integration of different regions, various methods and multi-disciplines, (2) long-term site monitoring the urban expanding and plant biodiversity changing, (3) re-search on interior mechanism of native plant species’ loss and characteristics’ change, especially the in-ter-actions between the exotic and native plant species, and (4) urban plant biodiversity conservation.
    Access and benefit sharing of genetic resources: background, progress and challenges
    Dayuan Xue
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (5):  563-568.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070167
    Abstract ( 4164 )   PDF (365KB) ( 4819 )   Save
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    In this paper, the background for access and benefit sharing (ABS) of genetic resources under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is reviewed, and the work of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Access and Benefit Sharing for Genetic Resources is introduced. Then the negotiation progresses since the Eighth Conference of Parties (COP-8) of CBDare analyzed in details, especially the discussion and outcomes in an internationally recognized certificate of origin/source/legal provenance for genetic resources. Furthermore, the current challenges in ABS issue are also described and analyzed. The main challenges in-clude: (1) at international level, conflicts between CBD and WTO/TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intel-lectual Property Rights) system as well as WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) system on intel-lectual property right of genetic resources and related traditional knowledge; (2) at national level, ABS legis-lation requirement and related key problems; and (3) technical limitations in identifications of genetic re-sources’ origins and enforcement of benefit sharing system.

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