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Table of Content
    Volume 15 Issue 4
    20 July 2007

    Elliot’s pheasant (Syrmaticus ellioti), a bird species endemic to China, has been regarded as “Vulnerable” in the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and ranked as the first-class state protection. Its population size is thought to be rapidly declining because of ongoing habitat loss and hunting. Yanpeng Xu et al. studied the seasonal change in ranging of Elliot’s pheasants and the determining factors. For details see pages 337–343 of this issue. (Photographed by Jin Zhu and China Wildlife Photography Training Camp)

    Key factors affecting the capacity of David’s rock squirrels (Sciurotamias davidianus) to discover scatter-hoarded seeds in enclosures
    Hongmao Zhang, Zhibin Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  329-336.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070004
    Abstract ( 3579 )   PDF (277KB) ( 2821 )   Save
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    Olfaction, vision, random search and spatial memory have been suggested to be important factors for hoarders to rediscover hoarded foods, but whether they work differently on different species is not clear. In this study, we studied the role of olfaction, vision, random search and spatial memory on seed discovery capacity of David’s rock squirrels (Sciurotamias davidianus) in enclosures in the Dongling Mountain, north-western Beijing, China. We decreased the olfactory signal of the experimental seeds (cultivated walnut, Jug-lans regia) by sealing with plastic bags, and blocked the visual signal by burying the seeds in soil. We com-pared seed discovery rates of the following four treatments: (1) On ground (G): seeds placed on ground sur-face; (2) Buried (B): seeds buried in soil; (3) Sealed & placed on ground (S & G): seeds placed on ground surface sealed in plastic bags; and (4) Sealed & buried (S & B): seeds buried in soil sealed in plastic bags. We also compared seed discovery rates when S. davidianus discovered seeds buried by themselves (Self-Buried, S-B) and by other individuals (Other-Buried, O-B). The ranking of the seed discovery rates of the four treatments were B (Mean±SD: 59.5±27.6 %) > G (53.3±27.7 %) > S & B (31.0±27.2 %) > S & G (26.3±28.6 %); Seed discovery rates of B and G treatments (Z=–0.356, P=0.722), and of S & B and S & G treatments (Z=–0.493, P=0.622) were not significantly different. This suggests that the seed discovery ca-pacity of S. davidianus was not significantly affected by blocking the visual signal. Seed discovery rates of G was significantly higher than S & G (Z=–2.084, P=0.037), and B was significantly higher than S & B (Z=–2.943, P=0.003). This suggests that the seed discovery capacity of S. davidianus was significantly de-creased when olfactory signal of seeds was decreased. When seeds were both sealed and buried (S & B), 31.0 % buried seeds were discovered, which suggests that S. davidianus could discover some seeds with random search. Moreover, seed discovery rates of S-B (57.9±21.8%) and O-B (54.4±33.9%) were not significantly different, which suggests that an individual S. davidianus has no advantage in discovering seeds buried itself, as if there was no effect of spatial memory. These results suggest that olfaction is the key factor for S. david-ianus to rediscover hoarded seeds, secondarily relying on random search. Vision and spatial memory seem to play a less important role.
    Seasonal change in ranging of Elliot’s pheasant and its determining fac-tors in Guanshan National Nature Reserve, Jiangxi
    Yanpeng Xu, Jiawen Zheng, Ping Ding, Pingping Jiang, Luyun Cai, Xiaofeng Huang, Xiaohua Yao, Xiangrong Xu, Zeping Yu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  337-343.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070109
    Abstract ( 4145 )   PDF (302KB) ( 3275 )   Save
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    From July 2005 to December 2006, to study the seasonal change in ranging of Elliot’s pheasants, we tracked five individuals using radio-tracking and GPS in Guanshan National Nature Reserve of Jiangxi Province. The results showed that Elliot’s pheasant occurred at altitudes between 400 and 600 m all the year, but the altitude of their home range varied with seasons: highest in summer and autumn, lower in spring and lowest in winter. The most likely reason that Elliot’s pheasants preferred to live at lower altitude in winter is to have access to water sources. In spring, summer and autumn, they tended to appear at higher altitude, correlated with the distance to forest edge, abundance of shrubs, their species richness and coverage, and ultimately related to the abundance of food and shelter.
    Eutrophication impact on community structure and species diversity of rotifers in five lakes of Anhui
    Fangping Qian, Yilong Xi, Xinli Wen, Lin Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  344-355.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060322
    Abstract ( 4629 )   PDF (376KB) ( 4623 )   Save
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    To study the relationship between lake eutrophication and rotifer species, from July 2005 to June 2006, we studied the community structure of rotifers in five lakes of Anhui, including Longwo Lake, Jinghu Lake, Tingtang Lake, Fengming Lake and Yinhu Lake. We evaluated the eutrophication level of the lakes by evaluating a comprehensive Trophic Level Index (TLIC), as well as the relationship between TLIC and species diversity (as measured by Shannon-Wiener index, Margalef index, and Simpson index). A total of 79 rotifer species were collected, belonging to 31 genera and 18 families. The results showed that rotifer species num-ber differed significantly in the five lakes with different eutrophication levels (P<0.01). A strong negative correlation between rotifer species number and TLIC (r=–0.984, P<0.05) was detected, except in Longwo Lake. Lake eutrophication increased the total density and dominance of the most dominant species of rotifers, but decreased community evenness and species diversity.
    Soil nematode community response to vegetation restoration in northern Fujian
    Shaojun Wang, Qiujin Cai, Honghua Ruan
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  356-364.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070092
    Abstract ( 4121 )   PDF (355KB) ( 3948 )   Save
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    To understand the response of soil nematode communities to vegetation restoration, we surveyed soil nema-todes in a wasteland (Wj), a natural broad-leaved forest (Cc), a conifer-broadleaved mixed forest (Clc), and a coniferous forest (Pm) in northern Fujian from September 2003 to August 2004. A total of 142,005 nematode individuals were collected, belonging to two classes, four orders, 10 families and 24 genera. The results indicated that the number of soil nematode varied significantly (P<0.01) in response to different restoration stages of vegetation, ranking Wj > Cc > Clc > Pm. Nematode numbers also fluctuated with season. Both genera number and individual density ranked spring > winter > autumn > summer. Richness and DG indices ranked Cc >Wj > Clc > Pm, while Shannon-Wiener index Wj >Cc > Clc > Pm. Root biomass and soil physical and chemical characters were different at the four restoration stages. Nematode numbers were positively correlated with root biomass, soil water, soil porosity, organic matter, total N, and available P. We conclude that the dynamics of nematodes are an important biological indicator for vegetation restoration.
    Application of ROC curve analysis in evaluating the performance of alien species’ potential distribution models
    Yunsheng Wang, Bingyan Xie, Fanghao Wan, Qiming Xiao, Liangying Dai
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  365-372.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060280
    Abstract ( 6116 )   PDF (442KB) ( 5978 )   Save
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    Ecological niche models (ENMs), which are widely employed to predict the potential geographic distribution of species, provide an important tool to quantify the risks imposed by invasive alien species. The problem of how to evaluate the performance of different models has attracted more and more attention. In the present paper, we introduced the principle of the method of Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis in assessing the accuracy of different ENMs. We predicted the suitable distribution area of Radopholus similis, an important banana toppling disease nematode, with five widely used ENMs and evaluated the performance of different models by ROC curve analysis. The area under ROC curve (AUC) for BIOCLIM, CLIMEX, DOMAIN, GARP, and MAXENT models was 0.810, 0.758, 0.921, 0.903, and 0.950, respectively. Among these, the biggest value of AUC was assigned to MAXENT, indicating that the result gained by MAXENT should be better than the other four models. According to the results of analysis of variance (ANOVA), there was a remarkable difference in AUC between each model except for DOMAIN and GARP.
    Species diversity of fishes in the coral reefs of South China Sea
    Guobao Chen, Yongzhen Li, Xinjun Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  373-381.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060268
    Abstract ( 4948 )   PDF (212KB) ( 4535 )   Save
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    During May to July 2004 and March to April 2005, we carried out two cruise surveys on fish resources using trammel net in the adjacent waters of 23 coral reefs of the South China Sea. We analyzed fish species composition and community characteristics. The results showed that Carcharhiniformes and Myliobatiformes were dominant families of the cartilaginous fishes, while Perciformes and Teraodontiformes were dominant families in the bony fishes. We defined the species with an Index of Relative Importance (IRI) >500 as dominant species. Accordingly, five dominant species were found in Xisha Archipelago waters, namely Taeniura meyeni, Lethrinus miniatus, Plectorhinchus pictus, P. flavomaculatus, and Hexanchus griseus. Six dominant species were found in the Zhongsha Archipelago water, namely Plectorhinchus flavomaculatus, Taeniura meyeni, Platax orbicularis, Dioson hystrix, Lethrinus rubrioperculatus, and Plectorhinchus pictus, and the three dominant species were in the Nansha Archipelago water, Carcharhinus limbatus, Triaenodon obesus, and Caranx stellatus. Since the fish body sizes varied remarkably, we calculated Margalef richness index, Shannon-Wiener index, Simpson index and Pielou evenness index based on both individual number and biomass. The results indicated that fish species diversity in coral reefs water were significantly different compared with those either in the northern or southwestern continental shelf waters of South China Sea. Fish species in similar habitats had higher similarity.
    Special Issue
    Spermatophyte flora of Yinggeling Mountain, Hainan
    Rongjing Zhang, Fuwu Xing, Laiping Siu, Yan Liu, Yushi Ye, Saichit Ng, Hongfeng Chen, , Faguo Wang, ,
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  382-392.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060278
    Abstract ( 3974 )   PDF (453KB) ( 4265 )   Save
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    The largest area and most pristine tropical rainforests in South China are preserved on Yinggeling Mountain, Hainan Island. In order to identify the floristic elements and the importance of the spermatophyte flora, we carried out extensive fieldwork during 2003–2006. A total of 1,706 species were recorded, belonging to 825 genera and 173 families. At the generic level, tropical elements were the dominant components, in which pantropical genera and tropical Asian genera contributed 25.28% and 32.36% of the total (excluding cosmopolitan genera), respectively. There were eight genera endemic to China, including two genera (Pyrenocarpa and Metapetrocosmea) endemic to Hainan Province. At the species level, tropical elements contributed 70.50% of the total number of species (excluding the cosmopolitan ones). There were 474 species endemic to China, accounting for 28.42% of the noncosmopolitan species. Among them, 149 species (31.44%) were endemic to Hainan. Yinggeling Mountain has a unique flora, exhibited not only by newly re-corded and unusual species, but also by being a geographical nexus of subtropical flora with typical tropical species, xerothermic with humid and warm species. Compared with the flora of four neighboring areas, the flora of Yinggeling Mountain showed high similarity with that of Diaoluo Mountain, but contained more tropical elements than Dinghu Mountain of Guangdong and Xishuangbanna of Yunnan.
    Grey forecasting of forest biodiversity dynamics in China
    Benyang Wang, Fuhe Luo, Xuening Zhen, Shixiao Yu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  393-399.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060258
    Abstract ( 3904 )   PDF (259KB) ( 3162 )   Save
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    Analysis of forest biodiversity dynamics in China is characterized by grey uncertainty caused by the paucity of relevant data and information, therefore, grey system theory may be helpful. Based on five surveys of the national Continuous Forest Inventory (CFI) in China during the period 1973–1998, we measured four indices with Pressure-State-Response (PSR) model, including Index of Forest Biodiversity (Ifbd), Index of Pressure on Forest Biodiversity (Ipr), Index of Forest Species Diversity (Isp) and Index of Forest Ecosystem Diversity (Ieco). The dynamics of forest biodiversity in the coming 10 years were also forecast with GM (1,1) grey models. The results predict that, in the coming two CFI periods (five years per CFI interval), Ifbd would continue increasing with accelerated speed compared with the last five CFI periods. In addition, Ipr would continue increasing, Ieco would fluctuate slightly, and Isp would continue increasing with moderate speed. The research suggests that grey forecasting model based on the PSR method is appropriate for forest resources management in China.
    Special Issue
    Species diversity of Fagus pashanica community in Daba Mountains, Sichuan
    Lijun Xiong, Ke Guo, Changming Zhao, Changcheng Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  400-407.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060316
    Abstract ( 4382 )   PDF (368KB) ( 3414 )   Save
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    Fagus pashanica is an endemic species of Mt. Daba. The forest dominated by F. pashanica mainly distributed in northern Sichuan. We studied the species diversity of F. pashanica forest based on a field sur-vey of 39 quadrats in seven plots in Mt. Daba. The results showed that: (1) A total of 217 vascular plant spe-cies were recorded, belonging to 142 genera and 77 families. Dominant families in the canopy layer included Fagaceae, Ericaceae, Rosaceae and Symplocaceae, while those in the shrub layer were Rosaceae, Caprifoli-aceae, Fagaceae and Aceraceae. In the herbaceous layer, Carex spp. and Pyrola decorata dominated in individual numbers. (2) Logarithm of species abundance showed an inverse “J” shaped distribution pattern in the canopy layer and an approximate normal distribution pattern in the shrub and herbaceous layers. Species richness was highest in the shrub layer and lowest in the canopy layer. Shannon-Wiener index of the shrub layer was higher than those of the canopy and herbaceous layers. Simpson index and evenness index were highest in the canopy layer and lowest in the herbaceous layer. (3) Species diversity was higher on southern and eastern slopes than on northern slope. Regression analysis indicated various relationships between diversity and soil. (4) A significant negative correlation existed between species diversity of the community and the importance values of the dominant species and the main species in the canopy. We conclude that species diversity of the shrub layer is primarily affected by environmental factors, and species diversities of the can-opy and herbaceous layers are affected markedly by both environmental factors and overstory canopy struc-ture.
    Altitudinal pattern of vascular plant species richness based on equal-area belts in Mt. Helan
    Yuan Zhu, Yuan Jiang, Quanru Liu, Min Xiong, Muyi Kang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  408-418.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060307
    Abstract ( 4237 )   PDF (468KB) ( 3329 )   Save
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    Altitudinal pattern of plant species richness along an elevational gradient has often been studied by dividing the mountains into equal-elevation belts. However, comparisons of species richness among different belts with different areas is not appropriate. Based on a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and Geographic In-formational System (GIS), we divided Mt. Helan (1,300–3,500 m) into several equal-area belts along an alti-tudinal gradient, and compared the plant species richness among them. The results were as followed: (1) The altitudinal pattern of species richness in Mt. Helan showed a unimodal shape, peaking around 2,000 m alti-tude. (2) The slope heterogeneity was the primary variable to explain the altitudinal pattern of species rich-ness. High values of slope heterogeneity could reflect the complex topographic features and diversified habi-tats within a belt, implying a favorable condition for more species to coexist. (3) The unimodal pattern of species richness might result from a combined effect of evolutionary history of vegetation, climates, topog-raphic features, ecotone, and the mid-domain effect. (4) Compared with equal-elevation belts, equal-area belts could directly eliminate the influence of area upon species richness, leading to a more reliable analyticresult, especially when the species data were accurate at all altitudinal ranges.
    Seed polymorphism and fruit-set patterns of Salsola affinis
    Hongfei Wang, Yan Wei
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  419-424.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060330
    Abstract ( 3868 )   PDF (279KB) ( 3250 )   Save
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    Salsola affinis, a dominant desert annual inhabiting the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang, produces three types of seeds which differ in morphology and ecological properties. To better understand how S. affinis is adapted to its desert habitat, we studied its seed morphs, germination characteristics and fruit-set patterns. Having lignified perianths with long wings, Type A seeds can easily be dispersed to a long distance by wind, whereas type B and type C seeds were tightly attached to the mother plants because of short wings or absence of wings. Seeds were germinated in incubators at three alternating temperature regimes. Both Type A and Type B seeds could germinate rapidly at three alternating temperature regimes, although Type B seeds germinated more quickly. Type C seeds germinated slowly with germination rate less than 10%, indicating that they were dormant. With the increase of the size of the individual parent plant, the ratio of Type A increased from 0.43% to 51.07%, while Type B decreased from 65.8% to 18.06%, but Type C kept steady (30–35%). The success of Salsola affinis in the desert might be partly attributed to its heterocarpy and associated plastic response to heterogeneous environmental conditions.
    AM fungi diversity in the main tree-peony cultivation areas in China
    Shaoxia Guo, , , Yugang Zhang, Min Li, Runjin Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  425-431.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060253
    Abstract ( 4080 )   PDF (187KB) ( 3475 )   Save
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    In order to characterize arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal resources in the rhizosphere of tree-peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), we collected soil and root samples, and isolated 35 species in five genera of AM fungi from the main tree-peony cultivation areas, Heze and Luoyang of China. Glomus showed the highest relative abundance, followed by Acaulospora. There were differences in species richness, spore density and species diversity of AM fungi between the two regions. Spore density in the rhizospheric soil of tree-peony grown in Heze Zhaolou Tree-peony Garden was highest, while in soil of the Luoyang Cuoli Tree-peony Nursery it was lowest. The species richness in Heze Zhaolou Tree-peony Garden was lowest. Species diversity in the rhizospheric soil of tree-peony grown in Heze Tree-peony Nursery was significantly higher than in other sam-pling sites. Glomus geosporum was the dominant species in Heze Zhaolou Tree-peony Garden and Luoyang Wangcheng Garden, while G. constrictum was the dominant species in Heze Tree-peony Nursery, Heze Zhaolou Tree-peony Garden, Luoyang Tuqiao Seedling Nursery and Luoyang Tree-peony Garden. The results suggest that AM fungal diversity is rich in the main tree-peony cultivation areas.
    Comparison of SNP diversity between 5′-flanking regions and introns of eight functional genes in chickens
    Yousheng Rao, Qinghua Nie, Yong Liang, Yingjun Du, Wenlong Yan, Xiquan Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  432-436.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070111
    Abstract ( 4005 )   PDF (292KB) ( 3689 )   Save
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    The goal of this study was to explore the level of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNP) level of 5′-flanking regions in chicken functional genes. The 5′-flanking region of eight genes, including GH, DDBC1, RIKEN, RASGRP3, IGF1, THRSP, VIP and PRL, were amplified and sequenced for White Leghorn, White Recessive Rock, Xinghua, Silkie, Gushi, and Red Jungle Fowl strains. A total length of 8,399 bp se-quence was obtained and 161 SNPs were identified, with an average of one SNP per 52 bp. Watterson’s esti-mate of θ was 0.00620 ± 0.00110 and the average nucleotide diversity (π) calculated from the average num-ber of pair-wise differences was 0.00559 ± 0.00100. The SNP diversity of 5′-flanking regions was signifi-cantly lower than that of introns. Because of their importance in regulation of gene expression, the 5′-flanking regions may have endured more selective pressure than introns during molecular evolution. A relatively low SNP diversity in 5′-flanking region may be more adoptive. The Tajima test and Fu & Li test showed that VIP and PRL, which are significantly associated with chicken productivity, are likely to be target genes for artificial and natural selection.
    Species diversity of natural forests in the enlarged area of Jianfengling National Nature Reserve, Hainan Island
    Zhiyang Ou, Xiaobo Yang, , Qingshu Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (4):  437-444.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060251
    Abstract ( 4045 )   PDF (275KB) ( 3885 )   Save
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    Jianfengling Nature Reserve has been enlarged from 7,762 hm2 to 20,170 hm2 since it was approved as a national nature reserve in 2002. For planning conservation strategies, Hainan University carried out fieldwork to investigate plant species diversity of the enlarged area in October 2003. Forty-three species were recorded for the first time in the Jianfengling region, including five species endemic to Hainan Island, namely Aristolochia fulvicoma, Stephania hainanensis, Tutcheria ovalifolia, Melicope patulinervia, and Lyonia ovalifolia. In 9,600-m2 standard plots of natural forests established in this investigation, 398 species including 3,466 standing trees with height≥1.5 m were recorded, belonging to 161 genera and 69 families. In this area, 41 species were in the list of national endangered and protected plants, and their vertical distribution was described. Among them, Antirhea chinensis and Chuniophoenix hainanensis were newly recorded in Jianfengling forests, and four species were listed as national Class I key-protected plants. In the tropical low-land rainforest, indices of Simpson (D), Shannon-Wiener (H') and Evenness (E) were 0.9446, 5.696 and 0.7697, respectively, while for tropical montane rainforest, D, H'and E were 0.9885, 6.9619 and 0.8807, respectively, and those of tropical montane dwarf forest were 0.9405, 4.7110 and 0.8737, respectively. The results showed that the tropical low-land and montane rainforest in the enlarged area had been restored well after many years of protection.

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