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Table of Content
    Volume 15 Issue 3
    20 May 2007

    . Eremosparton songoricum is a clonal shrub that reproduces both asexually by below-ground rhizomes and sexually by seeds. It is now a rare species with a narrow distribution in fragmented habitat patches in the Gurbantunggut Desert in Xinjiang of China and in the vicinity of Balkhash Lake of Russia. As a typical sand-fixation plant, E. songoricum plays an important role in desert ecosystem. High level of genetic variation and clonal diversity were found in E. songoricum. For details see pages 282–291 of this issue. (Photographed by Daoyuan Zhang)

    Genetic relationships among Chinese and American isolates of Phytophthora sojae by ISSR markers
    Ziying Wang, Yuanchao Wang, Zhengguang Zhang, Xiaobo Zheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  215-223.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070018
    Abstract ( 4068 )   PDF (383KB) ( 3886 )   Save
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    The genetic diversity of three geographic populations of Phytophthora sojae from China and the United States was determined using technique of inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). A total of 102 reproducible ISSR fragments were scored among 111 individuals, of which 88 (86%) were polymorphic. Analysis of genetic variation showed that there existed higher genetic variation in the United States population in comparison to the Chinese populations. Nei’s genetic identity and principal component analysis indicated that the populations of Fujian and the United States are closer to each other than to Heilongjiang populations. Shannon-Wiener diversity index revealed that the United States populations have a higher genetic diversity than that of the Chinese populations. These data support the hypothesis that P. sojae in the United States might not have been introduced from China.
    Species validities of Coilia brachygnathus and C. nasus taihuensis based on sequence variations of complete mtDNA control region
    Wenqiao Tang, Xuelian Hu, Jinquan Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  224-231.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060263
    Abstract ( 6697 )   PDF (331KB) ( 4115 )   Save
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    We determined 32 complete mitochondrial control region (D-loop region) sequences of Coilia species, including C. nasus, C. grayii, C. mystus, C. brachygnathus and the so-called C. nasus taihuensis, to investigate the validity of disputed species C. brachygnathus and C. nasus taihuensis, and to discuss the phylogenetic relationships of Coilia in China. Engraulis japonicus and E. ringens were used as outgroups. Sequences length of C. grayii, C. mystus, C. nasus, C. brachygnathus and C. nasus taihuensis were 1,208 bp, 1,279–1,361 bp, 1,252–1,290 bp, 1,214–1,252 bp, and 1,252–1,442 bp, respectively. Except for C. grayii, other Coilia species have length variations among individuals. The average K 2-P distances among C. brachygnathus, C. nasus and C. nasus taihuensis ranged from 0.011 to 0.020, while the average distances between these three species and the species of C. grayii, C. mystus and outgroups ranged from 0.051 to 0.349, thus showing significant difference between the former and latter species. The phylogenetic trees es-timated by maximum parsimony (MP) and neighbor-joining (NJ) methods indicated that the individuals of C. nasus, C. nasus taihuensis and C. brachygnathus failed to form monophyletic clades. These results revealed that C. nasus taihuensis and C. brachygnathus should be considered the same species and C. nasus is a valid species name. The phylogenetic result also suggests that C. mystus is the most basal among the three valid species of Coilia, while C. grayii and C. mystus are more derived and are sister groups. We presume that C. mystus is the earliest descendant of Coilia ancestor which dispersed from the original center to the northwest Pacific Ocean. C. nasus and C. grayii are the species diverged from C. mystus adapted to cold and warm en-vironment, respectively.
    Habitat pattern change of Martes zibellina and the impact of timber har-vest in Huzhong Area in Greater Hing’an Mountains, Northeast China
    Yuehui Li, Zhibin Hu, Wenfang Leng, Yu Chang, Yuanman Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  232-240.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060099
    Abstract ( 3786 )   PDF (367KB) ( 3471 )   Save
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    To better understand human impact on wild animal habitats, we selected three habitat types of Martes zibellina, representing three different successionary stages of their habitats in Huzhong Area, Greater Hing’an Mountain in northeastern China. Employing published literature about behavior ecology, aerial photographs and forest stand maps, we classified the study site into three habitat types, i.e., best-suitable, suitable, and unsuitable. We chose the habitat pattern of the year 1989 in the core zone of Huzhong National Natural Reserve, which is adjacent to Huzhong Area and has similar natural conditions, to represent the primary habitat pattern of Huzhong Area before exploitation. The result showed that, from 1989 to 2000, changes in the best-suitable-habitat was significant, decreasing from 68% to 40%, while suitable habitats decreased from 42% to 17%, whereas unsuitable habitat increased from 21% to 39%. Suitable habitats shrank away from area close to river banks to central forests far away from rivers. Timber harvest proved to be the leading cause of habitat degradation. Our results provide a scientific basis for forest management and animal conservation.
    Special Issue
    Growth pattern of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) in terres-trial habitats
    Xin Jia, Dongjing Fu, Xiaoyun Pan, Bo Li, Jiakuan Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  241-246.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060300
    Abstract ( 4597 )   PDF (349KB) ( 3843 )   Save
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    Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) is a notorious invasive alien species worldwide. How to limit its population expansion in terrestrial habitats has long been an intractable problem. To predict growth of alligator weed in local patches, a field planting experiment was performed. Using harvesting data, we established growth models of different growth variables; meanwhile, the allometric relationships of these variables were determined. The growth models of main stem length, biomass, leaf area and patch area all in-creased in an exponential pattern with growth period, and the daily growth rates (%) of main stem length, to-tal biomass, leaf area and patch area were 4.28, 11.27, 11.59 and 8.67, respectively. The result of allometric analysis showed that it was significantly correlated between all the growth variables. The allometric exponent b of shoot mass (x) vs. root mass (y) indicated that the root/shoot ratio decreased with the growth of the plant. From the allometric exponent b of main stem length vs. total biomass and of main stem length vs. leaf area, we could deduce that the total biomass and leaf area increased quadratic relative to main stem length, and in-creased proportionally to patch area. As for variables of biomass vs. leaf area, an isometric relationship was found, i.e. the canopy size kept relatively constant when plant size increased. Based on the relation between leaf area and biomass, leaf area ratio (LAR) and specific leaf area (SLA) of the alligator weed in terrestrial habitat were calculated, being 88.24 cm2/g and 287.97 cm2/g, respectively. These results provide basic data for future growth modeling further to effective and economical control.
    Characteristics and significance of the remnant evergreen broad-leaved forest in the urban area of Chongqing, China
    Yongchuan Yang, Xingzhong Yuan, Baizhan Li, Rong Sun, Qiang Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  247-256.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060262
    Abstract ( 4940 )   PDF (373KB) ( 3453 )   Save
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    As a consequence of extensive urban development and intensive human activities, the vegetation has been damaged severely in the urban area of Chongqing Municipality and only some natural forest patches remain on the Pingxing Mountain Ridges in eastern Sichuan Basin. The forest in Tieshanping National Forest Park in the core of Chongqing is the only well-protected typical evergreen broadleaved forest at lower altitude in mid-subtropical China. In 2006, we established a 0.2-hm2 permanent plot (29˚37.606′ N, 106˚41.737′ E) and divided it into 20 subplots, then conducted a detailed community survey. A total of 58 species of vascular plants were recorded in the community, belonging to 46 genera and 32 families. Of these, there were 39 monotypic genera and 20 monotypic families. The analysis of floristic geographical elements indicated that the tropical elements were dominant but that temperate affinities also existed in the community. An analysis of life form spectra and leaf characters showed that the physiognomy of the community was characterized by phanerophytes with meso- and microphyllic-leathery simple leaves. In this community, four distinct layers were distinguished from the forest floor to the canopy, namely ground vegetation, shrub layer, sub-tree layer and tree layer, respectively. Castanopsis carlesii var. spinusa, with relative dominance of 73.4%, was the only dominant species in the community, whose population structure showed an uninterrupted pattern. The forest could regenerate through seedlings and also root sprouts, which implies that the community could maintain itself for a long time if there is no intensive disturbances.
    Species association in tropical montane rain forest at two successional stages in Diaoluo Mountain of Hainan Island
    Wenjin Wang, Ming Zhang, Fude Liu, Jianwei Zheng, Zhongsheng Wang, Shiting Zhang, Wenjie Yang, Shu-qing An
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  257-263.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060170
    Abstract ( 4360 )   PDF (277KB) ( 3622 )   Save
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    Species association is one of the basic concepts in community succession. There are different viewpoints on how species interaction changes with progression of succession. In order to assess these relationships, we examined species association in the tropical montane rain forest at early and late successional stages in Diaoluo Mountain of Hainan Island. Based on 2×2 contingency tables of species presence or absence data, statistical methods including analysis of species association and 2 test were applied. The results showed that: (1) the positive associations were present among overall woody species of the communities during the two successional stages, and were significant at the late stage. The number of species-pairs with positive and negative association all decreased through the process of succession, while the number with null associations increased drastically. The same trend existed among the dominant species and companion species. The results indicated that the communities were developing towards a stabilized stage in which the woody species coexisted in harmony. (2) As to the early-established species and later invading species, all positive associations among them were not significant. Compared with the positive and null associations, fewer negative associations were found. This implied that these species were inclined to coexist independently through resource partitioning. (3) Among the later invading species, positive associations were significant, and no negative associations were found, which suggested that these species had similar adaptative ability in the habitat and occupied overlapping niches in the community.
    The numerical classification of desert vegetation and soil interpretation in Qitai County, Xinjiang
    Zhiqiang Zhou, Xiaoxue Wei, Tong Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  264-270.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060248
    Abstract ( 4533 )   PDF (304KB) ( 4082 )   Save
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    In order to explore the correlations between desert plant community types and soil variables at the southern edge of Gurbantunggut Desert, we established 48 quadrats of 20 m × 10 m to study the vegetation by the randomized systematic method in Qitai County of Xinjiang in 2005. After vegetation survey, we selected 20 plots with obviously different physiognomy and sampled soils at 0, 10, 30, 50 and 80 cm depths, respectively. Plants and soil characters were analyzed simultaneously and the results were correlated. A hier-archical cluster and principle component analysis (PCA) were performed based on importance value of plant species and soil variables, respectively. Four types of communities were recognized and described in details, i.e. Phragmites australis + Achnatherum splendens community, Haloxylon ammodendron+Reaumuria son-garica+Nitraria sibirica community, Haloxylon ammodendron+Ceratoides ewersmanniana+ Seriphidium terrae-albae community, and Ceratoides ewersmannian+Alhagi sparsifolia community. The results of prin-ciple component analysis showed that there was a specific relationship between soil variables and plant community type. Three principal components, namely pH, organic matter content, and soil salinity, could ex-plain 85.65% of the differences among the soils of different plant communities.
    Dynamics of species diversity and characteristics of halophytic plant communities around saline lakes in arid and semi-arid regions of Inner Mongolia
    Quanying Du, Zhi Li, Shurun Liu, Hongyan Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  271-281.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060214
    Abstract ( 4649 )   PDF (486KB) ( 4041 )   Save
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    Soil salinization is one of the main types of land desertification, which occurred widely around saline lakes in arid and semi-arid regions. Studies on the impact of salinization on the distribution and diversity of plant communities are still scarce. To explore the changes of halophytic vegetation along saline soil gradients, we collected halophyte samples around the lakes of Jartai, Ulansuhai Nur, Qagan Nur, and Ejin Nur, from desert, steppe-desert, desert-steppe, to typical grassland, representing a gradient of climate condi-tions. These plots also demonstrated a perfect salinity gradient both at a smaller scale (lake level) as well as at a larger scale (regional level). Using methodology of space-for-time substitution of halophytic plant communities as well as the extent of soil salinization, we analyzed the structure and distribution pattern of all communities. Based on 10 salinity gradients, salinity tolerance values of communities were calculated by mul-tiplying importance values and salt-tolerance values of each species. We also considered the significance of halophytic community as indicators of saline environments. The results showed that the halophyte communities are distributed around the lakes, accompanied with enrichment of community types and species number, from dry to wet climate zone. In particular, the communities were distributed following the sequence of Comm. Ach-natherum splendens, Comm. Kalidium foliatum, Comm. Salicornia europaea, Comm. Suaeda glauca, from margins to edges of lake banks and with the increase of salinity. On the other hand, species richness of the community declined from dry to wet climate zone due to appearance of similar species, and community struc-ture became simplified. As community salinity tolerance value increased, the α-diversity of all the communities decreased but at different rates. As for β-diversity, a more complex pattern appeared. We also found that the re-gional climatic conditions could influence halophytic community characteristics. Under conditions of slight salinization, the effects were more pronounced and the vegetation was characterized by a zonal vegetation. With the greater extent of salinization, the azonality character of the vegetation became more significant. These re-sults indicate that the halophytic vegetation in the study area was in a transition from zonal to azonal vegeta-tion.
    Genetic variation and clonal diversity in fragmented populations of the desert plant Eremosparton songoricum based on ISSR markers
    Xueying Lu, Daoyuan Zhang, Wenbao Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  282-291.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060332
    Abstract ( 4636 )   PDF (706KB) ( 3704 )   Save
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    Eremosparton songoricum is a clonal shrub that reproduces both asexually by below-ground rhizomes and sexually by seeds. Having been severely disturbed by human activities, it has greatly declined in range, population number and population size over the past decades. It is now a rare species with a narrow distribution in fragmented habitat patches in the Gurbantuggut Desert of Xinjiang, China. Inter-Simple se-quence repeats (ISSR) were used to evaluate the genetic variation and clonal diversity of seven populations (148 individuals) of E. songoricum from Gurbantunggut Desert. A total of 84 discernible bands were gener-ated using eight primers of which 77 were polymorphic, indicating considerable genetic variation at the spe-cies level (PPB=91.67%, I=0.3192) and at population level (PPB =58.45%, I=0.2248) compared to other de-sert plants. A relatively high value of GST (0.2978) indicated significant genetic differentiation among populations. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that 31.88% of the ISSR variation resided among populations. Barriers of gene flow caused by habitat fragmentation and population size reduction may contribute to the significant genetic differentiation among populations. Simpson diversity index (D) ranged from 0.8457–0.9400 at population level, indicating that clonal diversity was also high. The evenness of dis-tribution of genotypes in the seven populations was 0.9673 at species level, with all of the genotypes being local ones. The high level of genetic variation and clonal diversity found in E. songoricum are probably due to outcrossing or mixed-mating breeding system and multi-clone origin of populations. The results provide baseline data for formulating conservation strategies for this species. Conservation strategies should include both in situ and ex situ approaches to preserve the greatest possible extent of the genetic diversity of the species.
    Genetic diversity analysis of Quercus mongolica populations with In-ter-Simple Sequence Repeats (ISSR) technique
    Jie Zhang, Di Wu, Chunlei Wang, Hongjun Qu, Xuezhong Zou, Chuanping Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  292-299.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060133
    Abstract ( 4388 )   PDF (281KB) ( 4719 )   Save
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    Genetic diversity of twenty-five populations of Quercus mongolica, which is a dominant tree species from Northeast China, was investigated by the Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) technique, using ten specific and stable primers selected from 60 primers. A total of 71 sites were generated, 56 of which (78.87%) were polymorphic. The data were analyzed by PopGene. The average percentage of polymorphic loci of populations was 45.2% and demonstrated high genetic diversity (the average value of Shannon index (I) was 0.25). To some extent, both gene flow and genetic diversity were present among populations (Nm was 1.3818, average Nei’s index was 0.1068, and average Gst was 0.2657). The gene proportion of diversity reached 73.43% within population but was 26.57% among populations. This demonstrated that genetic variation of Q. mongolica populations was mainly within populations. According to cluster analysis and the law of geographic variation, the populations were classified into two large groups: the Xiaoxinganling group and the Changbaishan group. These results supplement information for protection and utilization of Q.mongolica, and also provide further data for the study of genetic variation and species differentiation of Quercus.
    Seasonal variation and longitudinal distribution of copepods in the main river area of the Three Gorges Reservoir
    Jianliang Yao, Junzeng Xue, Dengyuan Wang, Qinghua Cai, Xiangfei Huang, Jiankang Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  300-305.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060305
    Abstract ( 4207 )   PDF (341KB) ( 3186 )   Save
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    The ecosystem of the Three Gorges in Yangtze River was changed into an artificial lake (reservoir) ecosystem after impoundment in June 2003. We surveyed the seasonal variation and spatial distribution of copepods from April 2004 to January 2005 in order to provide basic data for clarifying the successional pat-tern of the ecosystem. From Jiangjin to Maoping, eight copepod species were collected, belonging to Ca-lanoida, Harpacticoida, and Cyclopoida. Of these, Mesocyclops pehpeiensis, M. leuckarti and Sinocalanus dorrii had a relatively wide distribution. No distinct difference in species number was found among sampling sites, but the species composition was different. Species composition, distribution and density of copepods showed significant seasonal variation. Copepod density showed an obvious gradient with the distance from the reservoir dam: the nearer to the dam, the denser the copepods.
    Review and prospects on methodology and affecting factors of soil mi-crobial diversity
    Ju Zhou, Ting Lei
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  306-311.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070069
    Abstract ( 6108 )   PDF (221KB) ( 8979 )   Save
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    Soil microorganisms are important components of soil ecosystem and play central roles in biogeochemical cycling such as organic matter decomposition, mineral nutrient release, and energy transformation. Along with the intensive comprehension of the importance of biodiversity and the rapid development of methodology, more and more studies have focused on soil microbial diversity. This review introduces the current development of methodology and affecting factors of soil microbial diversity. We also discussed the directions of future research on soil microbial diversity.

    Special Issue
    Conservation Behavioral Science, a new branch of Conservation Biology
    Chunwang Li, Zhigang Jiang, Enquan Zhang, Yuan Gu, , ,
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  312-318.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.070071
    Abstract ( 4593 )   PDF (207KB) ( 3614 )   Save
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    Conservation Behavioral Science, a new branch of Conservation Biology, is emerging due to participation of animal behaviorist in conservation practice and the integration of Behavioral Science and Conservation Biology. During the past 30 years, people have become convinced that animal conservation needs the knowledge of ethology. Scientists have applied evolutionary biology of animal behavior to solve problems in conservation practice. The aims of Conservation Behavioral Science include: to find the effects of environmental factors on animal behavior, to understand ecological adaptation of animal behavior, and to improve the effectiveness of conservation practice. Nowadays, 10% species in the world are close to extinc-tion and saving biodiversity is considered urgent. As a new branch of Conservation Biology, Conservation Behavioral Science also exploits new directions of animal behavior study and behavioral ecology. Thus, Conservation Behavioral Science brings new opportunity to Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology. We believe that Conservation Behavioral Science and its related subjects will prosper more in the future.
    CITES and genetic resource management in China
    Zhihua Zhou, Zhigang Jiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2007, 15 (3):  319-328.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.060225
    Abstract ( 4280 )   PDF (233KB) ( 4297 )   Save
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    Genetic resource is a strategic resource of the 21st century and a hot topic in recent international negotiations. We firstly analyzed the operation mechanism of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the genetic resource issue in the domain of CITES, then we discussed the legislation and its impact on the management of genetic resource in China. We also briefly reviewed implementation of CITES and legislation on genetic resource management in China. We pointed out that problems regarding genetic resource which urgently need to be resolved, including divided duty among multi-authorities, inadequate legislation, and lacking of clear national policy and strategic view, lacking of information, unclear property rights and lacking economic mechanism which benefits conservation and utilization of genetic resources of wild fauna and flora. Finally, we propose resolutions for resolving above problems, such as formulating national strategy, establishing coherent management mechanism, integrating the genetic resources issue into relevant regulations, conducting surveys on genetic resources of wild fauna and flora, establishing economic mechanism which benefits the conservation of genetic resources.

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