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Table of Content
    Volume 14 Issue 2
    20 March 2006

    An autumn landscape in Chongming Dongtan Nature Reserve, Shanghai, showing the mosaic distribution of communities of the exotic plant Spartina alterniflora (golden) and the native plant Phragmites australis (green) and competition between the two species. For details see pages 114–120 of this issue. (Photographed by Liquan Zhang)

    Setting biodiversity conservation priorities in the Forests of the Upper Yangtze Ecoregion based on ecoregion conservation methodology
    Bo Wu, Chunquan Zhu, Diqiang Li, , Ke Dong, Xiulei Wang, Peili Shi
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  87-97.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050232
    Abstract ( 5960 )   PDF (260KB) ( 4914 )   Save
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    One hundred and ten specialists who are engaged in biodiversity conservation participated in a 4-phase participatory study to determine indicator species and biodiversity priority areas for mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, insects, fungi, and vascular plants for the Forests of the Upper Yangtze (FUY) Eco-region. Based on ecoregion conservation methodology, 16 priority areas were identified. Of these, Qinling Mountains, Daba Mountains, Jinfo–Fanjing–Wulingyuan area, Minshan Mountains, Qionglai–Daxiangling Mountains, Gongga Mountains, and Three Parallel Rivers area are among the list of the highest priority ar-eas, while Funiu Mountains, Micang Mountains, Zoige Plateau, Liangshan Mountains, Panzhihua–Xichang area, Zhongdian–Muli area, northwestern Sichuan Plateau, Upper Jinsha River Basin Alps-Ravines, and Nu-jiang–Lancang River Basin Alps-Ravines have high priority. At present, the distribution of nature reserves does not match the priority areas and linkages. Nature reserves cover a tiny proportion, or even none, of the priority areas or linkages; some are disturbed by intense human activities and are consequently severely frag-mented. It is proposed here that existing nature reserves should be adjusted and new ones established to fill conservation gaps. In conjunction with national eco-construction programmes and biodiversity conservation actions, natural forests should be strictly protected, degraded vegetation should be effectively rehabilitated, and human economic activities should be strictly controlled to enhance the functions of the conservation priority areas and their linkages.
    Assessment of function area design in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve using landscape ecology principles
    Linyan Zhang, Wanhui Ye, Zhongliang Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  98-106.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050161
    Abstract ( 5004 )   PDF (655KB) ( 4121 )   Save
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    Principles of landscape ecology are playing significant roles in the design and management of nature reserves. Three function zones (core zone, buffer zone, and transitional zone) in Dinghushan Biosphere Reserve, the first nature reserve of China, were designed in 1988 and then readjusted in 2001 to make the di-vision more reasonable. Based on vegetation map data of 1985 and 2000, we assessed the two designs using landscape ecology principles. And the changes in vegetation composition and landscape patterns between the two designs were compared. The results showed that, during the past 15 years, vegetations in the three func-tion zones were in the process of ordinal succession, meanwhile the vegetation patches became more irregu-lar. In each function zone, vegetation landscape had changed in different ways because of the different origi-nal vegetation types and human disturbance intensity: the core zone and transitional zone had become more continuous, whereas the buffer zone more fragmented resulted from excessive tourism. After readjustment of the design, the integrity of landscape vegetation in the core zone is maintained. Compared the two designs, the similarity index of vegetation landscape ranked as core zone > transition zone > buffer zone. We sug-gest setting the newly established buffer zone as an example of eco-tourism in order to protect the previous buffer zone against an excessive influx of tourists.
    Effects of area and mid-domain effect on altitudinal pattern of seed plants richness in Lijiang, Yunnan, China
    Jianmeng Feng, Xiangping Wang, Jing Li, Jingyun Fang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  107-113.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050123
    Abstract ( 4577 )   PDF (341KB) ( 3861 )   Save
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    Based on regional flora and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), we investigated altitudinal patterns of seed plant richness in Lijiang, Yunnan. The results indicated that species richness, species density, available area, and the species richness predicted by the mid-domain effect increased first and then decreased after reaching their maximum, showing a unimodal pattern against elevation. There was strong correlation between species richness, available area and mid-domain effect. The area was a much more important factor, explaining 80.2% of the pattern of species richness, whereas the influence of the mid-domain effect was relatively weak, explaining only 11.3%.
    Distribution of an exotic plant Spartina alterniflora in Shanghai
    Hepeng Li, Liquan Zhang, Donghui Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  114-120.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050199
    Abstract ( 5789 )   PDF (643KB) ( 4579 )   Save
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    Remote sensing, in conjunction with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), has been used successfully in many studies on coastal resources, dynamical monitoring of the environment, and quantifying tidal flat vegetation. We investigated the potential of using multispectral satellite remote sensing to map and quantify an exotic plant, Spartina alterniflora, on tidal flats in Shanghai. A Landsat5-Thematic Mapper image, dated 2nd August 2003, was geometrically corrected using ERDAS Imagine 8.6, and a sub-sample of the study area was then extracted. The sub-image was then analyzed using a Tassel Cap transformation (K-T) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to identify different types of salt marsh vegetation. Based on these results, a series of classes were identified and a supervised classification was carried out using the Maximum Likelihood Classifier in ERDAS Imagine. The results of the classification were then checked using an in situ field survey of selected areas. The classification had an overall accuracy of 80%. The classified image was then integrated with other data in a GIS to analyze the spatial distribution of the S. alterniflora communities in Shanghai. The results showed that the total area of the S. alterniflora community in Shanghai was 4,553.37 hm2 in 2003, which accounted for 22.1% of the total vegetation on tidal flats. Excepting Chongming Xitan and Hengsha Island, the S. al-terniflora community was distributed extensively on the tidal flats in the Changjiang Estuary. Nanhui Bian-tan accounted for 2,069.01 hm2; Chongming Dongtan, 910.17 hm2 and Jiuduansha, 769.05 hm2. The distribu-tion pattern of S. alterniflora showed that anthropogenic transplantation and the rapid proliferation of clones could be the main cause for successful expansion of this exotic. The results of this research indicate the po-tential of this approach for providing timely data for quantitative inventory of invasive plants over large ar-eas, and a scientific basis for biodiversity protection and sustainable utilization of tidal flats resources.
    Road and road construction effects on habitat use of small mammals and birds in Zoige alpine wetland
    Qiang Dai, Zuoping Yuan, Jindong Zhang, Yong Yang, Ming Zhang, Qiang Zhang, Haijun Gu, Zhijun Liu, Yi Jian, Yuezhao Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  121-127.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050168
    Abstract ( 4677 )   PDF (234KB) ( 3982 )   Save
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    To investigate the effects of road and road construction on habitat use of wildlife, we surveyed the distribution of small mammals and birds in the vicinity of two roads, one operational and one under construc-tion, in Zoige alpine wetland, Sichuan. To investigate mammals, average herb height and herb coverage, we set up eight plots on each side of the two roads. In each plot, we set up seven subplots at various distances, i.e. 10 m, 20 m, 50 m, 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, and 800 m away from the roads. In each subplot we established three 10 m×10 m grids. We counted burrows of Ochotona curzoniae and mounds of Myospalax baileyi to calculate density. We also set up eight plots on one side of the road under construction to record the species and number of birds. In each plot, we set up 500 m-long-transects at distances of 50 m, 200 m, and 400 m away from the road. The results showed that the average density of burrows of O. curzoniae peaked in grids 400 m from edge of road under construction where it was significantly higher than that of grids 10 m from road edge. However, for operational road, the average density of burrows was highest in grids 200 m from road edge, and no significant differences were found among grids at different distances. As for the density of mounds of M. baileyi, there was no significant difference among the grids at different distances from both roads. The average density of mound of M. baileyi peaked in grids 100 m from working road edge, while it peaked in grids 10 m from edge of road under construction. In general, the density of both Passeriformes and Falconiformes birds tended to increase with the distance away from the roads while this trend was not found in bird richness. The Passeriformes birds were significantly denser in transects at 400 m than in those at 200 m and 50 m, whereas the Falconiformes birds showed no significant variation. In conclusion, the road-effect zone for Ochotona curzoniae is 400 m wide, whereas for birds, especially Falconiformes, it is wider than 400 m.
    The macrofaunal community in Fenglin mangrove area, Xiamen
    Xiuchun Lin, Lizhe Cai, Li Ma, Yang Gao, Li Yang, Weiming Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  128-135.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050051
    Abstract ( 4200 )   PDF (478KB) ( 4157 )   Save
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    To elucidate the macrofaunal community structure and diversity in Jimei Fenglin mangrove area, we investigated macrofauna in January, April, July, and October 2002. A total of 42 species were collected and identified. Of these, the dominant species in biomass were Cerithidea cingulata and Uca arcuata, while the dominant species in density were Limnodriloides sp. and Assiminea brevicula. The average density and average biomass at all sampling stations in four surveys was 1,990 ind./m2 and 139.0 g/m2, respectively. The density ranked in the following order: January (winter)>April (spring) >October (autumn) >July (summer), while the biomass ranked January>October>April>July. Cluster analysis and quantitative distribution showed that the seasonal variations of Cerithidea cingulata, Uca arcuata, Limnodriloides sp., and Assiminea brevi-cula were different. The average species diversity index of the macrofaunal community in Jimei Fenglin in October 2002 (2.66) was higher than that in Futian, Shenzhen (0.56). The environmental factors that affect macrofaunal diversity were analyzed.
    Species diversity of macrobenthic mollusk fauna in Jiaozhou Bay, Shan-dong
    Baoquan Li, Xinzheng Li, Hongfa Wang, Baolin Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  136-144.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050100
    Abstract ( 4708 )   PDF (208KB) ( 4066 )   Save
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    Macrobenthic mollusk is one of the common marine benthic groups in the Jiaozhou Bay, which plays a very important role in food chains in the area. There has been much ecological research on macrobenthos of Jiaozhou Bay, but few studies on the species diversity of macrobenthic mollusk in detail . Based on the data collected from ten sampling stations from Febuary 1998 to November 2004, we studied the species diversity of macrobenthic mollusk fauna. Sampling was conducted in spring (May), summer (August), autumn (November), and winter (February), using a 0.1 m2 grab and then preserving samples in 75% alcohol. We identified, counted, and weighed the samples. Because of the large-scale aquaculture of Ruditapes philippinarum on the edge of the bay, it was difficult to distinguish natural populations from cultured ones, so this species was not included in the present study. A total of 62 species were found, of which the dominant species were Theora lubrica and Nucula faba. Common species were Moerella jedoensis, Raetellops pul-chella, Eocylichna cylindrella, Nassarius succinctus, Cycladicama tsuchii, and Moerella iridescens. The Shannon-Wiener index (H′) showed no remarkable fluctuation during 1998 to 2004, but demonstrated dis-tinct seasonal variations: the average H' indices were higher in autumn and winter than in spring and summer. Pielou’s evenness index (J) peaked in autumn (0.87), and was lowest in summer (0.58). The species richness index (D) was relatively lower in summer (1.82), but no remarkable difference existed in other seasons.
    Insect herbivory patterns on leaves of 11 plant species in the evergreen broad-leaved forests of Tiantong National Forest Park, Zhejiang
    Hongwei Wang, Yongli Cai, Kai Li, Hong Jiang, Yupeng Tian
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  145-151.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050141
    Abstract ( 4081 )   PDF (283KB) ( 3437 )   Save
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    In order to study behavior of insect herbivory and its damage to leaves, we investigated herbivory patterns on the leaves of 11 evergreen plant species in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests of Tiantong National Forest Park, Zhejiang Province. The results were as follows: (1) A total of 16 herbivory patterns were found, and for each tree species, herbivory patterns ranged from 10 to 13. The frequency of each herbivory patterns varied from 0.5% to 28.7%. The frequency of Edge Defoliation (ED) was the highest (28.7%), while that of Gall and Bloth-shaped mine (BM) were the lowest (0.5%). (2) Three distribution patterns could be classified according to the number of dominant herbivory patterns in a tree species: mono-dominant distribution (with only one dominant pattern), such as Edge Defoliation on Rhododendron ovatum and Loropetalum chinense leaves; bi-dominant (with two dominant patterns), such as Edge Defoliation and Top Defoliation on Schima superba leaves; and multi-dominant (with three or more dominant herbivory patterns), such as in the other eight tree species. (3) Shannon-Wiener diversity index of herbivory patterns varied from 1.57 to 2.23 among 11 tree species, with the highest in Castanopsis sclerophylla and the lowest in Rhododendron ovatum. Shannon-Wiener diversity index was higher in the six arbor species (2.040) than in five shrub species (1.882), and higher in dominant species than in companion species, however, the differences were not significant. (4) Correlation analysis showed that there were significant positive correlations among eight pairs of herbivory patterns and significant negative correlation among four pairs, suggesting similarities and differences in selection by herbivorous insects.
    Genetic diversity of 13 indigenous grey goose breeds in China based on microsatellite markers
    Yunjie Tu, Kuanwei Chen, Qingping Tang, Jinyu Wang, Yushi Gao, Rong Gu, Qinglian Ge
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  152-158.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050214
    Abstract ( 4756 )   PDF (228KB) ( 4121 )   Save
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    Chinese indigenous goose breeds possess many outstanding characteristics. However, their genetic diversity has been declining for lack of scientific breeding strategies. For better protection and utilization of these geese, we examined the genetic structure of 13 indigenous grey goose breeds using 31 polymorphic microsatellite markers, including 19 separated with AFLP primers through the magnetic beads enrichment method. According to the allele frequencies of 31 microsatellite loci, mean heterozygosity (H), polymorphic information content (PIC) and genetic distances (DA) were calculated for each breed. Of the 13 goose breeds, the highest mean heterozygosity was in the Shitou breed (0.6727), whereas the lowest was in the Yan (0.4985). A UPGMA dendrogram showed that Fengcheng Grey, Wugang Tong, Xingguo Grey, Shitou, Wu-zong, Yangjiang, Magang, Gang and Yan were grouped together, while Yili comprised a second group, Chan-gle and Youjiang were in a third group, and Yongkang Grey in a fourth. These results could provide more accurate genetic information for goose breeding.
    Effects of nutrient levels on growth characteristics and competitive abil-ity of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an aquatic invasive plant
    Yueqin Zhao, Jianbo Lu, Lei Zhu, Zhihui Fu
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  159-164.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050243
    Abstract ( 5768 )   PDF (157KB) ( 4163 )   Save
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    Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), a noxious invasive species, has infested vast aquatic ecosystems. Besides its extraordinary adaptive ability and clonal growth, the eutrophication of water bodies also account for its rapid spread. Based on a series of pot experiments, we examined the growth characteristics of water hyacinth at three different nutrient levels, as well as its competitive effects on two native plants Ludwigia peploides ssp. stipulacea and Hydrilla verticillata. Our results showed that the mean number of ramets, mean height and total biomass of water hyacinth significantly increased with increase of nutrient level, indicating that nutrient-enriched water accelerated the growth and propagation of water hyacinth, which, as a result, reduced the growth of L. peploides ssp. stipulacea and H. verticillata. This suggests that eutrophication further boosts the competitive advantages of water hyacinth over native plants, and thus facilitates the invasion of this weed in water bodies. Thus, alleviating water pollution is a key method for controlling the spread of water hyacinth in order to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem function.
    Impact of Spartina alterniflora invasion on the macrobethos community of Jiuduansha’s intertidal mudflat in the Yangtze River estuary
    Xiao Zhou, Tianhou Wang, Zhenming Ge, Wenyu Shi, Lichen Zhou
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  165-171.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050073
    Abstract ( 4548 )   PDF (373KB) ( 3405 )   Save
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    In order to reveal the impacts of Spartina alterniflora invasion on macrobethos communities, during October 2004 to January 2005, we studied the distribution pattern of macrobenthos and its correlation with soil factors in Jiuduansha intertidal mudflat of the Yangtze River estuary. We selected 57 sample sites representing six habitat types, i.e., Phragmites australis, Scirpus mariqueter, S. triqueter, and Spartina alterniflora plant communities, and low tidal and high tidal mudflats. A total of 28 macrobethos species were found, consisting of Mollusca, Annelida, Crustacea, and Insect larva, with the dominant species being Stenothyra glabra, Assiminea violacea, A. latericea, Limnodriu hoffmeisteri, and Ilyrplax deschampsi. The low tidal mudflat supported more species abundance of macrobenthos, but low density, whereas the habitat of Scirpus mariqueter held the highest density. Statistical analysis demonstrated that Pielou evenness index significantly differed between bulrush areas (Scirpus mariqueter) and other habitat types. Further analysis revealed that habitat dominated by the invasive species Spartina alterniflora supported average species richness and density of macrobenthos, although some species were absent.
    On plant nutrition in ex situ conservation strategies for rare and endan-gered plants
    Kaiyuan Wan, Fang Chen, Shusen Chen, Zhixiang Zhong, Zuozhou Li, Manli Su
    Biodiv Sci. 2006, 14 (2):  172-180.  doi:10.1360/biodiv.050195
    Abstract ( 4779 )   PDF (295KB) ( 4045 )   Save
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    Both the conditions of plant nutrient deficiency and excess can cause serious plant growth disorders, or even death. The main issue in plant nutrition research has always been to provide sufficient nutritional supplies through methods which improve soil fertility and provide essential mineral elements. Although research on plant nutrition has extended from traditional agroecosystems into natural ecosystems, it has not really ex-tended into the field of ex situ conservation for rare and endangered plants. Extensive ex situ conservation is under way in all of the Chinese botanical gardens. In the process, attention is paid to most of the plant species introduction requirements, but usually plant growth and reproduction is negatively affected after ex situ conservation. Past studies on plant species maintenance ex situ seldom include components related to available nutrient conditions required to sustain plant growth and reproduction. This paper therefore proposes three conservation strategies for ex situ conservation: (1) determining the priority list of plant species for nutrition research; (2) studying nutrient contents in natural soils, and (3) dynamic monitoring and diagnosis of the nutritional status of species maintained ex situ. These strategies provide valuable guidance for plant nutrition and conservation study, including theoretical explorations and practical problem solving.

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