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Table of Content
    Volume 12 Issue 5
    20 September 2004
    Effects of ecological protection and development on landscape pattern in the Thousand-Island Lake region, Zhejiang Province
    DING Li-Zhong, LU Jian-Bo, XU Gao-Fu, WU Jian-Guo
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  473-480.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004058
    Abstract ( 3898 )   PDF (346KB) ( 3040 )   Save
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    Actions of ecological protection and development shape the pattern of a landscape, which in turn affects ecological processes in the landscape. Changes of the fragmented Thousand-Island Lake landscape, formed by the construction of a large dam in 1959, provide an outstanding example. We analyzed the changes in land use and land cover pattern in this region for a period of 39 years (1964-2003) using landscape metrics and 3S technology. Our results showed that the total number of patches and the degree of fragmentation basically remained the same, whereas the patch number, patch area, and dominance of each patch type changed significantly. The most dominant patch type changed from treeless barrens (47.44% of the terrestrial land) in 1964 to the Pinus massoniana forest (52.81% of the terrestrial land) in 2003. We also found that the value of landscape diversity decreased slightly. It is important to note that landscape diversity, a synoptic measure of the richness and evenness of all land use and land cover types, is not always positively related to landscape functioning. The slight decrease in landscape diversity was a result of the dynamics of all existing patches in the study region. Our results suggest that the forest vegetation on the area has improved in terms of coverage since 1964 (i.e., 5 years after the dam construction). These changes may be attributed to the many measures of ecological protection in this region which allowed natural succession to take its course. The improved landscape pattern enhanced ecological functioning of the island ecosystems, including restoration of habitats, increased biodiversity, and reduction in soil erosion. While the forest vegetation has been recovering, the increasing dominance by the structurally simple Pinus massoniana forest in this region should be considered in future efforts of biodiversity conservation, ecological planning, and sustainable development.
    Anti-predator behavior of tadpoles of Rana daunchina to a novel crawfish (Procambarus clarkii)
    DAI Qiang, DAI Jian-Hong, LI Cheng, LIU Zhi-Jun, WANG Yue-Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  481-487.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004059
    Abstract ( 3917 )   PDF (272KB) ( 2631 )   Save
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    We experimentally studied anti-predator behaviors of tadpoles of Rana daunchina to red swamp crawfishes (Procambarus clarkii), a potential invasive species of the lowlands of Mount Emei, Sichuan. Our experiment was a 3×3×2 factorial design with predator presence(3 levels: no predator, vegetable-fed crawfish or tadpole-fed crawfish), tadpole age (developmental stages 25, 26-30 and 31-35) and tadpole short-term experience (with or without previous experience of being predated) as the main effects. Experienced tadpoles spent significantly less time in activity and significantly more time resting and hiding in refuges. The interaction effect of tadpole short-term experience and predators also had significant effect on activity of tadpoles. Tadpole age and predator presence had no significant effect on anti-predator behavior of tadpoles. Experienced tadpoles generally reduced activity and spent more time on resting and hiding, and showed no ability of learning to recognize crawfishes. This suggests that tadpoles of Rana daunchina may over-respond to the novel predator and thus may suffer high levels of sublethal effects once red swamp crawfish invades the lowlands of Mount Emei.
    Grouping behavior of the Tibetan gazelle (Procapra picticaudata) in Hoh Xil region, China
    LIAN Xin-Ming, SU Jian-Ping, ZHANG Tong-Zuo, CAO Yi-Fan
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  488-493.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004060
    Abstract ( 4107 )   PDF (489KB) ( 2865 )   Save
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    The Tibetan gazelle (Procapra picticaudata) is an endangered species inhabiting theQinghai-Tibetan Plateau. From October 2002 to December 2003, we observed 924 groups (3643 individuals) of Tibetan gazelles in Hoh Xil region. These groups could be classified into five types.Female groups (525) were the major type, accounting for 56.8%. Solitary gazelle (a special group type), male groups, mother-calf groups and mixed groups made up 26.1%, 11.0%, 3.0% and 3.0%, respectively. Group size ranged from one to 17 individuals. Groups of 2-10 individuals, solitary gazelle groups and larger groups (>10 individuals) accounted for 70.0%, 26.1% and 3.9%, respectively. 72.9% of gazelles were observed in group with sizes of 2-8 individuals, while 20.5% were observed in group sizes > 8 and 6.6% were solitary. A chi-square test showed that the frequencies of individuals in different group sizes were significantly different (P<0.001). Group sizes varied significantly among different group types (Kruskal-Wallis H test,P<0.001). There were significantly more males (68.1%) than females (P<0.001) in solitary groups. To sum up, female group was the main group type of Tibetan gazelles, and the optimal group size was 2-8 individuals.
    Special Issue
    Seed dispersal of the pioneer shrub Rhodomyrtus tomentosa by frugivorous birds and ants
    WEI Ming-Si, CHEN Zhang-He, REN Hai, ZOU Fa-Sheng, YIN Zuo-Yun,
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  494-500.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004061
    Abstract ( 4217 )   PDF (251KB) ( 2738 )   Save
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    Field work was done in Heshan city, Guangdong Province on seed dispersal of Rhodomyrtus tomentosa by frugivorous birds and ants. R. tomentosa is a very common pioneer species in the South China, and its pulp is rich in glucide and fat. Pycnonotus jocosus and P. sinensis were the birds that ate R. tomentosa fruits and dispersed the seeds in the study area, and the later was more than the former in number during the observation period. The seed number of this shrub in the feces of P. jocosus and P. sinensis caught in mist nets were 8.0±3.0 and 10.0 ±2.0, respectively. Two species of ants, Pheidologetion diversus and Paratrechina flavipes, were observed eating R. tomentosa pulp.Pheidologetion diversus and another ant species Pheidole meihuashanensis were observed carrying the seeds. The longest distances of movement by Pheidologetion diversus and Pheidole meihuashanensis were 4 m and 5 m, respectively, and the mean distances of dispersal by these agents were 1.1±0.09 m and 1.3±0.07 m, respectively. 657 ants were collected in the study area by pitfall trapping, comprising 394 Pheidologetion diversus (60.0%), 144 Paratrechina flavipes (21.9%), 53 Pheidole meihuashanensis (8.1%) and other species. The average number of stored seeds in a Pheidologetion diversus nest was 195.0±82.9, among which 73.2% were intact. And the average number of stored seeds in a Pheidole meihuashanensis nest was 28.8±11.4, all of which were intact. The seedlings of R. tomentosa could be found at canopy gaps, on bare land and at the forest edge. There were also many seedlings near ant's nests wherever sunlight was high.
    Arbuscular mycorrhizae and their structural types on common plants in grasslands of mid-western Inner Mongolia
    BAO Yu-Ying, YAN Wei
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  501-508.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004062
    Abstract ( 4212 )   PDF (289KB) ( 3452 )   Save
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    We collected and studied 125 plant species from grasslands in the middle and western regions of Inner Mongolia, of which 104 species (83.2%), including two from the genus Carex, were infected by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. The colonization rate of AM fungi was higher in perennial and brush species (90.4%) than in annual and biennial plants (47.6%). Most wild plant species in the survey belonged to the Arum-type (65.38%), whereas only 19.23% belonged to the Paris-type. The intermediate type and undetermined type accounted for 10.58% and 4.81%, respectively. The results show that the structural type of AM fungi depends on the family and genus that their host plants belong to, rather than on the root forms, life forms and colonization rates of their host plants.
    Conservation biology of Paphiopedilum purpuratum (Orchidaceae)
    LIU Zhong-Jian, ZHANG Jian-Yong, RU Zheng-Zhong, LEI Si-Peng, CHEN Li-Jun
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  509-516.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004063
    Abstract ( 4197 )   PDF (273KB) ( 3948 )   Save
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    Wutong Mountain in Shenzhen City is one of the several remaining natural habitats of the endangered species Paphiopedilum purpuratum. From October 1, 1998 to February 28, 2002, we observed altogether 407 ramets at nine sites. The climate, vegetation, soil and other environmental factors of this place were described and their relation to the observed plants was analyzed. The species was found to be growing very well in the secondary broad-leaved forests. Its flowers were effectively pollinated by Ischiodon scutellaris and most of the flowering plants of this orchid could bear fruits. We conclude that the main threat this species is facing is the destruction of its forest habitat and not limitations of the plants themselves.
    RAPD variation within and among four populations of Paris polyphylla
    ZHANG Jin-Yu, YU Hong, ZHANG Shi-Gang, DING Chang-Chun
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  517-522.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004064
    Abstract ( 3852 )   PDF (256KB) ( 3478 )   Save
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    The randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique was applied to assess the genetic diversity and structure of four populations of two varieties of Paris polyphylla. As a control, a population of P. cronquistii was compared with the four P. polyphylla populations to determine their phylogenetic relationships. Using 16 random primers, a total of 246 RAPD polymorphic loci were detected. At the population level, the percentage of polymorphic loci (PPB) of two populations of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis was 57.4% and 54.67%, while Shannon information index (I) was 0.3080 and 0.2830, respectively. The PPB of two P. polyphylla var. chinensis populations was 56.33% and 57.75%, while Shannon information index (I) were 0.3080 and 0.3293, respectively. At the variety level, the PPB, I and Gst values of P. polyphylla var. yunnanensis were 75.14%, 0.3922, and 0.3085, respectively, while those of P. polyphylla var. chinensis was 80.31%, 0.3992, and 0.3726, respectively. At the species level, the PPB was 92.05%, and Gst was 0.5151. The UPGMA dendrogram showed that the two varieties of P. polyphylla are more related to each other than to P. cronquistii, which supports the previous treatment of P. polyphylla var.yunnanensis and P. polyphylla var. chinensis as two varieties within P. polyphylla based on gross morphology.
    The distribution and conservation of Sclater′s monal in Yunnan, China
    HAN Lian-Xian, HUANG Shi-Lin, LUO Xu, YANG Hong-Jun
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  523-527.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004065
    Abstract ( 4075 )   PDF (244KB) ( 3868 )   Save
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    Sclater′s monal (Lophophorus sclateri) is an endangered species in the Galliformes, with restricted distribution in Tibet and Yunnan. In Yunnan, the bird formerly has only been recorded at three sites. A survey on the distribution and habitat of this species was undertaken from October 1999 to August 2003, resulting in confirmation of the present occurrence of the species in eleven localities in seven counties in Yunnan, together with an additional possible three localities to be further confirmed. Sclater′s monals were most frequently observed in three types of habitats: alpine meadow, alpine-subalpine bamboo, and subalpine coniferous forestry. Threats to the survival of this pheasant arise from the low carrying capacity of the habitat, low growth rate of the population, human disturbance, and low public awareness. Based on this study, we recommend pilot programmes of captive breeding, regulation of poaching, and encouragement of basic biological research for effective protection.
    The application of microsatellite DNA markers in conservation genetics of endang
    HUANG Lei, WANG Yi-Quan
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  528-533.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004066
    Abstract ( 3982 )   PDF (225KB) ( 4428 )   Save
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    Microsatellite DNA is widely dispersed in eukaryotic genomes with the characters of high polymorphism, high abundance, codominance, selective neutrality, and easy manipulation. Therefore, it has been increasingly applied to studies of conservation genetics of endangered animals in recent years. The polymorphism of microsatellite DNA is so high that it can provide excellent resolution not only for kinship and mating system studies at the individual level, but also for genetic structure research at the population level. The DNA template needed for microsatellite analysis is very low and has no special demands, so that small samples obtained with noninvasive method and from old specimen can be analyzed effectively. Therefore, the approach not only makes investigation of endangered animals surviving in the wild more convenient and exact, but also can make use of the rare specimens preserved in museums to reveal important evolutionary history for some species. Furthermore, some microsatellite fragments′ sizes can be discriminated among related species, which makes it possible to identify species more conveniently with only fragment analysis. However, application of microsatellite DNA markers also has its own shortcomings, and appropriate molecular makers should be adopted for a given issue according to different research purposes.
    Advances in species endangerment assessment
    CHENG Ke-Wu, ZANG Run-Guo
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  534-540.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004067
    Abstract ( 4147 )   PDF (261KB) ( 5281 )   Save
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    The category of endangerment is an important reference for determining conservation priority of rare and endangered species. The assessment of endangerment status is considered to be one of the most important steps in biodiversity conservation by the Convention on Biological Diversity, related international organizations and many countries. This paper introduces the selection criteria for species endangerment assessment, assessment procedure, information collection, and the application of Internet technology in species endangerment assessment. Based on the above, the development trends in the endangerment assessment include: (1) the assessment criteria are developing from qualitative to quantitative ones; (2) the assesement procedures are becoming more and more formal and open; (3) data collection is becoming more and more standardized, and the information storage and processing further computerized; (4) species endangerment criteria are published and updated mainly through Internet, and (5) species endangerment assessment is attracting international attention, and it is widely used in the conservation and management of wildlife resources. At last, we put forward some suggestions on the species endangerment assessment in China: (1) establishing species endangerment criteria; (2) setting up assessment procedure and related regulations; (3) standardizing data collection, improving data management on the Internet and data sharing.
    Design and implementation of BiodiversityMapping, a biodiversity assessment software
    ZHAO Hai-Jun, JI Li-Qiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  541-545.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004068
    Abstract ( 4377 )   PDF (226KB) ( 4596 )   Save
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    BiodiversityMapping is an integrative biodiversity assessment software. Different from other general or professional biodiversity software, this package combines the calculation of various diversity measures with geographic information system (GIS). The main techniques involved in this package are the visual programming method and component development. These two techniques are widely used in rapid application development, especially in GIS projects. Shape View Objects, a free Delphi-based GIS component package designed by Ecological Software Solutions, is the key to the combination. BiodiversityMapping was developed with visualized software development tools and can work under Windows 98/NT operating systems. It has a user-friendly interface and a size of about 6 MB. Thirty-seven measurements of α and β diversity, which can be plotted on a GIS map, are included in the package. With BiodiversityMapping, we calculated and plotted Shannon-Wiener indices of Carabus insects collected from 11 habitat types of Xiaolongmen, Liyuanling and the top of Dongling Mountain, Beijing. Right-tailed Sum Diversity Ordering on these sites was also deployed. These calculations give graphical explanations for the species diversity of Dongling Mountain in an intuitive way. The computer aided analysis on Dongling Mountain shows that BiodiversityMapping, which can calculate many diversity measures easily and accurately, is a powerful tool for biodiversity assessment.
    Protected area management based on game theory
    LU Yi-He, CHEN Li-Ding, FU Bo-Jie, XU Jian-Ying
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  546-552.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004069
    Abstract ( 3845 )   PDF (271KB) ( 3667 )   Save
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    Protected areas (PAs) are the cornerstones of ecological conservation globally. Therefore, the effectiveness and sustainability of PA management has always been the focus of concern. PA management, involving physical environmental systems and socioeconomic systems, is full of complexity. In order to probe into this complexity, PA management can be considered as a game. Accordingly, game theory can be used as a powerful tool in resolving conflicts and harmonizing the relationships among various interest groups to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of PA management. Generally, PA management can be represented as n-person cooperative games with several resolution methods including Nash equilibrium, Shapley value and Nucleolus. Typical cases in PA management in China, namely natural forest protection, the switching from fuelwood to electricity, and moderate development (such as ecotourism) are analyzed under game theoretic framework. Based on these cases, a general operational framework of PA management based on game theory is established. It is suggested that the integration of fairness, efficiency and sustainability in PA management can only be realized through the innovation of policies, institutions and mechanisms to foster a wide participation and close cooperation of stakeholders.
    A model of biodiversity information integration
    QIAO Hui-Jie, HAN Yan, LI Nuo, JI Li-Qiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2004, 12 (5):  553-561.  doi:10.17520/biods.2004070
    Abstract ( 3657 )   PDF (277KB) ( 2820 )   Save
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    We proposes a model of biodiversity information integration involving data describing biodiversity entities from different layers and angles using artificial intelligence. Based on analysis of current biodiversity database systems and the demands of biodiversity researchers, this model supports decision-making on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. According to the Dublin Core metadata template and the standard of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), the model builds up a platform, in both website and CDROM forms, to publish data in different data formats (text, image, vector data, audio, and video) from distributed databases. Data exchange could be implemented smoothly among remote databases and/or between remote and local databases according to the standard of OAI-PMH.

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