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Table of Content
    Volume 22 Issue 4
    20 July 2014

    The blue sheep or bharal (Pseudois nayaur), a wild ungulate species under state protection (category ii) of China, is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and its peripheral areas. Two subspecies, P. n. nayaur and P. n. szechuanensis have been recognized, which inhabit alpine bare rock regions in social groups. Bao et al. (for details see pages 539–545 of this issue) studied the dynamics in species diversity of the vertebrates over the past two decades in Gansu Anxi Extreme Arid National Nature Reserve. The picture, taken by infrared camera trap, shows P. n. szechuanensis population distributed in the high mountain of the e reserve.

    Nature conservation is the first priority for a national park
    Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  415-417.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14151
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    Perspective on development of national park system in China
    Chunquan Zhu*
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  418-420.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14133
    Abstract ( 1737 )   HTML ( 14 )   PDF (350KB) ( 3572 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    National parks in China: a challenge or an opportunity?
    Zhi Lü
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  421-422.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14154
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    Cross-boundary issues under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Convention on Biodiversity
    Min Wang, Zhe Liu, Xiangzhao Feng, Chunxiu Tian
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  431-437.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14082
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    Climate change and biodiversity loss are two of the most serious global environmental challenges faced by humans. As these challenges involve global public goods, it is crucially important that the global society should strive to make synergies between the two most influential United Nations (UN) conventions, which are the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Convention on Biodiversity. This paper reviews the negotiation process under the two conventions, especially focusing on cross-boundary issues. By analyzing the focal concerns of main parties, this paper evaluates possible future scenarios on cross-boundary issues under the two conventions. For the UNFCCC, focal issues related to biodiversity are as follows: LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry); REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation); and the international mechanism for Loss and Damage. For the Biodiversity Convention, the major issues related to climate change are: Synergy; REDD; Geo-engineering and related issues. In the end, we propose the following strategies: (1) Integrate the forces of our negotiating team, and promote synergistic actions under two conventions; (2) Plan for negotiations about cross-boundary issues, and take the initiative in the negotiation process; (3) Provide data for risk assessment associated with loss and damage; and (4) Strengthen scientific research and international exchange on geo-engineering issues.

    Original Papers
    Phylogenetic community structure of subtropical forests along elevational gradients in Ailao Mountains of southwest China
    Mengmeng Lu, Xiaocui Huang, Xiuqin Ci, Guoping Yang, Jie Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  438-448.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14011
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    Understanding the maintenance of biodiversity and community assembly is a central issue in community ecology. Here, we examined patterns of the community phylogenetic structure of subtropical forests along an elevational gradient in the Ailao Mountains of southwest China. We surveyed all trees with diameter at breast height ≥1 cm in 16 plots, and constructed a community phylogeny from DNA barcode sequence data with a constraint tree based on Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) III. We found that the community structure changed from phylogenetically clustered to phylogenetically overdispersed with increasing elevation. Co-occurring trees at low-elevation communities tended to be more closely related than expected by chance, implying that these communities were structured primarily by habitat filtering. Clustered and over-dispersed phylogenetic compositions were showed in mid-elevation communities, suggesting that these communities are structured by habitat filtering or competitive exclusion. At high-elevation sites, NRI (Net Relatedness Index) showed clustering, but NTI (Nearest Taxon Index) showed randomness or over-dispersion. We therefore interpreted our results with caution. It is possible that convergent evolution may be occurred independently in distantly related lineages under higher environmental stress at high elevations. Taken together, the results of our study provide insight into the potential role of elevational gradients in shaping community composition and phylogenetic diversity.

    Effects of density dependence on the spatial patterns of Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata trees in deciduous broad-leaved forest in the Baotianman Nature Reserve, central China
    Ting Wang, Siyuan Ren, Zhiliang Yuan, Yan Zhu, Na Pan, Luxin Li, Yongzhong Ye
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  449-457.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14101
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    To determine the contribution of density dependence to tree mortality in the transitional region between temperate and subtropical zone, a deciduous broad-leaf forest plot (100 m×100 m) in the Baotianman National Nature Reserve was selected and a pair-correlation function g(r) (the pair-correlation function) was employed to examine the spatial pattern of a single species. Individuals of the dominant species Quercus aliena var. acuteserrata were divided into three growth stages: saplings (1 cm ≤ DBH < 10 cm), juveniles (10 cm ≤ DBH < 20 cm), and adult trees (DBH ≥ 20 cm). Each stage was then divided into pre-mortality (including all living and dead trees) and post-mortality (only living trees) status to examine the contribution of density dependence to the spatial patterns of Q. aliena var. acuteserrata. The results showed that: (1) Pre-mortality Q. aliena var. acuteserrata trees showed an aggregated distribution pattern at r > 5 m scale. Post-mortality Q. aliena var. acuteserrata saplings and adult trees had a random distribution pattern at a 1-25 cm scale. Post-mortality juveniles had a random distribution pattern at r < 1.5 m and 2.5-4.5 m scales and an aggregated distribution pattern at r > 5 m scale. (2) The spatial pattern of adult trees was regarded as a control pattern accounting for environmental heterogeneity. The spatial pattern of pre- and post-mortality saplings and juveniles showed density-dependent distribution responses by random labeling null model with a case-control design; (3) Pre-mortality saplings and juveniles showed a clumped distribution around adult trees, whereas the post-mortality saplings and juveniles displayed a weak clustering with mortality caused by density dependence. With increasing distance to adult trees, post-mortality saplings and juveniles showed a gradually increasing random distribution. Our findings indicate that habitat heterogeneity contributes to the spatial distribution of Q. aliena var. acuteserrata with an aggregation effect. After the effect of habitat heterogeneity was removed, spatial distribution of Q. aliena var. acuteserrata trees with different pre-mortality and post-mortality status were all affected by density dependence effect in the Baotianman National Nature Reserve. These conclusions provide support for the Janzen-Connell hypotheses.

    Analysis of the flowering-leafing phenorhythm of 42 Rhododendron species conserved ex situ in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China
    Ping Zhuang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  458-466.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13232
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    Recent research suggests that the timing of flowering and leafing out are genetically controlled. It remains unknown, however, whether it is genetic or environmental factors that control the flowering-leafing phenorhythm, and whether this character can be linked to the systematic evolution of a group. In this study, the flowering-leafing phenorhythm type of 42 Rhododendron species belonging to 4 subgenera, 4 sections and 13 subsections were determined conserved ex situ at two sites with different elevations in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China. The phenorhythm of the Rhododendron species was divided into five types: (1) flowering before leafing (F→L); (2) flowering ahead and covering part time of leafing (F+L); (3) leafing covers flowering (L∈F); (4) leafing ahead and covering part time of flowering (L+F); and (5) leafing before flowering (L→F). We tested the following hypotheses: flowering-leafing phenorhythm type is a heritable trait for Rhododendrons, and phenorythm is related to evolutionary processes resulting in an evolutionary sequence among the five types. The results showed that Rhododendron species at the same site or at different sites displayed only one flowering-leafing phenorhythm type that did not change throuth time, thereby supporting the hypothesis that phenorhythm is heritable. Floristic components, proportion of Rhododendron species at different elevations, and the different taxa showed that the phenorhythm type is related to the phylogenetic evolution supporting the second hypothesis. The primitive species are present at the mid- elevation range and the advanced species are present at a lower and higher range. The evolution of these phenorhythm types agree with life form and leaf trait evolution. Environmental stress, growing season length and light resource availability could be selective pressures driving phenorhythm type evolution. Overall, the results indicate that the timing sequences of phenological events are more stable than the specific timing of any single phenological event in response to climate change.

    Pollination biology of Impatiens hainanensis (Balsaminaceae) populations at different altitudes
    Yunfang Zhong, Zhe Zhang, Xiqiang Song, Zhaode Zhou
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  467-475.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13243
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    The genus Impatiens, known as “dicotyledonous orchids”, is of great interest to pollination biologists because of its extremely wide diversity and different types of specialized pollinators. In this study, populations of Impatiens hananensis, endemic to Hainan Island, distributed at three different altitudes were studied. Floral phenology, floral structure, pollen viability and stigma activity, floral visitors and their behavior, and the breeding system were determined. Results showed that the average life span of a single flower was 4.10 ± 0.46 d; the male and female flowers lasted 3.15 ± 0.24 d and 0.95 ± 0.36 d, respectively. The species’ flowering peak was in early August, and the high altitude population flowered the latest. The pollen viability of a single flower appears in the trend of first increased then decreased with the flowering time went on, and reached to the highest on the second flowering day in low and middle altitude populations, and which declined gradually with the flowering time went on in high altitude population. Stigma activity generally rose as flowering time went on, but this measure was lower in high altitude population on different flowering days. The main pollinators were Amegilla leptocoma and A. zonata; A. leptocoma was the main visitor in low and middle altitude populations while A. zonata was in the high altitude population. We observed no automatic self-pollination or apomixis in I. hainanensis, and hand-pollination increased the fruit set (75-90%), compared to the natural situation (40-60%). This lower natural pollination success rate was especially true in the high altitude population where pollination was most limited. Therefore, conservation work with Impatiens hainanensis should protect both habitats and effective pollinators of I. hainanensis in order to promote gene flow via pollinators and seed movement among populations at different altitude via pollinators, and maintain the population genetic diversity and effective population size of Impatiens hainanensis.

    Population genetic structure and conservation units of Sinomanglietia glauca (Magnoliaceae)
    Min Xiong, Shuang Tian, Zhirong Zhang, Dengmei Fan, Zhiyong Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  476-484.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14017
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    Sinomanglietia glauca, a species endemic to Yichun in Jiangxi Province and Yongshun of Hunan Province in Central China, was listed as Category I of the National Key Protected Wild Plants in 1999 (as a synonym of Manglietia decidua). Several studies on the population genetics of this endangered species have been reported. However, these studies either excluded Hunan populations or failed to detect any variation within populations. In this study, all four known populations of S. glauca found were used to investigate genetic diversity and genetic structure using nuclear microsatellite markers. Our results showed that S. glauca had relatively low genetic diversity (A = 2.604, HE = 0.423) and significant population differentiation (FST = 0.425). Assignments analysis by STRUCTURE and Principal Coordinated Analysis indicated that Jiangxi and Hunan populations formed two independent groups. Only one natural breeding population was identified in Jiangxi whereas two were revealed in Hunan. We found a striking heterozygosity excess in the Hunan populations, a phenomenon that might be caused by allelic frequencies differing between male and female parents by chance alone within small population. The results of this study suggest that S. glauca could have experienced recent historic bottleneck(s) which resulted in reduction of population size, loss of genetic diversity and strong population differentiation. The distribution pattern of genetic diversity clearly indicates that S. glauca should be treated as three conservation units, i.e., two evolutionarily units (Jiangxi unit and Hunan unit), and Hunan ESU subdivided into two management units (YPC and LJC).

    Effects of sweet potato (Ipomoea batas) cultivation on the community composition and diversity of weeds in arid fields
    Shicai Shen, Gaofeng Xu, Fudou Zhang, Guimei Jin, Yuhua Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  485-491.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13228
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    For developing ecological prevention and management techniques for invasive and dominant weed species, the screening and using of high value species with strong competitive ability (e.g., local food, native species and/or cash crops) have captured widely attention. To explore the effects of sweet potato (Ipomoea batas) cultivation on community composition and species diversity of weeds, the composition, density, importance value, species richness, diversity indices, and Pielou index were analyzed under five different cover scenarios (0%, 1-25%, 26-50%, 51-75, 76-100%). The study took place in arid cultivated fields in Jianshui County, Yunnan Province, China. A total of 25 weed species from 18 families were identified. Of these, four invasive species Ageratum conyzoides, Bidens pilosa, Eleusine indica, and Galinsoga parviflora and two native species, Digitaria sanguinalis and Portulaca oleracea had the highest population density and were most dominant. Population density and importance values of the six dominant weed species declined as sweet potato cover increased. A significant negative correlation was observed between importance values and sweet potato cover (P﹤0.05). Population density of two less dominant native species, Calystegia hederacea and Poa annua, increased significantly with increasing sweet potato cover. Similarly, the importance values for two additional native species Acalypha australis and Echinochloa crusgalli was positively correlated with sweet potato cover (R=0.964, R=0.891, P﹤0.05). Maximum values for species richness (23.5, 24.5), Simpson index (0.89, 0.85), Shannon-Wiener index (2.36, 2.35) and Pielou index (0.75, 0.73) corresponded to sweet potato cover ranges of 1-25% and 26-50% respectively. As sweet potato cover increased species richness and diversity values significantly declined. Overall, the results indicate that the cultivation of sweet potato alters the community composition and diversity of weeds limiting the occurrence of the dominant and invasive weed species. As a result, mid to low percent cover values should be considered an effective and ecologically-based weed management strategy to replace herbicide use in arid fields.

    Effect of raising geese in cornfield on ecological characteristics of weed community
    Yuyang Zhang, Zhipeng Sha, Fachun Guan, Junfeng Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  492-501.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14002
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    Weeds have a direct impact on crop quality and yield in agricultural systems. In order to explore a production mode which can control and utilize weeds while maintaining a high weed diversity and a high crop yield, we experimentally compared weeds by raising geese in corn fields (hereinafter referred to as RGICF) and conventionally planting corn fields (CK) in 2013. Weed niche breadth, the structure of community and functional groups and diversity were compared between the periods of BG (before the RGICF treatment was grazed by geese) and AG (after the RGICF treatment was grazed by geese) to observe changes. RGICF is a compound production pattern based on the principle of “Agro-pastoral Integration”, a concept proposed in 2011, that uses resources like weeds and the bottom leaves of crops in a tillage system to raise poultry. However, questions remain about the system including its effects on biodiversity, weed community structure, and total biomass. Results indicated that Lolium multiflorum, Medicago sativa, and Chenopodium glaucum had the highest niche breadth during BG in RGICF, and the niche breadths of C. glaucum, Polygonum nepalense, Fragaria moupinensis and Geranium pratense increased to different extents while those of L. multiforum and M. sativa decreased during AG. Additionally, seven weed species were found only during AG. In the CK treatment, Bulbostylis densa had the highest niche breadth during BG, while Gnaphalium affine had the highest during AG. Here, two new weed species were found only during AG. The niche overlap of L. perenne and M. sativa was the highest during BG, and L. perenne overlapped most with F. moupinensis during AG. While in CK, the niche overlap of Bulbostylis densa and Digitaria sanguinalis was greatest during BG, and the niches of B. densa and Gnaphalium affine overlapped the most during AG. In the two treatments, the dicotyledonous annuals (DA) was the dominant functional group during both BG and AG, and the distribution proportion of perennials increased with a more balanced distribution during AG in RGICF. During BG, Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Margalef richness index were significantly higher in RGICF than in CK (P<0.05, n=3), and these measures increase during AG and remained higher in RGICF. Pielou evenness index did not differ between the treatments (P>0.05, n=3). Simpson diversity index of weeds in RGICF was higher than CK during BG but significantly lower than CK (P<0.05, n=3) during AG. The biomass of above ground weeds in RGICF was higher than that of CK (P>0.05, n=3), during both BG and AG. Compared with CK, the corn yield in RGICF was lower (P>0.05, n=3); yields decreased 4%. In summary, although the RGICF production mode reduced corn yields, the practice maintains high biodiversity in agro-ecosystems, and may compensate or even overcompensate yield loss through the production of geese.

    Effects of elevated CO2 and increased temperature on wheat field arthropod community
    Shuai Liu, Baoping Li, Ling Meng, Xuhui Zhang, Genxing Pan
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  502-507.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13219
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    To project arthropod community response to climate change in wheat fields, a field survey of arthropods over the growing season was made in the plots under a factorial combination of two CO2 (ambient and 500 μL/L) and two temperature (ambient and +2℃) treatments. The survey collected 52 species, 42 families, 10 orders, and 3 classes. Analyses of overall arthropod community showed a significant increase in evenness due to “Elevated CO2 + Increased temperature” treatment. Elevated CO2 and increased temperature treatments had varying impacts on species diversity parameters within the wheat growing season. The “Elevated CO2 + Increased temperature” treatment increased the Shannon-Wiener index slightly during the early growing season, but decreased it later in the season. Species diversity was most similar between the “Elevated CO2 + Increased temperature” and the “Increased temperature” treatment. The analysis of arthropod communities by trophic level showed that the “Elevated CO2” increased herbivorous insect richness and the “Increased temperature” increased parasitoid abundances, compared with the control. The treatments did not affect detritivorous and predaceous arthropod communities. The results of this study suggest that elevated CO2 and increased temperature can affect arthropod diversity in wheat fields, and the effects may vary between both elevated CO2 and increased temperature and individual elevation of either CO2 and temperature.

    Changes in bacterial abundance and community structure associated with flooding in paddy soil
    Jingbo Kan, Lina Li, Dong Qu, Baoli Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  508-515.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14053
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    Paddy soil is a complex and typical ecosystem. Investigating changes to paddy soil bacterial communities during flooding can provide a theoretical basis for further exploring bacterial effects on and functions in ecosystems, e.g. nutrient transformations, the suppression of methanogenesis and bioremediation of heavy metal pollution. In this study, bacterial genomic DNA was analyzed from 8 paddy soil samples with flooding periods of 1 h, 1 d, 5 d, 10 d, 20 d, 30 d, 40 d and 60 d, respectively. 16S rRNA gene-based real-time PCR and PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis) were used to study abundance and community structure during different flooding periods. The highest bacterial abundance was observed at 1 d with the second highest value at 40 d, indicating that bacterial abundance fluctuated over the flooding period. Succession of bacterial community structure was observed along the entire flooding period: r-strategists were only present in the early flooding stage; k-strategists emerged and were dominant in the late flooding stage; r-k-strategists symbiotic organisms were present in the entire flooding period. The diversity of the bacterial community during the flooding period rose initially and then tended to drop as succession took place. Principal Components Analysis based on digitized DGGE patterns indicated that the changes to bacterial community structure slowed during the mid- to late flooding stages. Sequencing results showed that Firmicutes, Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Acidobacteria, which have close phylogenetic relationships with the groups from paddy soils and other soils of different regions, activated sludge systems and lake sediments, were the dominant habitants of the study site.

    Diversity of ground-dwelling beetles (Coleoptera) in restored habitats in the hill and gully area of Loess Plateau, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region
    Jia Hang, Yun Shi, Wenhui Liu, Dahan He
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  516-524.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13212
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    The aim of this study was to probe into changes in diversity of ground-dwelling beetles (Coleoptera) and their relation to environmental variables within restored habitats in the hill and gully area of Loess Plateau, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China. An investigation of ground-dwelling beetle communities was carried out using pitfall traps in six habitats including shrub/grassland, tree/shrub mix, fuel-wood forest, naturally restored grassland, plantation forest, and level terraced field in July and August, 2013. We found that species richness and abundance of individual ground-dwelling beetles was higher (P<0.05) in the shrub/grassland, tree/shrub mix, and fuel-wood forest compared to the other three stands. Species richness of ground-dwelling beetles was markedly lower (P<0.05) in naturally restored grassland, plantation forest and level terraced field, whereas the abundance of individual ground-dwelling beetles were higher in plantation forest and level terraced field than in naturally restored grassland. Jaccard indices revealed a high level of similarity amongst shrub/grassland, tree/shrub mix, and fuel-wood forest stands, and then between plantation forest stands and level terraced fields. Multiple linear regression analyses showed that herbaceous biomass, cover of shrub species and soil water content were the key factors affecting species richness of ground-dwelling beetles, while it was canopy cover and leaf litter depth that most affected total abundance. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) showed that the cover and depth of leaf litter, cover of canopy and herbaceous layers were important determinants of species abundance and composition of beetle communities. In conclusion, conversion to shrub/grasslands may be one option for raising ground-dwelling beetle diversity in the hill and gully area of Loess Plateau, Ningxia.

    Composition of the Taiwan Strait fish fauna
    Yongjun Chen, Jing Zhang, Puqing Song, Ran Zhang, Yuan Li, Zhihui Zhong, Longshan Lin
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  525-531.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14001
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    In order to study the composition, in terms of ecological type, of the fish fauna in the Taiwan Strait, we collected data from historical surveys and relevant literature on fish species in the region. Here, we discuss variations in fish composition and fishery resources. Our results showed that a total of 1,697 species in 40 orders, 206 families and 740 genera were recorded. The dominant order was Perciformes and the dominant family was Gobiidae. There were 1,560 warm water species, 128 warm temperate species and 9 cold temperate species. The habitat type of fish could be grouped as follows: 596 continental sandy-muddy demersal fish, 596 reef-associated fish, 249 continental benthopelagic fish, 158 continental pelagic-neritic fish and 98 oceanic fish. Among them, 181 were migratory fishes and 735 were economic fishes. The highest number of species were shared between the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea (91.9% overlap), while 69.3% of species in the Taiwan Strait were also found in the East China Sea, and 19.4% were shared with Yellow Sea. Most of the fishes could be classified as India-Western Pacific species, and only 288 species were distributed among all three areas of the China sea. The fish fauna of Taiwan Strait belongs to India-Western Pacific warm water region, specifically the China/Japan subregion and India-Malaysia subregion, and exhibits tropical and sub-tropical intertwined faunal characteristics. The boundary region of tropical and sub-tropical is around eastern edge of Taiwan Bank to the north of Penghu Islands.

    Changes in the marine trophic index of Chinese marine area
    Jianguo Du, Guanqiong Ye, Bin Chen, Xinqing Zheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  532-538.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13200
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    Using the fishery catches and landings data from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Fishery Statistics (1950 to 2011) for 129 marine species, we analyzed changes in the trophic index of captured species in China (including 4 sea areas: Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau). The results showed the following: the marine trophic index remained stable from 1950 to 1974, fluctuating around 3.45, then declined to 3.35 during the period 1975-1978, declined again sharply to 3.25 between 1982 and 1987, remained stable in the following 10 years, and then increased gradually to 3.34 from 1997 to 2011. Comparing to global marine trophic index, China’s marine trophic index was higher than the global level before 1984, but became lower after 1984. Comparing the contributions of the 4 main biological groups used in the calculation of the index showed that fish species contributed the mostly at 73.1-85.8%, crustaceans contributed 9.2-15.5%, molluscs contributed 3.3-11.6%, and other invertebrates contributed less than 1.8%. The general decline we observed in China’s marine trophic index is associated with shifts in fishery catches from benthic fishes with a long lives and high trophic levels, to invertebrates and pelagic fishes with short lives and low trophic levels. Increasing Chinese marine trophic index from 1997 to 2011 may be attributed to a series of fishery management countermeasures, including new fishing permits regulations, closed fishing seasons, “zero and negative growth plans” for marine fishery catches and landings, artificial breeding and stocking of juveniles fishes, and marine protected areas for spawning and feeding grounds.

    Research Bulletin
    The alteration of the vertebrate resources over the past two decades in Gansu Anxi Extreme Arid National Nature Reserve
    Xinkang Bao, Zengwu Yang, Wei Zhao, Cunhai Shi, Yongwei Yang, Liang Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (4):  539-545.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13266
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    In Gansu Anxi Extreme Arid National Nature Reserve, three comprehensive scientific investigation, using line transect and quadrat sampling methods, were conducted every ten-year since 1988 to monitor the dynamics of natural resources. According to survey data, the species diversities of vertebrates in this region have changed over the past two decades. Two introduced species of Cypriniformes were found in the reserve, while three native loach and carp species showed decreased distribution. The distribution and diversity of amphibians and reptiles were stable over the survey period. Among the 151 avian species recorded during the three surveys, 84 species (55.63%) remain stable in the region. The avifauna belonging to the Oriental Region increased significantly and some species increased their distribution west as a result of climate warming. The changes in bird species composition over the 20-year period also included new colonization by species from the west and the Tibetan plateau, and the decreased 29 species mainly including summer migratory species (41.37%) and transient migrants (48.28%). The composition of mammals was relatively stable. The emergence of a small five-toed jerboa (Allactaga elater), which is also a new rodent record of Gansu Province, indicates a southeastward tendency of its distribution.

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