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Table of Content
    Volume 22 Issue 5
    20 September 2014

    Goldlined glowfish (Gnathodentex aurolineatus) widely distributed in Indo-Pacific. It inhabits reef flats, lagoons, and seaward reefs in groups. Gao et al. (for details see pages 618–623 of this issue) studied the species diversity and trophic structure of reef fishes in the water of the Xisha Archipelago. The results showed that Goldlined glowfish is a dominant species in this region. The picture shows the color, the assemblage movement and the coral reef background. (Ph otographed by Jianhui Yang)

    Influence of climate change on wild plants and the conservation strategies
    Lei Li, Jiakuan Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  549-563.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14124
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    Recently, the influence of climate change on wild plants has attracted keen attention from international scholars. In an effort to elucidate the importance of considering climate change effects in the conservation and management of wild plants, we first summarized the status of global climate change in the world and its trends in next 100 years, as well as the conservation status of plants in China in recent years. Specifically, we reviewed research on the potential influences of global warming on wild plants from several aspects, including northward migration of plants with shifting climate zones, glacial recession in polar regions, warming in high altitude mountains, sea level rise, advance of temperature rise in early spring, desert steppe soil temperature increase, drought-flood cycle alterations, as well as the response of interspecies relationships and sensitive plant taxa to global warming. Then, we analyzed the general trends of future global warming effects on wild plants by reviewing global ecosystem sensitivity, plant diversity, plant migration and climate sink areas, species adaptation and extinction, as well as plant phenology in the context of global warming. Finally, we suggest that key areas of plant diversity should be delineated and protected, with a focus on climate-sensitive taxa and plants that are involved with plant-animal interactions that will be affected by climate factors. The impacts of global climate change should be taken into account in the further development of nature reserves. We also recommend the establishment of a database for the long-term and systematic monitoring of wild plant distribution and population dynamics on a global scale. Technologies for ex-situ conservation of wild plants and information networks should be developed. Quantitative indices and corresponding models relating the response of wild plants to global climate change should be also developed. Finally, we suggest that the conservation and management of wild plants in response to global climate change should be listed as priorities by associate foundations.

    Original Papers
    A rapid and quantitative assessment of wetland vegetation restoration effects with Floristic Quality Assessment Index
    Wanting Peng, Peng Luo, Changqing Liu, Ronghua Tang, Yuanzhi Pan
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  564-573.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14078
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    Conventional assessment of wetland conservation/restoration effects usually involves monitoring of multiple variables and requires interdisciplinary expertise in biology, environmental sciences and socioeconomics. As China is putting huge efforts into restoring degraded wetlands, fast and cost-effective methodologies for quantitative assessment of the conservation effects are crucial and in great need. For three years, we studied a former paddy field that was recently rehabilitated to a forested wetland in Yunqiao, southwest China. Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQAI) was used as an ecological indicator to monitor rehabilitation progress with repeat yearly samplings of plant species information along four parallel fixed line-transects in the wetland. The conservative values were calculated for each species based on evaluation of all wetland plants in the floristic area. The results showed that both the mean coefficient of conservatism (CCmean) and the FQAI increased significantly, while no clear trends were presented by the species diversity indices (Shannon-Wiener index, Simpson index, Pielou index) over the three year sampling period, suggesting FQAI is a promising and effective ecological indicator for rapid and quantitative measurement of vegetative rehabilitation effects in wetlands.

    Phylogenetic structure of individuals with different DBH sizes in a deciduous broad-leaved forest community in the temperate-subtropical ecological transition zone, China
    Siyuan Ren, Ting Wang, Yan Zhu, Yongzhong Ye, Zhiliang Yuan, Cong Li, Na Pan, Luxin Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  574-582.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14116
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    Phylogenetic structure of a community could effectively reflect underlying ecological processes of a community. Understanding phylogenetic structure of a community will help reveal the ecological processes associated with community dynamics. Data in a 1-ha plot were divided into quadrats at three spatial scales (10 m×10 m, 20 m×20 m, and 25 m×25 m) and three DBH sizes (1 cm ≤ DBH<5 cm, 5 cm ≤ DBH<10 cm, DBH ≥ 10 cm) to compare phylogenetic structures and to infer ecological processes of the community in a deciduous broad-leaved forest in the Baotianman National Nature Reserve. It was shown that NRI (net relatedness index) and NTI (net nearest taxa index) decreased with increasing spatial scales and DBH sizes. These results indicated that, phylogenetic structure of this community were overdispersed at different spatial scales and DBH sizes; and phylogenetic density dependence exerted higher effect on lager DBH classes than smaller ones. Our results suggested that phylogenetic density dependence is an important mechanism in regulating species diversity and shaping community structure of the deciduous broad-leaved forest in the temperate-subtropical ecological transition zone of China.

    Bryophyte composition and diversity within anthropogenic habitats in a residential area of Chongqing municipality city
    Chunyan Pi, Yan Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  583-588.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14056
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    Little is known about bryophyte composition and diversity in habitats created by residential areas. Ours is the first study aiming at gathering baseline information on the bryophyte flora of Chongqing municipality city and providing a scientific basis for evaluation of environmental quality and bryophyte adaptability in residential environments. Based on extensive field work, 84 bryophyte species in 33 genera and 19 families were reported from 23 residential areas in nine districts of Chongqing. Of those, 39.28% of the species belonged to Pottiaceae and Bryaceae, and most of them grew on soil. The most common species were Fissidens bryoides, Haplocladium microphyllum, Hydrogonium majusculum, Taxiphyllum taxirameum and Aneura pinguis. The number of bryophyte species in these 23 residential areas varied from 5 to 25. The similarity of bryophyte species composition between different residential areas was very low, suggesting the presence of distinct habitats and a high diversity among these areas. Turfs were the main life form of bryophytes that we observed. Canonical Correspondence Analysis revealed that the number of residents was the most influential factor in terms of the bryophyte species composition and diversity, followed by the area of green space. Our results suggested that, within cities, residential areas contain important environments for bryophytes. Observed differences in bryophyte composition among residential areas may be attributed to spatial background, urbanization, microhabitat and human disturbance.

    Assessing the Red List Index for vertebrate species in China
    Peng Cui, Haigen Xu, Jun Wu, Hui Ding, Mingchang Cao, Xiaoqiang Lu, Fan Yong, Bing Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  589-595.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14085
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    The Red List Index (RLI) is widely recognized as the most authoritative and objective index for assessing the risk of extinction for species. Good results have been achieved in the application of RLI in assessment of the progress of United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals at global scale. In this paper, RLI was applied at national scale based on multi-source data from International Union for Conservation of Nature, BirdLife International, Red List Categories in China Red Data Book (1998) and China Species Red List (2004) to evaluate trends in the status of vertebrate species in China. RLI of amphibians and reptiles were not assessed because of a lack of data. From 1996 to 2008, the RLI of China's mammals decreased, so did that of China's freshwater fishes from 1998 to 2004. The RLI of birds calculated using Equal-steps method decreased slightly between 1988 and 2012; however, when RLI was calculated using Extinction-risk method, the index initially increased slightly and then turned downward. Due to habitat degradation and loss, the threat status of mammals and freshwater fishes has been increasing. Overall, the threat status of birds is increasing though there were some improvements in the status of critically endangered species. We suggest that more taxonomic groups should be assessed using Red List guidelines so that calculation of RLI is possible. And on the basis of RLI, governments and decision makers should make more effective conservation plans for endangered species.

    Elevational pattern of amphibian and reptile diversity in Qinling Range and explanation
    Zhi Zheng, Dajie Gong, Chengxiang Sun, Xiaojun Li, Wanjiang Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  596-607.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14005
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    Spatial patterns of species diversity and range size along environmental gradients and their underlying mechanisms have long been controversial issues in biogeography and ecology. The species-area relationship, water-energy dynamic hypothesis and mid-domain effect were used here to explain the elevational patterns of amphibian and reptile species richness and their different faunal components in China’s Qinling Range using multivariate regression models and the variance partitioning algorithm. Our results showed unimodal patterns for the elevational distributions of amphibians, reptiles and their faunal components, but the peaks of the patterns differed among groups. The underlying mechanisms shaping the patterns revealed intensive interactions, while the independent explanatory strengths of the three proposed hypotheses (exclude reptile oriental realm) were relatively weak. The water-energy dynamic hypothesis was the most parsimonious explanation of the observed patterns. The majority of water-energy dynamic explanation belonged to interaction of three hypotheses. The interaction between mid-domain effect and water-energy dynamics was larger for amphibians and that between species-area relationship and water-energy dynamic hypothesis was larger for reptiles. The Steven’s and cross-species methods were used to examine whether species-specific elevational range sizes of amphibians, reptiles and their different faunal components are applicable to Rapoport’s rule. The results showed that reptile range sizes supported Rapoport’s rule at the various elevational gradients, while amphibian range sizes were difficult to support Rapoport’s rule.

    Distribution of gymnamoebae communities along an elevational gradient in Changbai Mountains
    Fang Liu, Qi Li, Congcong Shen, Haiyan Chu, Wenju Liang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  608-617.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14112
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    As an important component of soil food web, gymnamoebae play a significant role in nutrient cycling and energy flows of terrestrial ecosystems by linking soil microorganisms and macro- and meso-fauna. Along an elevational gradient (700 m, 1,000 m, 1,300 m, 1,600 m, 1,900 m, 2,200 m) in Changbai Mountains, the community composition and structure of gymnamoebae were compared using most probable number (MPN) method and plate cultivation technique. The result suggested that gymnameobae richness differed significantly among the various elevational levels and was positively correlated with soil pH. The lowest richness was observed in an Betula ermanii forest with monospecies dominance (1,900 m), while the highest richness was observed in the 1,000 m ecotone. Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Pielou envenness index performed similar patterns with richness, with no significant differences observed among different elevational levels. The community composition of gymnamoebae was more similar among 1,300 m, 1,600 m and 1,900 m and between 2,200 m and 700 m elevations. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that gymnamoebae community structure was correlated with soil pH, ammonium nitrogen and C/N ratio. However, gymnamoebae communities were not influenced by altitude and soil water content. In conclusion, unlike macroorganisms (e.g. trees and animals), the richness and diversity of gymnamoebae did not show monotonically decreasing or hump-shaped patterns along the elevational gradient, and soil physicochemical characteristics were the main factors that influencing their distribution. In addition, gymnamoebae community composition and structure might be also indirectly regulated by vegetation type through litter and root exudates.

    Marine Biodiversity Special Feature
    The species diversity and trophic structure of reef fishes in the waters of the Xisha Archipelago
    Yongli Gao, Hui Huang, Jiansheng Lian, Jianhui Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  618-623.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14102
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    The aims of our study were to (1) uncover new reef fish species records using the underwater visual census method; and (2) analyze the fish community structure according to trophic groups and its response to water quality changes. The fishes on six reefs (Yongxing Island, Dongdao Island, Lingyang Atoll, Jinyin Island, Huaguang Atoll, and Zhongjian Island) along the Xisha Archipelago were investigated in May-June, 2006 using underwater visual censuses. The fishes we recorded belong to 29 families, 71 genera and 119 species. The number of newly recorded species was 50. The number of fish species increased to 717 in the Xisha area since the 1950’s. The species number and Shannon-Wiener diversity were both highest on the western reef of Yongxing Island. Most fish species were distributed narrowly in small areas. The dominant assemblages were the planktivores and bottom invertebrate feeders. The rare assemblages were the herbivores, the omnivores, and the top predator, the piscivores. The structure of trophic groups indicated that most coral reef systems were relatively healthy. The percentage of total abundance (and biomass) comprised by omnivores was largest on the western reef of Yongxing Island compared to other reefs, suggesting that the fish community structure had responded to water eutrophication around Yongxing Island.

    Biodiversity and trophic level characteristics of fishes captured by set nets in Tong’an Bay, Xiamen
    Jianji Liao, Xinqing Zheng, Jianguo Du*, Bin Chen, Zhiyuan Ma, Wenjia Hu
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  624-629.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14051
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    The diversity and trophic levels of fish species in Tong’an Bay were described based on monthly set net fishing surveys from April 2012 to March 2013. A total of 112 species belonging to 88 genera, 53 families and 15 orders were recorded. According to their habitat strata, the fishes were grouped into 3 types, among them 15 species were pelagic, 18 near demersal, and 79 demersal. According to adaptation to temperature, the fishes were divided into 2 types, 84 species were warm water and the other 28 were warm-temperate species. In terms of food habits, there were 4 types, of which 8 species were omnivores, 71 lower carnivorous, 30 middle carnivorous and 3 higher carnivorous. Tachysurus sinensis was the dominant species in summer, autumn and winter, while Polydactylus sextarius, Butis koilomatodon and Tridentiger barbatus were the dominant species in spring and winter. The highest body mass and individual Shannon-Wiener diversity index were 3.26 and 3.29 in November, and the lowest values were 1.78 and 1.77 in February, respectively. The fish community showed distinct seasonal changes, with the lowest monthly change rate of fishes of 40.1% in June, and the highest was 68.6% in March. The mean trophic level also showed significant changes, the minimum was 3.02 in March, the maximum was 3.92 in January, and the average mean trophic level was 3.52. Comparing our data set with previous data from 2003-2004, we found that the species number, species composition and the dominant species in Tong’an Bay all changed significantly. Overfishing, habitat loss and environmental pollution were identified as main factors causing the decline in fish diversity in Tong’an Bay.

    Impact of Spartina alterniflora on benthic macro-invertebrates communities on mangrove wetland in Xicungang Estuary, Guangxi
    Caiyun Zhao, Xiaoyan Liu, Jiade Bai, Fengchun Lü, Junsheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  630-639.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.00109
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    In order to assess the ecological impacts of Spartina alterniflora on mangrove ecosystems, we investigated macro-invertebrate communities in S. alterniflora wetlands and a mangrove wetland between October 2012 and September 2013, in the Xicungang estuary, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The species composition, biomass and diversity of macro-invertebrates were compared at different times between the mangrove habitat and S. alterniflora community. Sixteen species from Arthropoda, Mollusca, Annelida, Cnidadia and Sipuncula were collected from the two habitats. Twelve species were found in mangrove wetlands whereas 10 species were found in S. alterniflora wetlands. Perhaps due to the invasion of S. alterniflora, Glauconome chinensis became the predominant species, leading to a greater macro-invertebrate biomass in S. alterniflora wetlands than in mangrove wetland. On the other hand, the Margalef, Shannon-Wiener index, Simpson and Pieous diversity indices of macro-invertebrates were lower in S. alterniflora habitat than in mangrove habitat. Two-way ANOVA was used to analyze the effect of sampling periods and habitats on the number of species, biomass and diversity indices of macro-invertebrates. Our results showed that Shannon- Wiener index and Simpson diversity indices differed between the two habitats, the Margalef and Pieous diversity indices differed among sampling periods, number of species and biomass were affected by both habitats and sampling periods. Based on multiple linear regression analyses, macro-invertebrate biomass was related to the density of S. alterniflora, and Shannon-Wiener, Simpson diversity and species richness of macro-invertebrates were all related with the height of S. alterniflora. According to our NMDS (non-metric multidimensional scaling) analysis, macro-invertebrate communities in S. alterniflora habitat mainly differed from those of mangrove habitats due to sampling periods. In conclusion, the invasion of S. alterniflora in mangrove wetlands in Xicungang estuary increased the biomass of macro-invertebrates, while decreased the diversity of them, and also changed the community structure of macro-invertebrate assemblages.

    Influence of coralline algae on biodiversity of macrobenthic community in intertidal zone of Nanji Islands
    Yanbin Tang, Yibo Liao, Lu Shou, Jiangning Zeng, Aigen Gao, Quanzhen Chen, Qinghai Sun
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  640-648.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13240
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    With an aim of describing the influence of coralline algae on other macroalgae and benthic invertebrates in the intertidal zone of the Nanji Islands, an investigation of such organism assemblages was conducted in the Nanji Archipelago Marine Nature Reserve between May 2012 and February 2013. Shannon-Wiener index and Pielou's evenness indices were calculated for macroalgae (including coralline algae), non-Corallinaceae macroalgae (excluding coralline algae) and benthic invertebrates. In addition, the functional diversity of the benthic community was estimated using Rao's Q. Our results are as follows: (1) A total of 52 species of macroalgae belonging to 3 phyla, 3 classes, 16 orders, 21 families and 41 genera were found; 5 species among them belonged to coralline algae; (2) The dominance of coralline algae has reached a high level in the intertidal zone of the Nanji Islands except in the high tidal zone where relatively few macroalgae exist. The biomass of coralline alga accounted for 68.9% of the total algae biomass. Shannon-Wiener indices of macroalgae diversity varied from 1.638-4.044, and non-Corallinaceae macroalgae varied from 1.495- 3.809, while benthic invertebrates’ varied from 5.2890-6.917. Pielou’s evenness of macroalgae communities varied from 0.819-0.971, and non-Corallinaceae macroalgae varied from 0.930-0.973; benthic invertebrates ranged from 0.967 to 0.988; (3) Regression analyses between dominance of coralline algae and Shannon-Wiener and Pielou's evenness indices of macroalgae communities suggested that coralline algae may be reducing the species diversity of macroalgae. The result of correlation analysis between dominance of coralline algae and Shannon-Wiener index, Pielou's evenness of benthic invertebrates showed no significant correlation. (4) The dominance of coralline algae and Rao's Q of benthic invertebrates in low tidal zone were both higher than those in middle tidal zone, but the correlation analysis showed no significant correlation between them. Based on our results, we concluded that: well-adapted coralline algae species may have reduced the species diversity of other macroalgae in these systems via interspecific competition; meanwhile, the benthic invertebrates, perhaps because of their higher dispersal abilities and more diverse life histories relative to macroalgae, were not affected in terms of species or functional diversity by coralline algae.

    Seasonal change of the community of large-sized tintinnids (Ciliophora, Tintinnida) in Laizhou Bay
    Xue Chen, Wuchang Zhang, Qiang Wu, Qingshan Luan, Tian Xiao
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  649-657.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13257
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    The abundance and seasonal change of large-sized tintinnids were studied in Laizhou Bay. Large-sized tintinnids were collected by vertical towing using a shallow sea type III plankton net (open area 0.1 m2, mesh size 76 μm) during 9 cruises between May and November of 2011 and from March to April, 2012. The samples were fixed in formalin solution to a final concentration of 5% and counted using an inverted microscope in the laboratory. We sampled 8 stations to avoid fluctuations over a short time period. The purpose of this study was to characterize seasonal change of the large-sized tintinnid community. Maximum tintinnid species richness was 19 in August and minimum was 5 in May. Tintinnid abundance ranged from 0 ind./L to 318 ind./L. Average abundance at all stations was highest (63 ind./L) in July and lowest (2 ind./L) in March, and there was a secondary peak of 48 ind./L in May. The abundance of Codonellopsis mobilis and Tintinnopsis chinglanensis were more than 50 ind./L. Agglutinated species occurred from March to November, while the hyaline species only occurred from June to September when the temperature was > 15°C. Codonellopsis mobilis occurred from March to November. The number of dominant species ranged from 1 in May, to 8 in August. Codonellopsis mobilis was a dominant species during all time periods and this one species significantly influenced the pattern of total ciliate abundance. Using the average abundance data of 8 stations, two distinct cluster groups were observed (30% similarity): cluster I (July to September) and cluster II (March to June, October to November). The cluster results showed that there was a seasonal change of the large-sized tintinnid community. Average abundance and species richness were not significantly correlated with temperature and salinity.

    Research Bulletin
    Characteristics of plant species diversity of rubber plantation in Hainan Island
    Guoyu Lan, Zhixiang Wu, Guishui Xie
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  658-666.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14080
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    To explore diversity maintaining mechanism and restoration after disturbance of the plantation, we established a 1-ha dynamic rubber plantation plot and managed it in a close to nature way according to the core theory of close to nature forest. Based on field survey data, plant species composition and distribution in the rubber plantation was analyzed. A total of 183 species belonging to 155 genera and 69 families were recorded in the plot. In the area of ??4,000 m2, 3,000 m2 and 2,000 m2, the plot contains about 90% of species, genus and family respectively. Logistic model fitted species-area is very good with R2 0.997, which indicates that 1-ha plot is large enough for monitoring of species diversity of rubber plantation. The distribution pattern of abundance and richness in the plot are very different from those constructed from random placement model, which indicates that the unevenness distribution of abundance and richness are not caused by the random distribution. The species-abundance distribution of the plot could not be well fitted by using the lognormal model and log serial model. In comparison, the lognormal model fits it better than log serial model.

    The categorization and analysis on the geographic distribution patterns of Chinese alien invasive plants
    Xiaoling Yan, Quanru Liu, Haiyang Shou, Xianfeng Zeng, Yong Zhang, Li Chen, Yan Liu, Haiying Ma, Shuyan Qi, Jinshuang Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  667-676.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14069
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    We used the literature, field investigations, specimen records and taxonomic research to categorize 515 alien invasive plant species from 72 families and 285 genera reported from China according to their biological and ecological characters, extent of spread within China, and amount of damage caused. Each species was put into one of 5 categories: malignant invasion (34 species), serious invasion (69 species), local invasion (85 species), general invasion (80 species), and species requiring further observation (247 species). According to our analyses of geographic distributional patterns, Chinese alien invasive plants were highly concentrated in the southwestern and eastern coastal provinces of China, and were rapidly spreading to inland China. These categories and distributional patterns of alien invasive plants could help to assess and control their invasive risk. Our results provide baseline information on Chinese alien invasive plants; and, at the same time, we put forward preliminary suggestions for further study, public education and the management of the important alien invasive plants in China.

    Review the progress of negotiations of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing
    Chunxin Zang, Lei Cai, Xiao Guan, Jing Xu, Junsheng Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2014, 22 (5):  677-681.  doi:10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.14164
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    Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Sharing from Their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted by the 10th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a milestone document. The Nagoya Protocol enters into force on 12 October 2014. This paper reviews the negotiations of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on the compliance mechanism, global multilateral benefit-sharing mechanism, the access and benefits sharing clearing-house and information-sharing, awareness-raising and capacity of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing and gives suggestions for related work in next steps.

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