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Table of Content
    Volume 23 Issue 2
    20 March 2015

    Angiosperms constitute the most diversified lineage of higher plants, including ca. 300,000 species which belong to 436 families. Liu et al. investigated the circumscriptions of families and genera of angiosperms native or introduced to China according to the APG III classification system and recent phylogenetic studies (for details see pages 225–231 in this issue). The image shows the familial phylogenetic relationships of angiosperms and diversity of floral morphology. (Illustrated and Photographed by Bing Liu)

    Original Papers: Community Structure and Patterns of Tropical and Subtropical Forest in China
    Synthetic comparison of eight dynamics plots in evergreen broadleaf forests, China
    Yongchang Song, Enrong Yan, Kun Song
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  139-148.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014140
    Abstract ( 2388 )   HTML ( 38 )   PDF (441KB) ( 4744 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    On the basis of unifying the scientific names of plant species, species composition and similarity were compared and related to environmental conditions across eight dynamics plots in evergreen broadleaf forests (EBLFs) in China. Ecological characteristics of species and associations with habitat type were analyzed among plots using plant growth forms and ecological indicator values. According to floristic composition and ecological characteristics the eight plots were grouped as follows: (1) Tiantong, Gutianshan, Baishanzu and Badagongshan, belonging to the typical EBLFs, and (2) Heishiding, Dinghushan, Fushan and Lianhuachi, belonging to the seasonal and ombrophilous EBLFs (i.e., subtropical rain forest). Issues with respect to the methods of community classification were discussed. Overall, we propose an increase in the investigation of herbaceous and lianas plant taxonomy and ecological indicator values as well as more research into species interactions. A key to enhanced research and investigation is to establish cooperative research plans for long-term success.

    Influences on gap species richness in a subtropical evergreen broad- leaved forest
    Heming Liu, Qingsong Yang, Xiaofeng Fang, Zunping Ma, Guochun Shen, Zhiguo Zhang, Zhanghua Wang, Xihua Wang
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  149-156.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014137
    Abstract ( 2368 )   HTML ( 3 )   PDF (1286KB) ( 3324 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Canopy gaps, created by the death or disturbance of a mature tree, influence forest community structure. The opening of the canopy creates opportunity for species recruitment influencing species diversity in forest communities. However, the mechanisms that lead to species recruitment and the resulting diversity are still unclear. Factors that may affect species richness of canopy gaps include the gap area, species richness of adjacent areas (SSAA and SCAA represent the adjacent area where is the seed source of canopy gap and the adjacent area where species composition is spatially correlated with survivors in the canopy gap, respectively), topography, and soil nutrients. To test which factors significantly affect species richness, 11 parameters (canopy gap area, species richness of mature individuals in SSAA, species richness of all individuals in SCAA, slope, aspect, convexity, mean elevation, pH value, total nitrogen, total carbon, total phosphorus of each gap) were calculated for 84 canopy gaps in 20 ha Tiantong Dynamics Plot. The effect of SSAA and SCAA were quantified by species richness of mature individuals and richness of all free standing trees (DBH ≥ 1 cm) within 5 m and 4 m away from the edge of the gap, respectively. The size of adjacent area was defined as the area containing most of species present in the gap (≥75%) and having most significant effect on gap species richness. A generalized linear regression model was constructed for each random combinations of any subsets of 11 gap parameters. Our best model with lowest AICc showed that: only species richness of mature individuals in SSAA and the canopy gap area had a significant effect on the gap species richness. This result suggests that gap size and species richness of the seed source can directly influence species richness of canopy gaps. Additional factors may have an indirect influence and should be explored further.

    Effect of seed traits on spatial aggregation of trees in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest
    Bei Yao, Jianping Yu, Xiaojuan Liu, Xiangcheng Mi, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  157-166.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014007
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    The spatial distribution of species provides basic information for the study of species coexistence. Seed traits such as size, weight and dispersal syndromes influence the spatial distribution of species through various species-specific seed dispersal. In this study, we collected data on seed size, seed mass and seed dispersal syndromes of 89 woody trees in the Gutianshan subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest. The relationship between seed size, seed mass, seed dispersal syndromes, and conspecific aggregation intensity were examined. Results showed that most of the species (~90%) were significantly aggregated across scales up to 20 m. The strength of spatial aggregation decreased with increasing spatial scales. Rare species were more aggregated than common species. Species abundance was significantly correlated with aggregation intensity (at spatial scale of 15 m, R2 = 0.32, P < 0.001) after removing the phylogenetic relationship among species using PIC (phylogenetically independent contrasts). Seed size was weakly associated with aggregation intensity (R2 = 0.05, P < 0.05), but seed mass was strongly correlated (R2 = 0.14, P < 0.05). Seed dispersal syndromes significantly influenced species aggregation intensity: ballistically dispersed species were more significantly aggregated than assisted-dispersed species (F1, 87 = 4.439, P = 0.038). Long-distances dispersal may lead to a reduction in aggregation intensity. In conclusion, species-specific seed traits and dispersal ability were ecologically significant factors impacting the spatial pattern of species distribution.

    Species composition, size class, and spatial patterns of snags in the Badagongshan (BDGS) mixed evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved forest in central China
    Zhijun Lu, Fuling Liu, Hao Wu, Mingxi Jiang
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  167-173.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014139
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    Snag (standing dead tree) is an important component of forest ecosystems. Snag characteristics such as species composition, size class, and spatial patterns correlate with community maintenance mechanisms. Here we examine species composition, size class structure, spatial patterns and habitat associations of snags from a woody plant census of the 25 ha evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest dynamics plot of Badagongshan (BDGS). There were 8,947 snags (DBH ≥ 1 cm, height ≥ 130 cm, totally dead) in the plot; 4,258 (47.59%) snags with DBH 1-5 cm, 2,132 (23.84%) snags with DBH 5-10 cm, 2,377 (26.57%) snags with DBH 10-30 cm, and 180 (2%) snags with DBH ≥ 30 cm. The average snag DBH was 8.0 cm and the maximum was 83.5 cm. At the scale of 0-50 m, snags were mostly aggregated in the plot, but changed to random distributed near the scale of 40 m. Habitat was divided into three categories with a MRT (multivariate regression tree) analysis. Density of snags was compared to habitat type with expected densities derived from species null distributions with a Torus transformation. Our findings indicate that snags in the BDGS plot were negatively related to valleys, but positively related to ridges, and randomly distributed on slopes. Among all the snags, only 724 (8.1%) snags were identified to species level including 84 species (26 families). At the species level, snags of Cyclobalanopsis multinervis, Rhododendron stamineum and Litsea elongata dominated while snags of Fagus lucida was less common.

    Community composition and stand age in a subtropical forest, southern China
    Juyu Lian, Can Chen, Zhongliang Huang, Honglin Cao, Wanhui Ye
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  174-182.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014243
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    Studying species coexistence and successional dynamics of varying stand ages is important to understanding the mechanisms of community assembly. In this study, we divided a 20 ha subtropical forest plot in southern China into two groups, mature and old (over-mature), according to tree size and historical records. Species compositions, floristic characteristics and tree size distribution between the groups were compared. Results showed that species composition of the two groups were similar with comparable diversity indices but different species richness, individual densities, total basal area and importance value (IV) of species. As for the floristic composition, there were about 90% genera of tropical species in both groups, but the genera had a higher proportion in the old than in the mature forest. Both groups had “J” shaped tree size distributions but the mature forest had higher IV in the middle size class while the old forest was highest in large size class. In conclusion, both the mature and old forests were in climax stages but had different community structures, which suggests that there were different assembly processes during development stages in the subtropical forest community.

    Spatial distribution of tree species in a tropical karst seasonal rainforest in Nonggang, Guangxi, southern China
    Yili Guo, Bin Wang, Wusheng Xiang, Tao Ding, Shuhua Lu, Yusong Huang, Fuzhao Huang, Dongxing Li, Xiankun Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  183-191.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014126
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    Understanding the processes underlie spatial distribution patterns of tree species is fundamental for understanding species coexistence. Tropical karst seasonal rainforests, located on the northern margin of the tropical limestone karst region of China, are very unique. The limestone karst forests in this region have shallow, calcium-rich, alkaline soils with low water holding capacity, high ratio of exposed rock, and periodic flooding. In this study, we examined the spatial distribution patterns of woody plants using a univariate pair correlation function to quantify spatial patterns of species in a fully mapped 15 ha dynamic study plot in Nonggang, Guangxi, southern China. We analyzed the relationships between species attributes and spatial distribution patterns of 160 tree species with at least one individual per hectare. The results showed that species were predominantly aggregated and that the percentage of significantly aggregated species decreased with increasing spatial scales. A total of 146 species showed aggregation patterns at the scales of 0-10 meters. Rare species were more aggregated than intermediate and abundant species, but more easily influenced by habitat heterogeneity. The aggregation intensity showed a negative relationship to mean DBH (diameter at breast height) and maximum DBH, i.e., species became more regularly spaced as species stature increased but there was no significant difference between evergreen and deciduous species. Most species showed random patterns after controlling for the effects of habitat heterogeneity. Our results partially agree with the prediction that species’ attributes influence spatial patterns following similar laws. Consequently, species attributes and habitat heterogeneity are likely the primary drivers of spatial patterns and species coexistence in natural forest communities.

    Community characteristics of a 60 ha dynamics plot in the tropical montane rain forest in Jianfengling, Hainan Island
    Han Xu, Yide Li, Mingxian Lin, Jianhui Wu, Tushou Luo, Zhang Zhou, Dexiang Chen, Huai Yang, Guangjian Li, Shirong Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  192-201.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014157
    Abstract ( 2360 )   HTML ( 23 )   PDF (3118KB) ( 3829 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Tropical montane rain forest is the most dominant vegetation type on Hainan Island. However, most tropical montane rain forest studies have been conducted at relatively small spatial scales, as large-scale permanent plots are scarce. In this study, we described the community characteristics of one 60 ha plot established in the tropical montane rain forest of Jianfengling, Hainan Island. The goal is to provide basic information to further understanding of biodiversity mechanisms in the tropics of China. Plot altitude varied from 866.3 to 1,016.7 m and the slope varied from 1.7° to 49.3°. A total of 439,676 stems, with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥ 1.0 cm, belonging to 62 families, 155 genera and 290 species were recorded. The stem density including sprouts and branches was 0.7328 stem/m2. Species richness varied from 32-120 species with an average richness of 80 species. There were 136 (88.3%) genera belonging to tropical flora. The plot was a mix of common and endemic species. For example, Rhamnus of Rhamnaceae has a global range while Parakmeria of Magnoliaceae is an endemic genus to China. Livistona saribus, Gironniera subaequalis, Cryptocarya chinensis, Alseodaphne hainanensis, Prismatomeris tetrandra and Nephelium topengii were the most dominant species with importance values greater than 2.0. Lauraceae, Fagaceae, Rubiaceae and Arecaceae were the most dominant families with importance values larger than 5.0. When the sampling area is larger than 7.5 ha or the sampling stems are larger than 20 thousand, 261 species and up to 90% of all species were counted in the plot by species-area and species-individual curves. The percentage of rare and occasional species was 20.7% and 37.6% of all species, respectively. The average DBH of all stems was 5.22 cm and the DBH size class distribution was a typical inverse-J distribution. This study provides basic information for further studies in the Jianfengling 60 ha plot. Jianfengling 60 ha plot is also a platform for monitoring dynamics of long-term biodiversity in the tropics.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Estimating population size and genetic diversity of Asian elephant in the Shangyong Nature Reserve
    Changhuan He, Yu Zhou, Lifan Wang, Li Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  202-209.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014247
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    Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is a first class protected species in China. Estimation of the population size and genetic variability is crucial to the management and conservation of this species. A genetic survey was conducted using multi locus genotyping of noninvasively collected fecal samples of the Asian elephant population in the Shangyong Nature Reserve, Yunnan Province of China. Amplification of 185 fecal DNA samples by 7 microsatellite primers resulted in a total of 59 unique genotypes. The average number of alleles was 3.86, the average observed and expected heterozygosity and polymorphism information content (PIC), was 0.52, 0.42 and 0.34, respectively. Accumulation curve method and capture mark re-capture were used to evaluate the population size. Results indicated that the population size in Shangyong Nature Reserve was 76 ± 8 (from 67 to 99 individuals, 95% confidence interval). Overall, a moderate level of genetic variability was observed in the Shangyong population, which was similar to a population in the Mengyang region.

    Species composition and diversity of crab assemblage in Haizhou Bay
    Xiling Luo, Yiping Ren, Lei Xing, Binduo Xu
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  210-216.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014205
    Abstract ( 1616 )   HTML ( 1 )   PDF (1225KB) ( 2114 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    The species composition and diversity of crab assemblage in Haizhou Bay was assessed using bottom-trawl survey data collected in March, May, July, September, and December, 2011. Crab species composition and the spatio-temporal variations in species diversity of communities were examined using ecological diversity indices. In total, 34 crab species belonging to 18 families and 27 genera were caught during the surveys. There were 16 warm water species, 15 warm temperate species and 3 cold temperate species. Margalef’s species richness index (D) was highest in March and lowest in December while the Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H′) and Pielou evenness index (J′) were highest in July and lowest in December. Diversity, richness, and evenness also varied spatially over time. In March, May and July the highest values occurred in the northern area of the survey site and lowest in the southern part. In September, values were lowest in the central survey site and high in the northern and southern areas. In December, values were low in northern survey site and high in southern areas. The number of individuals per haul per hour varied spatially and temporally by month with higher numbers in March, May and December. Correlation analysis showed that crab community species diversity was significantly affected by water temperature, salinity, depth and the season in Haizhou Bay. The spatio-temporal variations in species composition and diversity of crab assemblage in Haizhou Bay are primarily related to the seasonal changes in environmental factors such as bottom water temperature and the spatial distribution of main dominant species.

    Bioinventories: On Species Catalogue of China
    Overview of higher plant diversity in China
    Lisong Wang, Yu Jia, Xianchun Zhang, Haining Qin
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  217-224.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015049
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    According to an overview of higher plant diversity in China, China has 35,112 native species of higher plants belonging to 3,818 genera and 454 families. Among them, there are 3,045 bryophyte species in 602 genera and 151 families, 2,124 pteridophyte species in 176 genera and 38 families, 227 gymnosperm species in 37 genera and 8 families, and 29,716 angiosperm species in 3,003 genera and 257 families. Comparisons with recent estimates of global species diversity suggests that the species diversity of Chinese bryophytes, pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms account for 18.8%, 17.7%, 22.2% and 11.1%, respectively of the global totals. A total of 212 genera are endemic to China with 7 bryophytes, 2 pteridophytes, 7 gymnosperms, and 196 angiosperms. A total of 17,439 species are endemic to China including 524 bryophytes, 840 pteridophytes, 115 gymnosperms, and 15,960 angiosperms. The percentages of endemic species (POES) for each group in the country are 17.2%, 39.6%, 50.7%, and 53.7%, respectively. This translates to a POES of 49.7% for higher plants (including bryophytes, pteridophytes and seed plants), a POES of 52.8% for vascular plants (including pteridophytes and seed plants), and a POES of 53.7% for seeds plants (including gymnosperms and angiosperms). The top 10 families with highest species diversity are Asteraceae (227 genera/2,315 species), Poaceae (215/1,787), Fabaceae (141/1,631), Orchidaceae (205/1,556), Lamiaceae (103/975), Ranunculaceae (38/957), Rosaceae (53/954), Cyperaceae (32/871), Ericaceae (22/841), and Rubiaceae (94/696). The top 12 families with highest endemic genera are Gesneriaceae (26 genera), Asteraceae (18), Orchidaceae (14), Lamiaceae (11), Apiaceae (9), Brassicaceae (9), Apocynaceae (6), Poaceae (6), Melastomataceae (5), Boraginaceae (4), Rubiaceae (4), and Ranunculaceae (4). The top 10 genera with highest species diversity are Rhododendron (588 species), Carex (537), Astragalus (420), Pedicularis (363), Corydalis (357), Primula (310), Saussurea (293), Salix (279), Impatiens (274), and Gentiana (255). The top 10 genera with highest endemic species are: Rhododendron (433 species), Pedicularis (283), Carex (273), Corydalis (258), Astragalus (237), Impatiens (234), Primula (222), Berberis (209), Elatostema (207), and Saussurea (196). Diversity bearing with more than 5,000 species among the seven Chinese provinces is as follows: Yunnan (15,900 species), Sichuan (10,374), Tibet (7,629), Guangxi (7,399), Guizhou (6,405), Guangdong (5,498) and Taiwan (5,290). Among the 17 mega-diversity countries China is ranked the fourth when ordered by total species diversity and, seventh when ordered by POES.

    Families and genera of Chinese angiosperms: a synoptic classification based on APG III
    Bing Liu, Jianfei Ye, Su Liu, Yuan Wang, Yong Yang, Yangjun Lai, Gang Zeng, Qinwen Lin
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  225-231.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015052
    Abstract ( 5923 )   HTML ( 323 )   PDF (3932KB) ( 13748 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Angiosperms constitute the most diverse lineage of higher plants and are represented by ca. 300,000 living species that dominate the vegetation of terrestrial ecosystems. Number and composition of families, genera, and species are important to understanding global and regional biodiversity. Due to the rapid development of molecular systematics, circumscriptions of many traditional angiosperm families and genera have been revised. This study investigates circumscriptions of families and genera of native and introduced angiosperms in China according to the APG III classification system and recent phylogenetic studies. Results showed that there are 258 native and 55 introduced families (including 6 naturalized families), and 2,872 native and 1,605 introduced genera (including 152 naturalized genera) in China. A brief introduction to the historical and recent changes of circumscriptions of families and genera occurring in China was also provided. Our list included 115 newly recorded families and 1,729 newly recorded genera when compared to Flora Reipublicae Popularis Sinicae, and 85 newly recorded families and 1,531newly recorded genera when compared to Flora of China.

    Species catalogue of Lauraceae in China: problems and perspectives
    Yong Yang, Bing Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  232-236.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015027
    Abstract ( 1800 )   HTML ( 18 )   PDF (659KB) ( 4311 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Generic delimitation of Orchidaceae from China: current situation and perspective
    Weitao Jin, Xiaoguo Xiang, Xiaohua Jin
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  237-242.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014268
    Abstract ( 2002 )   HTML ( 24 )   PDF (1318KB) ( 5385 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    Diversity and distribution of gymnosperms in China
    Yong Yang
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  243-246.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015017
    Abstract ( 1895 )   HTML ( 22 )   PDF (631KB) ( 3938 )   Save
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    Nomenclatural novelties and new synonyms of Leguminosae in China
    Xiangyun Zhu
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  247-251.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015002
    Abstract ( 1945 )   HTML ( 9 )   PDF (294KB) ( 4317 )   Save
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    Tools for standardization of plant names
    Junjie Wang, Guoke Chen, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  252-253.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015055
    Abstract ( 1559 )   HTML ( 29 )   PDF (516KB) ( 3007 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    A conception of establishing formal Chinese names of plants
    Xiuzhi Wu
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  259-263.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014271
    Abstract ( 1489 )   HTML ( 13 )   PDF (587KB) ( 2940 )   Supplementary Material   Save
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    On the rules for formulating Chinese names of a species with special reference to spiders
    Zhisheng Zhang, Jian Chen, Shuqiang Li, Xianjin Peng, Feng Zhang, Yanfeng Tong, Yucheng Lin
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  264-266.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015034
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    Advances in spider bioinventory in China
    Shuqiang Li, Yucheng Lin
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  267-270.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015045
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    Synergies between biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction in China
    Lirong Zhang, Xiahui Wang, Yilei Hou, Cuihua Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2015, 23 (2):  271-277.  doi:10.17520/biods.2014241
    Abstract ( 1905 )   HTML ( 9 )   PDF (526KB) ( 2647 )   Save
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    Biodiversity and poverty are not only globally important topics but also influence China’s standard of living, sustainable development, and goal of realizing a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020. In recent years, environmental protection and the relationship between regional biodiversity con- servation and poverty alleviation have garnered attention due to their influence on many aspects of society. This study analyzes the relationship between mutual influences (positive and negative) of biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. The current macro policies of China are also systemically analyzed using SWOT method, providing clarification of the coordinated efforts of biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction. The SWOT method highlightes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats along with future processes. Based on the analyses, a model is developed to promote synergistic effects of ecological migration, green capital driving, eco-tourism and green performance assessment. The approaches developed by this study are expected to promote mutual development of biodiversity conservation and poverty reduction in China.

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