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Table of Content
    Volume 24 Issue 3
    20 March 2016

    White-cheeked macaque (Macaca leucogenys) is a Macaca species discovered recently in Medog County, southeastern Tibet, China. Wu et al (pages 351–354 of this issue) monitored birds and mammals including the white-cheeked macaque at different altitudes of Medog using camera traps. The picture shows white-cheeked macaques captured by the camera trap. (Courtesy of: Jianpu Wu)

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    All Papers in This Issue
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  0-0. 
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    On key issues and possible solutions related to nature reserve management in China
    Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  249-251.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016082
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    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Density-dependent effects in Picea schrenkiana forests in Tianshan Mountains
    Huijie Wang, Shunli Chang, Yutao Zhang, Jin Xie, Ping He, Chengcheng Song, Xuejiao Sun
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  252-261.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015282
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    The density-dependence hypothesis is one of the most important mechanisms proposed to explain species coexistence in natural forest communities. Picea schrenkiana is the single dominant species of the forest communities in Tianshan Mountains, which plays a very important role in temperate forests of China. We used reexamined data with a five-year interval on an 8-ha P. schrenkiana forest dynamics plot to illustrate the dynamics of species composition. Pointpattern analysis was conducted to reveal the spatial structure of P. schrenkiana individuals of different ages, and the effects of the density-dependence hypothesis on different ages of P. schrenkiana was discussed. The results were as follows: (1) Woody plants with DBH ≥ 1 cm were 11,835 trees in 2009 and 11,050 in 2014. The mortality rate was 8.82%, the recruitment rate was 2.19%, and the net decrease was 6.63%; (2) Young and medium trees of P. schrenkiana presented an aggregation distribution across a scale of 0-40 m, and the aggregation intensity decreased as the scale increased. Mature trees presented a random distribution on scales of 0 m ≤ r ≤ 2 m and r = 4 m, and an aggregation distribution on other scales with a low density. (3) Using a “case-control” design method and eliminating habitat heterogeneity, the distribution of young and medium trees were taken as examples of case. The distribution pattern of mature trees was used as a comparison and represented habitat heterogeneity, and was compared with that of young and medium trees. Young and medium trees of P. schrenkiana were observed to present more considerable gathering than was observed for mature trees on scales of 0-40 m, and density decreased while the diameter class increased. These results indicate that the density-dependence hypothesis has an influence on distribution patterns of different age classes. This study reveals that P. schrenkiana was affected by habitat heterogeneity and presented a significant aggregation effect. The spatial pattern of P. schrenkiana is revealed to be affected by the density-dependence hypothesis after eliminating the effects of habitat heterogeneity. The results of this paper support the Janzen-Connell hypothesis.

    Interspecific and intraspecific variation in functional traits of subtropical evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forests
    Qingqing Tang, Yongtao Huang, Yi Ding, Runguo Zang
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  262-270.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015200
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    Interspecific variation in plant functional traits is the basis of species coexistence in natural ecosystems. However, intraspecific variation is also extremely important for community assemblage and distribution. Here, we sampled 28 dominant tree species with two different leaf forms (14 evergreen species and 14 deciduous species, respectively, obtained by species abundance ranking) in a subtropical evergreen and deciduous broad-leaved mixed forest in Hubei Xingdoushan National Nature Reserve. Differences in interspecific and intraspecific variations of four functional traits were explored, including specific leaf area (SLA), leaf dry matter content (LDMC), leaf area (LA), and stem specific density (SSD). Results demonstrated that: (1) There were significant differences in the four functional traits between evergreen and deciduous trees. The SLA and LA of evergreen species were significantly lower than those of deciduous species, but LDMC and SSD showed the opposite pattern; (2) Leaf habit was the main source (57.49%) for variation of SLA. Interspecific variability (66.80%) played an important role in LA than intraspecific variability (27.52%). LDMC variation was contributed relatively evenly by interspecific (38.12%) and intraspecific (33.88%) variability. On the contrary, the variation in SSD was explained more by intraspecific (51.50%) than interspecific (32.52%) variability; (3) Correlations of different functional traits on intraspecific levels of both evergreen and deciduous trees were higher than those found for interspecific levels. Our results showed that the variation of functional traits between communities could be influenced significantly by intraspecific variability. However, there were differences in the degree of variation of different functional traits.

    Diversity and floristic characteristics of vascular epiphytes in the tropical forest of Xishuangbanna
    Yi Wu, Liang Song, Qiang Liu, Mingxu Zhao, Huazheng Lu, Yunhong Tan, Wenyao Liu
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  271-279.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015308
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    Epiphytes are important structural components of mountain forest ecosystems; however, they have been given insufficient attention because of accessibility issues. In this study, we analyzed the species composition and floristic characteristics of vascular epiphytes in Xishuangbanna using field observations and herbarium specimens, combined with literature records. In total, 486 species (29 families, 134 genera) of vascular epiphytes were identified, contributing to ca. 11% to the Xishuangbanna’s vascular flora. Epiphytic orchids were the most abundant taxa (293 species, 69 genera), dominated by Dendrobium (49 species) and Bulbophyllum (48 species). Epiphytic ferns were the second most abundant taxa (13 families, 38 genera, 97 species), with more than half belonging to Polypodiaceae. Obligate, facultative and hemi-epiphytes accounted for 46%, 48%, and 6% of the species, respectively. Epiphytic orchids were the dominant taxa of obligate epiphytes. Analysis of floristic characteristics at the genus level revealed that epiphytic flora in Xishuangbanna belonged to Tropical Southeast Asia. Without access to soil, epiphytes must explore heterogeneous microhabitat in the forest canopy and are sensitive to environmental changes. They are seriously threatened by anthropogenic disturbances. Therefore, conservation for canopy sub-systems is an urgent and practical need in Xishuangbanna.

    Measuring diversity of tree distribution patterns in natural forests
    Gangying Hui, Gongqiao Zhang, Zhonghua Zhao, Yanbo Hu, Chao Bai
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  280-286.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015237
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    Patterns of tree distribution are an important part of forest structure and directly affect the health and stability of forest ecosystems. Maintaining and preserving forest structural diversity has often been considered the best way to protect biodiversity. One method measuring the diversity of tree distribution patterns was discussed in this paper in order to provide a theoretical basis for the expression of forest structure diversity. The key to the study of distribution pattern diversity is to select the appropriate biodiversity measuring method and index which has a distributed attribute. In this paper, we put forward a method to express tree distribution pattern diversity which counted the distributions frequency of uniform angle index and Voronoi polygon side, and calculate uniform angle index diversity and Voronoi polygon side distribution diversity by the Simpson index, respectively. The distribution pattern diversity of three long-term monitoring Pinus koreansis broad-leaved forest plots (area = 100 m × 100 m) in northeastern China was analyzed by this method. The results showed that both of the distribution of uniform angle index and the Voronoi polygon side were close to the normal distribution. The frequency of randomly distributed trees was the maximum and more than 55% in the uniform angle index distribution; the type of Voronoi polygon side was great than 10 and over 50% of the trees had 5-6 closest neighboring trees. The result of using the Simpson index to analyze tree distribution pattern diversity showed that the tree distribution pattern diversity was higher in the cluster distribution stand than the random distribution stand. We also found that Simpson index values were different when different distribution pattern diversity methods were used, and the uniform angle distribution diversity was significantly lower than that of the Voronoi polygon side distribution diversity, which mainly due to the different quantity grade of each index. Therefore, study on the diversity of forest distribution pattern should choose distribution pattern indices with distribution attribute. The uniform angle index distribution and Voronoi polygon side distribution used in this paper had this attribute, however, different indices reflected different aspects of distribution pattern, so the same pattern analysis method should be used in the analysis and comparison of distribution pattern diversity of different forest stands.

    Effects of fertilization regimes on weed seed banks in a rice-wheat crop system
    Guojun Sun, Yong Li, Fenhua Li, Haiyan Zhang, Min Han, Fang Yuan, Rongsong Zhu, Zhong Ji, Yicheng Sun, Feng Zhu, Dongping Xu, Li Huang
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  287-295.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015312
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    To reveal the effects of different fertilization treatments on weed seed banks in a rice-wheat crop system, a field test using fixed fertilization was conducted in Jintan of Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. After the four-year experiment, the weed seed species and density of the soil seed bank were investigated and the relationships among weed seed diversity, density, distribution, and fertilization were analyzed. Results showed that: fertilization reduced the number of weed species and the evenness and diversity index of the weed seed bank in a rice-wheat crop system; fertilization significantly reduced the total density of the weed seed bank, but increased the seed density of Beckmannia syzigachne, Alopecurus japonicus and A. aequalis, especially with the application of pig manure plus chemical fertilizers. Straw returning plus chemical fertilizer, organic fertilizer plus chemical fertilizer, and organic-inorganic compound fertilizer treatments had the same tendency to reduce the seed density of B. syzigachne, A. japonicus and A. aequalis. Fertilization significantly decreased the seed bank densities of broadleaf weeds. Organic fertilizers had a tendency to increase the seed bank density of Veronica undulate and Cnidium monnieri. Application of pig manure compost increased the seed bank density of Monochoria vaginalis. Therefore, different weed species had different preferences to different fertilizers as the dominant species composition of the weed seed bank was influenced by different fertilization techniques.

    Genetic relationships of buckwheat species based on the sequence analysis of ITS and ndhF-rpl32
    Yani Hu, Zongwen Zhang, Bin Wu, Jia Gao, Yanqin Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  296-303.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015259
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    Buckwheat was originated in China and evolved into abundant species and genetic diversity. In order to effectively use germplasm resources of buckwheat and its wild relatives, the genetic relationships of buckwheat species were analyzed on 71 Fagopyrum samples including 10 species (subspecies, varieties and complex), which were collected mainly from Sichuan, Guizhou and Gansu provinces. Through the analysis of ITS and ndhF-rpl32 sequences and the construction of phylogenetic trees, the inter- and intra-specific relationships of these species were discussed. Results showed that the sequence length of ITS was 725 bp in the matrix, while the parsimony informative sites was 150, accounting for 20.7% of the total length. In the matrix of ndhF-rpl32 sequence, the length was 940 bp, while the parsimony informative sites was 158, accounting for 16.8% of total length. On one hand, the phylogenetic trees based on both ITS and ndhF-rpl32 sequencing data clearly separated the big-achene-group buckwheat (F. tataricum, F. cymosum complex, F. esculentum and F. esculentum ssp. ancestralis) from the small-achene-group buckwheat (F. gracilipes var. odontopterum, F. leptopodum var. grossii, F. leptopodum, F. densovillosum, F. gracilipes, and F. urophyllum). On the other hand, the phylogenetic tree based on ndhF-rpl32 sequences can be used to distinguish F. esculentum ssp. ancestralis and F. esculentum, which indicated that the ndhF-rpl32 sequence was more effective in analyzing the phylogenetic relationships of buckwheat species. These results provide a scientific basis for studies of taxonomy and establishing barcodes of Fagopyrum species.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Estimating population abundance and utilization of Rhinogobio ventralis, an endemic fish species in the upper Yangtze River
    Fei Xiong, Hongyan Liu, Xinbin Duan, Shaoping Liu, Daqing Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  304-312.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015268
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    Rhinogobio ventralis, an endemic species in the upper Yangtze River, has been threatened by overfishing and dam construction. To understand its population dynamics after the Three Gorges Reservoir was built and before the Xiangjiaba and Xiluodu reservoirs were built, we employed body length-frequency data to estimate growth and mortality parameters, population abundance and utilization of the fish based on surveys in the Jiangjin and Yibin sections of the upper Yangtze River conducted from 2007-2009. Fish ranged from 52 to 250 mm in length and 2.7 to 307.2 g in weight, with an average length of 150.8 ± 40.7 mm and an average weight of 72.3 ± 49.7 g. The average size of the fish in the Jiangjin section of the Yangtze River (168.6 ± 29.5 mm) was significantly larger than that in Yibin section (125.6 ± 41.2 mm). The length-weight relationship of R. ventralis was well-fit with a power function, W = 6.06 × 10-6 L3.20 (R2 = 0.98, P < 0.01, n = 436). Asymptotic length (L) and growth constant (k) were estimated using length frequency data as 338 mm and 0.24/yr, respectively. Average natural mortality was comprehensively estimated as 0.43 using three empirical formulas proposed by Pauly, Gunderson & Dygert, and Jensen, respectively. The total mortalities were estimated using a length-converted catch curve analysis as 2.26 in the Jiangjin section and 2.09 in the Yibin section of the Yangtze River. The observed exploitation rates were 0.81 in the Jiangjin section and 0.79 in the Yibin section, which were higher than the maximum exploitation rates of 0.57 in the Jiangjin section and 0.62 in the Yibin section that were estimated using Beverton & Holt Y′/R analysis. Population abundance of R. ventralis in the Jiangjin section was estimated by length-structured virtual population analysis as 68,247 in 2007, 67,432 in 2008, and 176,266 in 2009, respectively, with an average of 103,982; while abundance in the Yibin section was estimated as 22,953 in 2007, 46,340 in 2008, and 34,021 in 2009, respectively, with an average of 34,438, indicating the population abundance was higher in the Jiangjin section than the Yibin section. We conclude that overfishing is occurring in these stocks of R. ventralis and recommend a longer period of monitoring in order to understand population dynamics of R. ventralis. We further suggest that management authorities establish a longer closed period for fishing and undertake habitat restoration to protect the endemic fish species.

    Fish diversity in four nature reserves in Southwest Yunnan, China and the evaluation indicators
    Wei Zhou, Minghui Li, Youlan Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  313-320.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015367
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    This study investigated the diversity of fish species in the Nangunhe, Nanpenghe, Yongde Daxueshan and Lancangjiang nature reserves in Southwest Yunnan, China. The β diversity index, current and ancient endemic and monotypic taxa of inhabitants were used to compare the differences in present and historic fish species and genera composition among the nature reserves. The mechanisms behind difference in fish species diversity among the nature reserves were also investigated. We recorded 85 extant native species, belonging to 6 orders, 13 families, and 45 genera. There are four endemic genera and 18 endemic species being observed in Nujiang River system in China. The genera Aspidoparia and Neonoemacheilus and five endemic species occurred in these three nature reserves (Nangunhe, Nanpenghe, Yongde Daxueshan reserves). There have been 31 genera occurred only in the Lancangjiang River system in China, but the only genus observed in the Lancangjiang Nature Reserve was Ambastaia. In China twenty species were observed only in Lancangjiang Nature Reserve, three of which were only found in this reserve. Among the three nature reserves within the Nujiang river system, only one monotypic genus Anguilla and no monotypic species were observed. No monotypic genera or species were observed in the Lancangjiang Nature Reserve. Comparisons of observed species and groups with fossil records show that the current fishes of Yunnan are species and groups that evolved in the later Tertiary and Quaternary periods, and there are no old or relic species currently present. The β diversity index showed that fish diversity was greatest in the Lancangjiang Nature Reserve, and the lowest in the Nangunhe Nature Reserve. However, the fish diversity representation and protected status in the three nature reserves located within the Nujiang River system are higher than those in the Lancangjiang Nature Reserve. The existence of monotypic species and taxa in the three nature reserves within the Nujiang River system reflects the importance of fisheries protection within these reserves. Geographical location, the length, heterogeneity, number of river branches in the reserve explained difference in fish diversity among the four nature reserves. In order to provide protection to the greatest number of fish species, the first branches in the upper, middle and lower regions of the river system should be designated as reserves.

    Influencing factors of the nested distribution of butterfly assemblages in the Zhoushan Archipelago, China
    Xuemei Zhang, Xufang Han, Liwei Liu, Aichun Xu
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  321-331.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015315
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    In natural ecosystem, species assemblages in fragmented habitats frequently exhibit a nested subset pattern. Although nestedness has been documented for a wide range of taxa, it is rarely tested in butterfly assemblages in oceanic archipelago ecosystems. We surveyed the butterfly occupancy and abundance on 28 islands using a line-transect method in the Zhoushan Archipelago, China from July to August 2013. We determined island geographical factors (area, isolation) based on the literature and obtained species life-history traits (area requirement, wingspan and body weight) in the laboratory. The recently developed metric WNODF was used to examine the nestedness. Partial Spearman rank correlation was used to evaluate the associations of nestedness and island geographical factors as well as life-history traits related to species extinction and immigration tendencies. We found that the community composition of butterflies in the Zhoushan Archipelago was significantly nested. Island area and species’ area requirements were significantly correlated with nestedness after synthesis for all independent variables. In contrast, according to the null-model random test, nestedness of butterflies might not result from passive sampling or selective colonization. Our results indicate that selective extinction is the main driver of nestedness of butterflies in our system. From a conservation perspective, we suggest that large islands and species with large area requirements should be paid more attention in order to maximize the total number of species preserved.

    Insect community diversity in transgenic Bt cotton in saline and dry soils
    Junyu Luo, Shuai Zhang, Xiangzhen Zhu, Chunyi Wang, Limin Lü, Chunhua Li, Jinjie Cui
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  332-340.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015288
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    Cotton is one kind of economic crop that can tolerate high drought and salinity, and it has been planted increasingly in coastal saline alkaline soils and dry soils since China’s Yellow River and the Yangtze River cotton area dropped due to soil salinization and drought. In this paper, using no-transgenic cotton (CCRI 49 cotton) as control, insect community diversity in transgenic Bt cotton (CCRI 79 cotton) fields planted in coastal alkaline soils of Dongying City, Shandong Province and mildly saline and semi dry soils of Zaoqiang County, Hebei Province were investigated in 2013 and 2014. Results showed that, in the two case of spray and no-spray, the total number of individuals of insect communities and pest sub-communities in transgenic Bt cotton fields were lower than those in non-transgenic cotton, and these insect communities and pest sub-communities differed significantly. The insect diversity index and evenness index (of the insect community and pest sub-community) were higher in transgenic Bt cotton fields than those in non-transgenic cotton, but the dominant concentration index was lower than that of non-transgenic cotton. Under spraying, the total number of individuals within the insect community, pest sub-community and enemy sub-community were lower than those not sprayed fields for both transgenic Bt cotton and non-transgenic cotton. The diversity index and evenness index were lower in sprayed fields than those in no-spraying fields, but the dominant index was higher in the no-spraying cotton fields; however there were no significant difference between the sprayed and no-spraying cotton fields for both transgenic and no-transgenic cottons. Nevertherless there was lower biodiversity and simpler ecosystem than non-saline-dry soils.

    Molecular identification of invasive golden apple snails in Zhejiang Province based on DNA barcoding
    Qianqian Yang, Suwen Liu, Weidong Ru, Guangfu Liu, Xiaoping Yu
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  341-350.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015260
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    Golden apple snails seriously damage crops and aquatic ecosystem in China. Two invasive apple snail species, Pomacea canaliculata and P. maculata, have been reported in China since 2010. Only the distribution of P. canaliculata was reported in Zhejiang Province. It is difficult to distinguish the two species due to their close morphological characteristics and high diversity of shell morphology, which are influenced by both environmental factors and food types. We collected samples from seven localities from Zhejiang Province and sequenced 101 individuals of mitochondrial COI fragments of the DNA barcode region. We also downloaded 55 sequences of five species of the P. canaliculata group, which included all public sequences of P. lineata, P. dolioides, and P. paludosa, and South American sample sequences of P. canaliculata and P. maculata. Analyses including similarity alignments, DNA barcoding gaps, and phylogenetic relationships, revealed that COI sequences were effective to distinguish apple snail species. We detected P. canaliculata and P. maculata distributed in the Jianggan region of Hangzhou, while only P. canaliculata was distributed in the Putuo region of Zhoushan, the Shanyu and Xinchang regions of Shaoxing, the Ouhai region of Wenzhou and the Xihu regoin of Hangzhou. P. canaliculata revealed a much wider distribution range. P. canaliculata and P. maculata were collapsed into 4 haplotypes and 2 haplotypes, respectively. There were 1 to 3 haplotypes in each locality, which indicated a low genetic diversity. The phylogenetic analyses deduced that P. canaliculata and P. maculata were probably introduced from Argentina and Brazil, respectively.

    Monitoring mammals and birds with camera traps at different altitudes of Medog, Tibet
    Jianpu Wu, Hong Luo, Xuelin Zhu, Bingzhang Li, Wulin Liu, Ping Ci
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  351-354.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015106
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    Where are the suitable introduction sites of greater one-horned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis in China?
    Zhigang Jiang, Shaopeng Cui, Chunwang Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  355-357.  doi:10.17520/biods.2015050
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    Orophea yunnanensis should be listed as a plant species with extremely small population
    Zhe Ren, Li Chen, Hua Peng
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  358-359.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016064
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    Opinion of raising rationality in species delimitation
    Deyuan Hong
    Biodiv Sci. 2016, 24 (3):  360-361.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016075
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