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Table of Content
    Volume 25 Issue 4
    20 April 2017

    The techniques of active seabird restorations aim to restore seabird populations and expand their habitats through the artificial methods, which have been successfully adopted worldwide. Zhou et al (for details see pages 364–371 of this issue) review the techniques of seabird active restoration and their applications. The picture shows a mixed breeding colony of the Chinese crested tern (Thalasseus bernsteini), the greater crested terns (T. bergii) and the lesser crested tern (T. bengalensi) at a restoration island off Zhejiang coast. The Chinese crested tern is listed as a Critically Endangered (CR) species by IUCN. (Photographed by Chonghang Hong)

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    All Papers in This Issue
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  0-0. 
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    Keping Ma*
    State Key Laboratory of Vegetation, Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  343-344.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017137
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    Advances in species coexistence theory
    Chengjin Chu, Youshi Wang, Yu Liu, Lin Jiang, Fangliang He
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  345-354.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017034
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    How species coexist locally is a fundamental question in community ecology. Classical coexistence theory underscores the importance of niche differentiation between species and focuses on specific coexistence mechanisms. Studies on these specific coexistence mechanisms have profoundly contributed to understanding species coexistence at the local scale and inspired ecologists to create a more general contemporary coexistence theory. Under the contemporary coexistence theory, species differences are categorized into two groups: niche differences and average fitness differences. Niche differences serve as stabilizing mechanisms that promote species coexistence, whereas average fitness differences are related to equalizing mechanisms that drive competitive exclusion. In this paper we provide a detailed review of contemporary coexistence theory, including its definition and theoretical models, empirical tests of these models and their applications to biodiversity studies. Coexistence theory has applications in a number of other areas including biodiversity conservation and management in a changing world beyond the basic concept of how communities are structured. We show how contemporary coexistence theory has advanced the niche-based classic coexistence theory, helping us to better understand the underlying mechanisms of community assembly and biodiversity maintenance.

    Biodiversity science and macroecology in the era of big data
    Jian Zhang
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  355-363.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017037
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    High-quality biodiversity data are the scientific basis for understanding the origin and maintenance of biodiversity and dealing with its extinction risk. Currently, we identify at least seven knowledge shortfalls or gaps in biodiversity science, including the lack of knowledge on species descriptions, species geographic distributions, species abundance and population dynamics, evolutional history, functional traits, interactions between species and the abiotic environment, and biotic interactions. The arrival of the current era of big data offers a potential solution to address these shortfalls. Big data mining and its applications have recently become the frontier of biodiversity science and macroecology. It is a challenge for ecologists to utilize and effectively analyze the ever-growing quantity of biodiversity data. In this paper, I review several biodiversity-related studies over global, continental, and regional scales, and demonstrate how big data approaches are used to address biodiversity questions. These examples include forest cover changes, conservation ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and the effect of climate change on biodiversity. Furthermore, I summarize the current challenges facing biodiversity data collection, data processing and data analysis, and discuss potential applications of big data approaches in the fields of biodiversity science and macroecology.

    A review of the use of active seabird restoration techniques
    Xiao Zhou, Dongdong Chen, Stephen W. Kress, Shuihua Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  364-371.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016378
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    Most seabird species are threatened or endangered. To restore their populations and breeding habitats, ornithologists have developed two major active seabird restoration techniques: social attraction and chick translocation. With social attraction, decoys and acoustic vocalization playback are used to lure breeding seabirds to the restoration site. In chick translocation, the chicks of focal species are translocated and reared at the restoration site with the goal that they will return and breed at the release site. We conducted a worldwide search and found 171 projects conducted in 16 countries/regions to restore 64 seabird species. These techniques are used either independently or in combination, depending on the breeding biology of the target species. For both methods, managers are encouraged to understand the species’ breeding ecology and preferred nesting habitat. Habitat management, predator control and close monitoring are key steps to assure the success of the restoration. The breeding seabirds of China’s coast face many threats and their populations and habitats have decreased rapidly in recent decades. Active seabird restoration techniques can help to expand ranges and provide resilience to threats by starting new nesting colonies along the coast of China.

    Original Papers: Plant Diversity
    Multi-scale assessments of forest fragmentation in China
    Yao Li, Xiangming Xiao, Xiangping Li, Jun Ma, Bangqian Chen, Yuanwei Qin, Jinwei Dong, Bin Zhao
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  372-381.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016257
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    We used the forest fragmentation model to assess forest fragmentation in China based on a 50-m forest cover map in 2010. Six different fragmentation types including interior forest, perforated forest, edge forest, patch forest, transitional forest and undetermined were obtained. We reported the forest fragmentation status in different administration scales (by country, province, and county) based on Chinese administration boundary map of 2010, At the national scale, the patch forest accounted for the largest proportion (49.05%), while the interior forest was the smallest (3.40%). At the regional scale, Northeast China had the lowest forest fragmentation, while Southwest China had moderate forest fragmentation. The highest forest fragmentation areas were mainly distributed in the North China Plain, Central China, Shandong Peninsula and the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain. At the provincial scale, the highest forest fragmentation was located in Shanghai and Tianjin, and the lowest forest fragmentation was located in Yunnan Province and Heilongjiang Province. At the county scale, the lowest forest fragmentation was located in counties in Shaanxi Province. Overall, our results have clearly shown that forest fragmentation occurs extensively and varies substantially over China in 2010. Our study will provide data support for the forestry administrative sector to conduct better forest management and to optimize forestry production and forest spatial patterns, which can improve forest ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation.

    Gap distribution patterns in the south subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of Dinghushan
    Dandan Sui, Yue Wang, Juyu Lian, Jian Zhang, Jianbo Hu, Xuejun Ouyang, Zongji Fan, Honglin Cao, Wanhui Ye
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  382-392.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017027
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    Studying the dynamic characteristics, species coexistence and biodiversity conservation mechanisms of subtropical forest ecosystems is important in the study of the quantitative characteristics and spatial gap distribution patterns. Based on census data from the 20 ha dynamics plot of the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Dinghushan in 2015, we analyzed the geometric characteristics and spatial distribution pattern of gaps in the plot by combining aerial image processing technology of unmanned aerial vehicles and GIS. Results show that the gap fraction is 13.72%, the gap density is 35.75 no./ha, and the average gap area is 38.37 m2. Results also show that: (1) The number of gaps in the area is negatively exponentially distributed with the increase of gap area, that is, the gap is small and the marginal effect is not significant. (2) The average area of ??forest gaps in over-mature forest stands is larger than that in mature forests, while the mature forest is more likely to have more small gaps and fewer large gaps. (3) In different habitats, the distribution of gaps in each habitat shows the same pattern as that found in the whole plot. However, the difference in the valley is significant when compared with other habitats, and gap area and gap density in the valley are larger than other habitats. The ridge gap is also distinctive, and its gap density is lower than other habitats. (4) Gap area is significantly correlated with topographic factors. It was significantly negatively correlated with altitude and convexity, and had a significantly positive correlation with aspect and gradient. Based on these comparative analyses, a monitoring system of forest canopy changes and patterns can be established using drones, to dynamically monitor forest gaps and the undergrowth community.

    Characteristics and effects of sprouting on species diversity in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in Gutianshan, East China
    Duo Ye, Ruirui Dong, Xiangcheng Mi, Wei Lu, Zhenjie Zheng, Mingjian Yu, Jian Ni, Jianhua Chen
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  393-400.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016296
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    Sprouting, a life history strategy found in woody plant communities, enables woody plants to persist in situ through disturbance events. The ‘persistence niche’ of sprouting has important influences on species coexistence, community assembly, and ecosystem stability. However, the mechanism of the ‘persistence niche’ in maintaining species diversity is not well understood. Based on data collected in a 5 ha plot in a mid-subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest in the Gutianshan National Natural Reserve of Zhejiang Province, China, we analyzed the characteristics of sprouting and their relationships with species diversity. Our results revealed that the sprouting species had a great proportion of 63.95% in richness and a high proportion of 38.53% in abundance, especially a higher abundance proportion of 59.51% of potential sprouting at the community level. Sprouting occurred in most taxa, and there was high ability of sprouting in Fagaceae, Ericaceae, Hamamelidaceae, and Theaceae. There were significant negative correlations between abundance proportion of sprouting species and the biodiversity index of the community, despite no relationships between richness proportion of sprouting species and biodiversity index. Therefore, the sprouters could retain their position in forests and reduce biodiversity of the forest community. This trade-off of sprouting may result in the maintenance of community stability.

    Original Papers: Animal Diversity
    Habitat selection by roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) over winter in the Tieli Forestry Bureau of the Lesser Xing’an Mountains
    Long Chen, Yuehui Li, Yuanman Hu, Zaiping Xiong, Wen Wu, Yue Li, Qingchun Wen
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  401-408.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016246
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    Habitat selection by roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) was explored by using line-transect sampling in the Tieli Forestry Bureau of the Lesser Xing’an Mountains. A total of 22 line-transects, each of which was about 1.5 km long, were installed. Fifteen habitat factors were measured in 105 plots used by roe deer and 68 control plots, respectively, in November 2014, January and December 2015. Based on Bailey’s method analyzing the selectivity of roe deer using habitat factors, the result showed that in terms of topographic factors, roe deer preferred the habitats with altitude ≤ 300 m or ≥ 450 m, gradient > 4°or upper slope position; in terms of vegetation factors, roe deer preferred the farmland or coniferous forest, tree age ≤ 25 yr, canopy closure ≥ 0.6, number of trees ≤ 15, average tree height < 15 m, average DBH ≤ 10 cm, shrub coverage ≤ 0.3 or herbage coverage > 0.2; in terms of food factors, roe deer preferred much food abundance; and in terms of safety factors, roe deer preferred visibility > 50 m or snow depth ≤ 10 cm. The resource selection function revealed that the dominant factors influencing habitat selection by roe deer were aspect of slope, gradient, vegetation type, canopy closure, number of trees, average tree height and visibility. The roe deer in the Tieli Forestry Bureau preferred agriculture land and open habitat where they can quickly perceive danger and escape from other animals or humans. Those factors involving topography, vegetation, security predominantly determined their habitat selection. This research suggested protecting the roe deer population by constructing an optimal forest landscape pattern mixed with agriculture lands of a certain area percentage and spatial arrangement.

    Diversity investigation and application of DNA barcoding of Acridoidea from Baiyangdian Wetland
    Jinfeng Hao, Xiaohong Zhang, Yusong Wang, Jinlin Liu, Yongchao Zhi, Xinjiang Li
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  409-417.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016331
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    Both the species diversity and distribution pattern of the superfamily Acridoidea of the suborder Caelifera have important contributions to understanding the local biodiversity of the Baiyangdian Wetland. This research tries to study the species diversity and distribution pattern of the superfamily Acridoidea within the Baiyangdian Wetland and test the feasibility of DNA barcoding in species identification for this superfamily. Sequences of the cox1 gene were obtained from 97 individuals of 21 species of the superfamily Acridoidea. Phylogenetic, genetic distance and sequence difference threshold analyses using the Neighbor Joining (NJ), Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD) and Molecular Defined Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTU) methods, respectively, were performed for these and the 25 additional sequences of 10 species downloaded from GenBank. The results indicate that there are 34 species, 23 genera, and 6 families of the superfamily Acridoidea insects around the farmland, dam, and grassland of the Baiyangdian Wetland, including a new-record genus, Euchorthippus, and three new-record species, Euchorthippus unicolor, Atractomorpha psittacina and Oxya japonica. The DNA barcoding technology therefore is very efficient and helpful for identifying the species of the superfamily Acridoidea, although the morphological approach is still playing a key role in the species identifications.

    Comments on the APG’s classification of angiosperms
    Wei Wang, Xiaoxia Zhang, Zhiduan Chen, Anming Lu
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  418-426.  doi:10.17520/biods.2017015
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    With the rise of plant molecular systematics, tremendous progress has been made in understanding phylogenetic relationships within angiosperms. With the basic phylogenetic framework of angiosperms established, a DNA phylogeny-based angiosperm classification system at the order and familial levels was proposed by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (APG) in 1998 and has been updated three times. In this paper, we summarize the major achievements of the APG system as follows: (1) testing the repeatability and predictability of the APG system for angiosperms; (2) resolving the systematic positions of some segregate taxa which were not placed based on morphological characters; (3) proving that it is not reasonable to first divide angiosperms based on cotyledon character; (4) demonstrating the importance of tricolpate/tricolporate pollen and derivatives for angiosperm classification; (5) finding that the centrifugal development of stamens in polyandrous groups have evolved independently many times and should not be used to delimit class or subclass of angiosperms; (6) supporting that most of the families delimited by broad morphological characters are natural; and (7) separating some families which are traditionally regarded as natural. We then point out potential problems that need to be resolved in the future, including: (1) how to harmonize the APG system and the morphology-based systems; (2) establishing new morphological evolution theories on the basis of the APG system; (3) determining whether it is enough to only use “monophyly” as a criterion to circumscribe orders and families; (4) determining morphological synapormorphies of those orders in the APG system; and (5) how to best compile a key to distinguish the orders and families of the APG system and to list their diagnostic characters for orders and families. In addition, we propose suggestions for the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic status of some taxa mainly distributed in Asia, specifically East Asia, including Illiciaceae, Acanthochlamydaceae, Tetracentraceae, Leeaceae, Rhoipteiaceae, Hippocastenaceae, Aceraceae, Bretschneideraceae as familial status, and dividing Cornaceae sensu lato into Cornaceae sensu stricto and Nyssaceae sensu lato.

    Monitoring diversity of ground-dwelling birds and mammals in Wuyanling National Nature Reserve using infrared camera traps
    Shusheng Zhang, Fangdong Zheng, Jiaqi Li, Qimin Bao, Jiahou Lai, Hongyi Cheng
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  427-429.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016358
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    Species diversity and distribution of Lecanidae on Hainan Island, China
    Fengming Huang, Qiuting Wu, Boping Han, Qiuqi Lin
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  430-436.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016359
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    We sampled 134 localities on Hainan Island and investigated rotifer fauna from 2010 to 2011, which to analyze the species composition and geographical distribution. The water types include reservoir, river, pond, brook, rice field and temporary pond. Forty-two species and one subspecies of the genera Lecane were identified. Lecane margalefi, L. donneri, L. elegans, L. kunthuleensis, L. lateralis, L. pusilla, L. rhytida, L. subtilis and L. undulata were identified as new to China, and L. cornuta, L. rugosa, L. subtilis and L. margalefi were new to the Oriental Zone. Lecane bulla, L. hamata, L. leontina, L. luna, L. lunaris, L. papuana, L. pyriformis and L. quadridentata were the most common species in this genus. The diversity of Lecane was high on Hainan Island, which was composed of cosmopolitan taxa, tropicopolitan taxa, pantropical taxa, disjunctive distributed taxa and one endemic Lecane in the Oriental Zone: L. kunthuleensis. Diversity of Lecane was much higher on Hainan Island than in southern China, but lower than Thailand. The composition of Lecane was more similar to Thailand than to southern China.

    How to balance development between nature reserves and community: a case study in Shiwandashan National Nature Reserve, Guangxi
    Run Sun, Shuangling Wang, Linqiao Wu, Hui An, Shiying Qin, Youjun Liu, Weifu Tan
    Biodiv Sci. 2017, 25 (4):  437-448.  doi:10.17520/biods.2016295
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    In order to balance development, nature reserves, and community, it is necessary to understand community characteristics and willingness. Between September and November of 2014, we surveyed infrastructure, demographic factors, economic activity, development willingness, and the demands of all 151 concerned resident sites of the Shiwandashan National Nature Reserve in Guangxi. Methods included semi-structured interviews, key people interviews complemented with a literature review, seasonal calendars, market surveys, participatory forest surveys, and community demand interviews. In 2015, we carried out focused complementary investigations on the communities located in the nature reserve. Results on the characteristics of the communities of the Shiwandashan reserve included minority culture, forest-based land utilization, high dependence on natural resources, less infrastructure development, low market accessibility, and minimal financial resources for development. There were diverse perspectives on community development, but almost all focused on subsistence needs. The demands of the communities for the nature reserve mainly included infrastructure development and forest resources use. Holistically, topics including considering the community status, threats faced by the nature reserve, development strategy of the nature reserve, species and vegetation distributions, prioritized working areas, focused communities, and urgent activities were discussed and then, suggestions were given based on the research. Specific measures included developing forest restoration and ecological compensation in priority areas, to meet the demands of the communities located in the nature reserve and realize ecological immigration if possible and establishing some projects on infrastructure construction, community culture development, and building the local brand. Meanwhile, it is necessary to establish co-management institutions, provide training to community residents and nature reserve staff and to strengthen publicity and education. This study provides some suggestions on methods and contents of community work during its primary phase and future directions were also discussed including at the micro-level (establishing an indicator system to estimate village or family status) and at the macro-level (achieving good effects of community development by legal and standard construction and allied stakeholders) which is also significant for other aspects of nature reserve management.

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