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    Plant functional traits, functional diversity, and ecosystem functioning: current knowledge and perspectives
    Lingjie Lei, Deliang Kong, Xiaoming Li, Zhenxing Zhou, Guoyong Li
    Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (8): 922-931.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015295
    Abstract5610)   HTML196)    PDF (400KB)(6175)       Save

    Increasing attention has recently been focused on the linkages between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning. A comprehensive understanding of these linkages can facilitate to address the ecological consequences of plant species loss induced by human activities and climate change, and provide theoretical support for ecological restoration and ecosystem management. In recent twenty years, the evidence of strong correlations between plant functional traits and changes in ecosystem processes is growing. More importantly, ecosystem functioning can be predicted more precisely, using plant functional trait diversity (i.e., functional diversity) than species diversity. In this paper, we first defined plant functional traits and their important roles in determining ecosystem processes. Then, we review recent advances in the relationships between ecosystem functions and plant functional traits and their diversity. Finally, we propose several important future research directions, including (1) exploration of the relationships between aboveground and belowground plant traits and their roles in determining ecosystem functioning, (2) incorporation of the impacts of consumer and global environmental change into the correlation between plant functional traits and ecosystem functioning, (3) effects of functional diversity on ecosystem multifunctionality, and (4) examination of the functional diversity-ecosystem functioning relationship at different temporal and spatial scales.

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    Cited: CSCD(38)
    Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: recent advances and trends
    ZHANG Quan-Guo, ZHANG Da-Yong
    Biodiv Sci    2003, 11 (5): 351-363.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2003043
    Abstract5019)      PDF (449KB)(6100)       Save
    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has aroused considerable interest and controversy in recent ecological literature. From an explosion of recent experimental and theoretical research addressing this question, several key advances have emerged. (1) Long-term and large scale perspectives on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning have been highlighted. A hypothetical transition from sampling to complementarity has been proposed based on the results of the largest and longest running experiments, the Cedar Creek Diversity Experiments. Their hypothesis suggests that the positive effect of diversity on ecosystem processes in experimental studies initially arises as a result of sampling. But a transition from sampling to complementarity occurs after a time lag. It can be predicted that niche complementarity is the long-term mechanism underlying the diversity-ecosystem functioning relationship, causing an over-yielding effect. (2) Some experimental studies were conducted to explore the interaction between abiotic factors and the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship. The results indicate that resource availability and environmental disturbance may dominate and alter the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem productivity. It is suggested that the positive effects of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning in natural systems are likely masked by variation in environmental factors among habitats. (3) Several papers highlight the role of trophic interactions in the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The general mechanisms explaining plant diversity effects on primary productivity, i.e. sampling and complementarity effects, have been extended to include consumer prey interactions. This leads to the prediction that a more diverse consumer assemblage should have stronger impacts on aggregate prey abundance than a depauperate one. (4) Theoretical studies highlight mechanisms of species coexistence as the key to understanding the relationship between diversity and ecosystem functioning. The varied diversity-productivity relationships from models with different species coexistence mechanisms imply that no general diversity productivity pattern exists, and that the nature of the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship depends on species coexistence mechanisms.
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    Cited: CSCD(82)
    Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning: recent advances and controversies
    ZHANG Quan-Guo, ZHANG Da-Yong
    Biodiv Sci    2002, 10 (1): 49-60.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2002008
    Abstract4978)      PDF (410KB)(6270)       Save
    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has emerged as a major scientific issue today. Concerns over the unprecedented loss of biodiversity have motivated ecologists to conduct considerable research, describing the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function, and detecting the mechanisms by which diversity impacts ecosystem functioning. Statistical and biological hypotheses have been proposed to explain the observed relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The former, including hypotheses related to sampling and statistical averaging effects, are inclined to view empirical results from a purely statistical perspective, while the latter are built on biological effects of biodiversity, including niche complementarity, positive interactions between species, and insurance effects. This paper presents a review of several representative experimental studies, including. Ecotron, Cedar Creek, microbial microcosm and BIODEPTH, and the associated debates about the interpretation of experimental observations.
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    The diversity and functions of soil nematodes
    Yuanhu Shao, Shenglei Fu
    Biodiv Sci    2007, 15 (2): 116-123.   DOI: 10.1360/biodiv.060289
    Abstract4968)      PDF (232KB)(5405)       Save
    This paper introduces the species diversity and the functions of soil nematodes. Nematodes are ubiquitous with diverse feeding behaviors and life strategies. The diversity of feeding behaviors and some intrinsic properties result in the complex biotic interaction between soil nematodes and other soil biota, which greatly affects the ecosystem functions. However, the research on the species diversity of soil nematodes and their ecosystem functions is still inadequate. To understand the role of soil nematodes in the ecosystem requires: (1) the combination of laboratory microcosm study and field mesocosm experiments; and (2) the combination of biodiversity survey and functional analysis of different groups.
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    Cited: CSCD(49)
    Effects of species diversity on ecosystem functioning: mechanisms and hypotheses
    HUANG Jian-Hui, BAI Yong-Fei, HAN Xing-Guo
    Biodiv Sci    2001, 09 (1): 1-7.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2001001
    Abstract4648)      PDF (290KB)(3890)       Save
    This paper introduces the effects of species diversity on ecosystem functioning: the mechanisms and hypotheses, including the redundant species hypothesis, rivet hypothesis, idiosyncratic hypothesis, null hypothesis, compensatory/keystone species hypothesis, non-linear hypothesis, and monotonic/unimodal hypothesis. To date, no single hypothesis is accepted as truly reflecting the real relations, if they do exist, between species diversity and ecosystem function. According to our analysis, there is an intrinsic relationship among these hypotheses. They either include or complement each other and may all be considered as related to the redundant species hypothesis.
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    Present situation and prospect of soil nematode diversity in farmland ecosystems
    Qi Li, Wenju Liang, Yong Jiang
    Biodiv Sci    2007, 15 (2): 134-141.   DOI: 10.1360/biodiv.060287
    Abstract4549)      PDF (298KB)(4306)       Save
    Soil biodiversity has been one of the foci in the soil ecological research field. Soil biota can change the physical, chemical and biological characters of soil in different ways. In farmland ecosystems, soil organisms are main regulators in the decomposition, nutrient mineralization and other ecological processes of soil. Soil nematodes are the most abundant metazoan, which have various types of life-history and feeding habits, and play a key role in soil food web. This paper introduces the main factors influencing soil nematode diversity in farmland ecosystems, reviews the present situation in the nematode diversity research field and presents the research prospect of nematode diversity in the future. We propose to integrate the life strategy approach and trophic group classification to obtain a better understanding of nematode diversity and their functions, so as to use nematodes as effective bioindicators in farmland ecosystems.
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    Cited: CSCD(63)
    Biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality: advances and perspectives
    Wei Xu, Zhiyuan Ma, Xin Jing, Jin-Sheng He
    Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (1): 55.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015091
    Abstract4485)   HTML130)    PDF (560KB)(5200)       Save

    As global biodiversity losses accelerate, there is increasing evidence shows that there may be negative impacts on ecosystem functioning, such as declines in plant primary productivity and imbalances in nutrient cycling. Thus, it is critical to understand the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF). However, ecosystems can provide multiple functions simultaneously (ecosystem multifunctionality, EMF). Since 2007, the quantification of relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality (BEMF) has generated additional questions and controversies, such as the lack of consensus in appropriate multifunctionality indices and uncertain trade-offs among ecosystem functions. In this review, we briefly summarize the history of BEMF studies and the methods of EMF quantification, then outline the mechanisms of EMF maintenance and current research progress. We emphasize the importance of optimizing EMF quantifications and investigating the relationship between different dimensions of biodiversity and EMF. We also provide suggestions and directions for future research on BEMF.

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    A review and perspective on soil biodiversity research
    Shenglei Fu
    Biodiv Sci    2007, 15 (2): 109-115.   DOI: 10.1360/biodiv.060293
    Abstract4440)      PDF (197KB)(7187)       Save
    In this paper, the soil biodiversity and its functioning in ecosystem were briefly summarized, and the history and development of the discipline of soil biology were also reviewed. Meanwhile, I pointed out some issues on soil biology to be addressed for a few years to come. Due to the importance of soil biodiversity to the maintenance of ecosystem functions but inadequate study on soil biota in China, a series of articles on soil biota were collectively published in this issue of Biodiversity Science. The objectives of this issue were to enable the Chinese scientists to better understand the functions of soil biodiversity and to stimulate the interest of young scholars in the discipline of soil biology. The ultimate goal was to push forward the research and development of soil biology in China and to apply the knowledge and techniques of soil biology in the development of national economy.
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    Cited: CSCD(67)
    Relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in alpine meadows of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
    Zhonghua Zhang, Huakun Zhou, Xinquan Zhao, Buqing Yao, Zhen Ma, Quanmin Dong, Zhenhua Zhang, Wenying Wang, Yuanwu Yang
    Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (2): 111-129.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017021
    Abstract4255)   HTML145)    PDF (1179KB)(4122)       Save

    The study of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is a hot topic in the field of terrestrial ecosystem ecology, and is of great significance for the efficient use and management of ecosystems. Furthermore, it plays an important role in the restoration of degraded ecosystems and biodiversity conservation. Alpine grassland is the main ecosystem type found in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. In recent years, progress has been made on species diversity and ecosystem functioning and their mutual relationship in alpine grasslands. This paper analyzes existing problems in the research of grassland biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in terms of the study of underlying ecological processes and the impacts on ecosystem multi-functionality under global change. The effects of different grassland types, grassland degradation, grazing disturbance, simulated climate change, mowing, fertilization, enclosure, and replanting on the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in alpine grasslands are also thoroughly reviewed in this paper. Moreover, deficiencies and future research directions of alpine grassland BEF are identified: carrying on the BEF research of alpine grasslands based on the functional diversity of species, comprehensively considering the effects of abiotic factors such as resource supply levels, disturbance intensity and scale, and environmental fluctuation on the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem function, and paying attention to the effect of scale and element coupling on BEF research of alpine grasslands under global climate change. Finally, based on research progress and conclusions of BEF in alpine grasslands, we put forward suggestions to improve the utilization rate of alpine grassland resources and biodiversity conservation, including strengthening grazing management, protecting biodiversity, improving governance of degraded grasslands, maintaining biodiversity function, strengthening innovation and protection concepts and enhancing ecosystem functioning that has been seriously weakened by climate change and human disturbance.

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    Relationship between animals and plant regeneration by seed Ⅰ. Object, methods and significance
    LI Hong-Jun, ZHANG Zhi-Bin
    Biodiv Sci    2000, 08 (4): 405-412.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2000057
    Abstract4135)      PDF (278KB)(3448)       Save
    Most plants regenerate by seed bank. Animal activities affect seed fate from their departure from the parent plants to the establishment of seedlings. Animals play dual roles in plant regeneration , including consuming seeds and dispersing seeds to suitable sites for seedling recruitment . These two roles are trade-off . Studying the relationship between plant regeneration and animals will help to understand population dynamics , coevolution between animals and plants , community succession , the role of animals in ecosystem function and biodiversity. In recent studies , oaks and pines have been extensively studied species. It is well known that rodents and birds are the chief predators and dispersers for large seeds.
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    Cited: CSCD(18)
    Criteria and methods for assessing the threat status of ecosystem
    Guoke Chen, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci    2012, 20 (1): 66-75.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.10171
    Abstract3651)   HTML9)    PDF (376KB)(2949)       Save

    Assessing the threat status of ecosystems is a useful tool for understanding biodiversity loss on Earth. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established a working group at the fourth World Conservation Congress to develop quantitative categories and criteria for assessing ecosystem threat status. These categories and criteria were similar to those used to assess extinction risk for species. This working group strove to establish red lists of ecosystems by applying these criteria to ecosystems at local, regional, and global scales. Ecosystem red lists were designed to be complementary to species red lists for use in creating biodiversity conservation policies. The criteria used for assessment were grouped into four classes: short-term decline in distribution or ecological function, historical declines in distribution or ecological function, small current distribution with decline in distribution or ecological function, or very restricted current distribution. In this paper, we illustrate the use of these criteria for assessing ecosystem threat status; we used literature data on the areas of occupancy for four ecosystems in China’s Liaohe Delta in 1988 and 2006 to evaluate the threat status of these four ecosystems. We also discuss challenges that lie ahead for this method of assessment. Measures of ecosystem distribution and area of occupancy should be based on proper spatial scales. Appropriate quantitative methods are also needed to measure changes in ecosystem function. The final proposed assessment protocol will be presented for further discussion at the 2012 World Conservation Congress.

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    Responses of litter decomposition to biodiversity manipulation in the Inner Mongolia grassland of China
    Xiaofang Sun, Jianhui Huang, Meng Wang, Xingguo Han
    Biodiv Sci    2009, 17 (4): 397-405.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.09082
    Abstract3567)   HTML11)    PDF (547KB)(3233)       Save

    Litter decomposition as one of the important ecosystem functions has strong interactions with ecosystem biodiversity. This is because recycling of nutrients during litter decomposition has major control over the carbon cycle and nutrient availability. Therefore, decomposition is crucial to qualify diversity effects on ecosystem processes. Here, we conducted a litterbag experiment in temperate grassland of Inner Mongolia, China, to examine the effects of altering plant functional group diversity on litter decomposition. We performed three related decomposition experiments within the Inner Mongolia Grassland Removal Experiment (IMGRE), which was established with a manipulated gradient of functional group diversity. (1) The first experiment is a microenvironment experiment, in which litters of Kochia prostrata and Potentilla bifurca were used to examine the decomposition rates of different functional group assemblages. (2) The second experiment is litter quality experiment, which included four species,Leymus chinensis, Stipa grandis, Allium tenuissimum,and Chenopodium aristatum. Different litter combinations of the four species were placed in a homogeneous environment to test the effects of litter composition on the decomposition. (3) The third experiment was a combination of the above two experiments. The single or a combination of plant litter from species rich plots was placed back to its original plots. Our results showed that decomposition rates of both Kochia prostrataand Potentilla bifurca litter increased with the number of functional groups in the decomposing environment in the first experiment. Non-additive patterns of mass loss were observed in the second experiment. A significant negative correlation between carbon content of the litter mixtures and litter mass loss rate, and positive correlations between nitrogen, phosphorus concentrations and litter mass loss rates were observed. When decomposition microenvironment and litter composition were assessed simutanously, no significant correlations were observed between decomposition rates and the number of functional groups or species diversity. However, a positive correlation was found between nitrogen loss and functional groups. Thus, we concluded that litter diversity itself had smaller effects than species identity, and decomposition was less sensitive to changes in plant diversity compared with other ecosystem processes which depend more on vitality of plants. Furthermore, our results have the implication that higher plant species richness allows vegetation to exploit soil resources more efficiently.

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    Cited: CSCD(15)
    Productivity, reliability and species diversity in aquatic microcosms
    ZHANG Quan-Guo, ZHANG Da-Yong
    Biodiv Sci    2002, 10 (2): 135-142.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2002016
    Abstract3563)      PDF (326KB)(3254)       Save
    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has emerged as a major issue in ecology. Several experiments have provided evidence for the notion that decreasing species diversity may impair ecosystem processes. The interpretation of these experiments, however, has been controversial because two types of mechanisms, “niche complementarity” and “sampling effect”, may operate. By means of microcosm experiments, we investigated the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem functioning. Aquatic microcosms in laboratory conditions are designed to contain different numbers of unicellular algal species, with no overlap in species composition between microcosms with the same number of species. Algal dry mass, an index of community productivity, was measured once a week after four weeks from the start of the experiment. The experiment lasted for a period of eight weeks, and in total, five measurements were obtained. Algal species richness had progressively stronger effects on community productivity. A number of higher-diversity mixtures outperformed the most productive monoculture as the experiment proceeded. Certain species dominated some mixtures in initial stages, but this effect disappeared in later stages. There was no significant correlation between reliability of community productivity and species richness. The experimental results reported here support the recent suggestion that both niche complementarity and sampling effect may be involved in the diversity effect, and show that the relative importance of the two mechanisms may undergo substantial changes through the course of community maturation.
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    Cited: CSCD(17)
    A strategy for ecosystem conservation based on function and spatial pattern
    GUO Zhong-Wei, GAN Ya-Ling
    Biodiv Sci    2002, 10 (4): 399-408.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2002055
    Abstract3538)      PDF (738KB)(2639)       Save
    Using Xingshan County of Hubei Province as a case study, we discussed a strategy for ecosystem conservation based on functions and spatial pattern. The strategy uses the improvement of ecosystem functions as appreciation indices, and the regulation of the spatial pattern of ecological factors as an approach. Here, the ecosystem function for water retention was considered as an appreciation index, due to this county's locatation in the watershed of the Yangtze River. The county was divided into 90 types of vegetation soil slope complexes. A GIS embodied spatial database was used to explore the relationships between the capacity of water retention by a complex and the types of vegetation, soil and slope. We estimated statistically the capacity of water retention of every complex, and evaluated integrally the situation of water retention in the county. The variation location effect describes the phenomenon that the identical variation of a factor may produce different effects on the overall situation, when this variation occurs in different spatial locations. This effect highlights the effect of the spatial patterns of biological and physical factors as well as their combinations to produce ecosystem functions. According to this effect, we can discuss spatially the quantitative variations of ecological factors and the effects of these variations on the overall ecosystem. By this means “quantity” and “space” are integrated. In this study, according to this effect, we changed the situation of water retention in the watershed by regulating the combination of vegetation, soil and slope. The strategy of “spatial pattern based forestland extension” is based solely upon the variation location effect. This study shows that greater benefit of water retention in the watershed can be obtained from the extension of forestland by using this strategy. Likewise, applying this strategy in the establishment of a protective forest system in the Yangtze River basin, the situation of water retention in this basin can also be greatly improved, and people can derive more benefit from water and soil conservation. The variation location effect is of universal significance and useful for ecosystem restoration, conservation and management. The terrestrial ecosystems in many regions are undergoing great changes, and, as consequences, ecosystem functions will be weakened. The conservation and restoration of these ecosystems will be critical problems people must face. Our research work may be an essential step to the restoration of the ecosystem functionality in these regions.
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    Cited: CSCD(4)
    Effect of Solidago canadensis invasions on soil nematode communities in Hangzhou Bay
    Xu Xiangqin, Wang Yingying, Lu Qiang, Lin Zhihua, Chen Huili
    Biodiv Sci    2011, 19 (5): 519-527.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2011.09048
    Abstract3494)   HTML8)    PDF (1580KB)(2716)       Save

    Ecologists are increasingly focusing on the effects of biological invasions on soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. We compared soil nematodes under plant communities dominated by invasiveSolidago canadensis and native plant Phragmites australis at 6 sites (Zhenhai, Fengxian, Pinghu, Haiyan, Cixi and Hangzhou) in Hangzhou Bay to assess the effects of S. canadensis invasions on soil nematode communities. The total number of genera and diversity of soil nematode did not differ between S. canadensis and P. australis communities. Trophic diversity, most of the proportions of trophic groups and nematode community structure varied between the two plant communities. These results suggested that the invasion of S. canadensis changed soil community structure and functioning in Hangzhou Bay. Compared toP. australis communities, the proportion of fungivores tended to increase in soil underS. canadensis communities, suggesting that the invasion might modify soil nutrient cycling. The proportion of herbivores decreased in soil dominated by S. canadensis, suggesting that the exotic S. canadensisis less vulnerable to parasitic nematodes than the nativeP. australis. Interactions between plant community type and site were significant for nematode diversity and community structure, which indicated that site was an important factor in determining the impact of the invasive plant on soil fauna. Soil grain composition, soil carbon and soil nitrogen were identified as the most important factors in shaping nematode communities.

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    Cited: CSCD(1)
    Economic approaches to valuing biodiversity: some theoretical barriers and relevant counter measures
    XU Song-Ling
    Biodiv Sci    2001, 09 (3): 310-318.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2001047
    Abstract3028)      PDF (267KB)(3051)       Save
    This paper provides a short commentary on the methodological cont roversy surrounding valuation of world ecosystem services. A new conceptual framework is then proposed for understanding the value of biodiversity , and , based on this , a number of issues are discussed , involving measuring the value of biodiversity , which have not yet been resolved. These are the computability of value , the validity of valuation methods , the additivity and analyticity of value sectors , and error measurement of the value. Finally the paper presents methodological frameworks for two important issues of conservation economics , one of which is estimation of the cost of biodiversity disturbance , and the other is costbenefit analysis (CBA) and cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) for conservation engineering.
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    Cited: CSCD(13)
    Impact of invasive plants on food webs and pathways
    Sikai Wang,Qiang Sheng,Tianjiang Chu,Bo Li,Jiakuan Chen,Jihua Wu
    Biodiv Sci    2013, 21 (3): 249-259.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.11240
    Abstract2976)   HTML12)    PDF (308KB)(4051)       Save

    In natural ecosystems, energy mainly flows along food chains in food webs. Numerous studies have shown that plant invasions influence ecosystem functions through altering food webs. In recent decades, more attention has been paid to the effects of alien plants on local food webs. In this review, we analyze the influence of exotic plants on food webs and pathways, and explore the impacts of local food web characteristics on community invasibility. Invasive plants alter food webs mainly by changing basal resources and environment conditions in different ways. First, they are consumed by native herbivores due to their high availability, and are therefore incorporated into the native food web. Second, if they show low availability to native herbivores, a new food web is generated through introduction of new consumers or by changing the energy pathway. Third, environmental changes induced by plant invasions may alter population density and feeding behavior of various species at different trophic levels, thus alien plants will affect the communities and food web structures along non-trophic pathways. The influence of the local food web on plant invasions depends on web size and trophic connections. Issues that deserve attention in future studies are raised and discussed. Future research should extend from short-term experiments to long-term monitoring. More quantitative researches to define the responses of food web parameters are needed. In addition, recovering of food web structure and species interaction in restored habitats is an important issue requiring future research.

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    Biodiversity science and macroecology in the era of big data
    Jian Zhang
    Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (4): 355-363.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017037
    Abstract2933)   HTML97)    PDF (739KB)(4483)       Save

    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.

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    Cited: CSCD(13)
    A review on the measurement of ecosystem multifunctionality
    Wei Xu, Xin Jing, Zhiyuan Ma, Jin-Sheng He
    Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (1): 72-84.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015170
    Abstract2916)   HTML84)    PDF (384KB)(3158)       Save

    The relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem multifunctionality (BEMF) is a hot issue in current ecological studies. The measurement of ecosystem multifunctionality (EMF) is a crucial aspect of BEMF research; however, the metrics of EMF have been inconsistent among previous studies. We reviewed seven approaches of quantifying EMF (single function approach, turnover approach, averaging approach, single threshold approach, multiple thresholds approach, orthologous approach and multivariate model approach) and classified the related studies based on the metrics of EMF used. We illustrated the multiple-threshold approach with published data from our previous work to help researchers better understand the approach. The inconsistent use of EMF metrics made it difficult to compare different studies, which constrains further development of BEMF research. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop a general approach to measuring multifunctionality appropriately.

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    Cited: CSCD(20)
    Effects of topography, neighboring plants and size-dependence of Machillus thunbergii on sapling growth and survivorship
    Yuewei Tong,Wenhua Xiang,Zhengwen Wang,Walter Durka,Markus Fischer
    Biodiv Sci    2013, 21 (3): 269-277.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.09008
    Abstract2896)   HTML9)    PDF (423KB)(2720)       Save

    Growth and survivorship of Machillus thunbergii saplings in mountain forest are likely to be affected by topographical factors, biotic interactions with neighbouring plants, and individual size. However, such effects are always species- and site-specific, and may influence how plant species diversity contributes to ecosystem productivity. This study aimed to examine how individual growth and survivorship of Machilus thunbergii saplings are affected by: (1) topographical factors, such as aspect and inclination of slope, (2) species richness and type of neighboring plants, and (3) individual plant size. The experiment was conducted in the framework of BEF-China, a manipulated subtropical forest site in China. A total of 265 plots of 25.82 m × 25.82 m were planted with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 24 different tree species. Each plot contained 400 trees arranged in a rectangular pattern with 1.29 m distance between individuals. In 2010 we added 16 individuals of M. thunbergii to each plot. These 16 individuals were planted in two rows along the western edge of the plots, with each individual in the center of 4 adjacent trees. Height and basal diameter of 1,452 surviving Machilus saplings were measured in June 2011 and 2012. ANOVA and Duncan’s multiple comparison tests were used to analyze the effects of both topography and of neighbouring plants, and linear regression was used to test size-dependence of growth. We found that Machilus saplings on shady slopes grew faster and had higher survival rates than those on sunny slopes, while the height increment of Machilus on plots with a mild incline was greater than that on steep slopes. Richness of neighboring plant species had an insignificant effect on Machilus sapling growth and survival rate; while the type of neighbouring species had different effects on Machilus sapling growth, but no effect on survival rate. Deciduous broadleaved species had the greatest effect on growth, followed by a mixture of deciduous and evergreen broadleaved species, followed by evergreen broadleaved species and lastly by evergreen needle leaved species; Machilus sapling growth was positively size-dependent, i.e., larger saplings grew faster. We conclude that, modelling tree growth should simultaneously incorporate topographical factors, species-specific neighborhood interaction and size of individuals, thereby providing a more accurate prediction of forest productivity and development, as well as information that will aid the conservation of endangered species.

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    Distribution pattern and maintenance of ectomycorrhizal fungus diversity
    Cheng Gao,Liangdong Guo
    Biodiv Sci    2013, 21 (4): 488-498.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.11055
    Abstract2774)   HTML34)    PDF (301KB)(4273)       Save

    Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) are symbionts formed between soil fungi and plant root systems, in which the fungus exchanges soil-derived nutrients for carbohydrates obtained from the host plant. As an important component of terrestrial ecosystems, ECM fungi can play an essential role in biodiversity maintenance and plant community succession. Understanding the distribution pattern and maintenance of ECM fungal diversity is therefore critical to the study of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. An analysis of results of recent research indicates that ECM fungal diversity increases with increasing latitude, i.e. from tropical to subtropical and temperate regions. The role of dispersal in ECM fungal distribution is dependent on spatial scale. Thus, it has been found to be weak across global and local scales, but strong at regional and small scales. At the local scale, its influence has also been shown to be host-dominant dependent; thus, it is important in host non-dominant ecosystems, but not in host dominant ecosystems. Selection by plant, animal, microbe and abiotic factors can also affect the distribution pattern of ECM fungi, according to studies of temperate ecosystems. In contrast, studies of tropical ecosystems indicate that selection on ECM fungal distribution can be either strong or weak. ECM fungal diversity is also influenced by plant diversity and productivity. The plant diversity hypothesis at host genus-level fits well with ECM fungal diversity in temperate, subtropical and tropical forest ecosystems; in contrast, the productivity diversity hypothesis is only supported by some studies in temperate forest ecosystems. We propose that future studies should focus on the distribution pattern, maintenance mechanism and ecosystem function of ECM fungal diversity at a global scale, taking account of scenarios of global climate change.

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    Cited: CSCD(15)
    The outstanding universal value and conservation of the Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site
    Zongqiang Xie, Guozhen Shen, Youbing Zhou, Dayong Fan, Wenting Xu, Xianming Gao, Yanjun Du, Gaoming Xiong, Changming Zhao, Yan Zhu, Jiangshan Lai
    Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (5): 490-497.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016268
    Abstract2587)   HTML36)    PDF (754KB)(3958)       Save

    World Natural Heritage site is recognized globally as the pinnacle of natural protected areas that are the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation. The World Natural Heritage of Shennongjia represents one of the worldwide biodiversity hotspots. But, until now, it has not been clear how outstanding the universal value of Shennongjia is worldwide, and this study presents one of the most compelling challenges to conservation efforts. Here, we compiled literature and conducted additional field surveys in the Shennongjia region to illustrate the outstanding universal value of Shennongjia World Natural Heritage Site using World Heritage criteria (ix) and (x), following the operational guidelines for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Results show that the heritage of Shennongjia offers an outstanding example of the ongoing ecological processes occurring in the development of intact subtropical mixed broad-leaved evergreen and deciduous forests in the Northern Hemisphere. This region presents a typical example of mountain altitudinal biological zones in the Oriental Deciduous Forest Biogeographical Province. Shennongjia is also a vital origin location for global temperate flora, and harbors the highest concentration of global temperate genera of trees. Moreover, the heritage of Shennongjia displays exceptional biodiversity and is a key habitat for numerous relic, rare, endangered and endemic species. The richness of deciduous woody species in Shennongjia is the highest in the world. Our study provides great insight into protecting, monitoring and managing the outstanding world heritage in the Northern Hemisphere.

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    Cited: CSCD(26)
    A functional analysis of resistance of plant communities to disturbance: a case study of Beijing nature reserves
    Guohong Wang, Xiaoping Wang, Weikang Zhang, He Li, Lianhai Du, Jigui Wu
    Biodiv Sci    2013, 21 (2): 153-162.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.10192
    Abstract2558)      PDF (308KB)(2201)       Save

    Plant communities in Beijing nature reserves are undergoing unprecedented disturbance due to city expansion. To examine the resistance of plant communities to disturbance is thus of both theoretical and practical significance. We surveyed 22 plant community plots in Labagoumen and Songshan nature reserves. A total of 213 plant species were recorded, and 33 plant functional traits were measured for each species. The functional implications of each trait to disturbance, such as potential for restoration, resistance to fire, grazing and exotic invasion, were quantified according to published information. We calculated a functional index for each species, growth form and plant association, respectively. Regression analysis was used to detect the relationship between species richness and functional index at the community level. We found that the plant restoration index ranged between 4.36 and 10.15, and was significantly higher for herbs than for woody plants, while index of resistance to disturbance by grazing ranged between 10.27 and 23.15, and was significantly higher for woody plants than for herbs. Resistance to fire ranged between 9.01 and 22.15, with trees showing greatest resistance followed, in turn, by shrubs and herbs, while resistance to exotic invasion ranged from 4.41 to10.54, and was again highest for trees. At the community level, plant associations with Populus davidiana as the dominant species were at the top position of a decreasing sequence as determined by functional index of each association. Species richness was not correlated with any functional index at the layer of trees and herbs, but was significantly and positively correlated with resistance index to fire, grazing and exotic invasion within the shrub layer. The information obtained from our research will be important to the future vegetation restoration and management of Beijing nature reserves. Although the functional index of a community is determined to a large extent by the dynamics of dominant species, species richness is fundamental to ecosystem stability. Species redundancy may be detectable in a specific community layer or under a given type of disturbance, but might not be so in all situations.

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    Cited: CSCD(4)
    Soil microbial diversity observation in China: current situation and future consideration
    Xiangzhen Li, Liangdong Guo, Jiabao Li, Minjie Yao
    Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (11): 1240-1248.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015345
    Abstract2395)   HTML44)    PDF (4323KB)(4822)       Save

    Soil microbial diversity has not been extensively observed due to technique limitations. With the development of the high-throughput sequencing technique and bioinformatics, much progress has been made in observations of microbial diversity. Currently, international microbiome initiatives have been founded (including the Earth Microbial Project). However, problems in these projects include a lack of dynamic observations, differences in observational methods, and data integration. The soil microbial observation network (SMON) is an important part of the Chinese Biodiversity Monitoring and Research Network (Sino BON). The observational network initially selected field observation sites in forest ecosystems along a temperature and precipitation gradient from south to north, in grassland ecosystems along a precipitation transect from east to west, and in typical wetland and agricultural ecosystems in China. Field ecological observation stations have been established in these selected ecosystems. Key tasks for the SMON are to observe spatial and temporal dynamics of soil microbial communities and functional genes in various ecosystems, including bacteria, archaea, fungi, and lichens. Observational data will be published periodically in the format of database, annals, and illustrated handbooks. Key methods used in the SMON are high- throughput sequencing, metagenomics, and bioinformatics. A soil biota database is currently being constructed to store observational data for public inquiry and analysis. Through the efforts of SMON, we plan to explore the driving mechanisms of spatial and temporal variations of soil microbial communities and their functional genes, and understand the relationships between microbial diversity and ecosystem function, in order to predict microbial dynamics under global environmental change scenarios, and to design strategies to protect soil microbial diversity and properly utilize microbial resources.

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    Cited: CSCD(13)
    Effects of tending on the functional traits and functional diversity of woody plants in a secondary tropical lowland rain forest
    Xinghui Lu, Runguo Zang, Yi Ding, Jihong Huang, Xiusen Yang, Yadong Zhou
    Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (1): 79-88.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014174
    Abstract2233)   HTML21)    PDF (499KB)(2802)       Save

    Secondary forests occupy a large and growing proportion of tropical forest coverage. Combined with the rapid decrease in primary forests, this expansion leads to increasing importance of secondary forests for biodiversity conservation and maintenance of regional ecological resources. However, in many instances the function and productivity of secondary forests are relatively low compared with old growth forests. Therefore, it may prove important to enhance the recovery rate and related ecosystem services of these forests through forest tending practices. Here, we explored the effects of tending measures on the functional traits and functional diversity of woody plants in a secondary tropical lowland rain forest in Bawangling forest region on Hainan Island. We conducted a tending practice in 60 plots (50 m × 50 m) in 2012. We logged trees which hindered the growth of the target species in 30 plots and the others were control. Then we analyzed the impact of tending on community functional traits and functional diversity with ANOVA. Our results showed that specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen content and leaf potassium content significantly decreased at the community level with tending, but woody density and the maximum potential height significantly increased. Leaf chlorophyll content, leaf phosphorus content did not change significantly after tending. Functional richness decreased significantly, and functional evenness and functional divergence significantly increased, while functional dispersion did not change significantly after tending. Our results point to the various ways in which tending can change the trajectory of a secondary forest as it succeeds towards an old growth forest. .

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    Cited: CSCD(14)
    Studies on biodiversity and ecosystem function via manipulation experi-ments
    Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci    2013, 21 (3): 247-248.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2013.02132
    Abstract2188)   HTML45)    PDF (2336KB)(4450)       Save
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    Cited: CSCD(33)
    On Chinese forest canopy biodiversity monitoring
    Hao Shen, Jianing Cai, Mengjiao Li, Qing Chen, Wanhui Ye, Zhengfeng Wang, Juyu Lian, Liang Song
    Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (3): 229-236.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016294
    Abstract2144)   HTML36)    PDF (603KB)(2964)       Save

    As the most direct and active ecological interface of the interaction between forest and its environment, the forest canopy, known as the earth’s “eighth continent”, contains the greatest forest biological diversity, and plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of biodiversity as well as the processes and functions of the ecosystem. However, the forest canopy is highly sensitive to global climate change and human disturbance. In the wake of increasing human activities and global climate change, the forest ecosystem, especially the forest canopy, is facing a serious threat. Therefore, protection of forest canopy biodiversity and sustainable utilization are increasingly important issues in modern ecology research under the scenarios of climate change, and have gained more and more attention in the fields of forest ecology, climatology, and environmental science. Accordingly, in 2015, the Chinese Forest Canopy Biodiversity Monitoring Network was created within the framework of Sino BON. This network includes biodiversity monitoring plots those were or will be equipped with forest canopy cranes. According to international standards, the network will unify monitoring parameters of forest canopy biodiversity using monitoring standards and norms, and conduct long-term monitoring of plant diversity (including epiphytic seed plants and epispore plants), fauna diversity, microbial diversity and their dynamic changes, through large scale zonal forest canopies. Combined with monitoring of the microclimate, we will build four dynamic databases (including a forest canopy microclimate database, canopy plant, canopy arthropod, and canopy microbial). The network is expected to discern the change patterns of forest canopy biodiversity of typical forest ecosystems in China, and to reveal how they influence the functioning of forest ecosystems and respond to global change.

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    Cited: CSCD(10)
    Phylogenetic diversity and its application in floristics and biodiversity conservation
    Xiuqin Ci, Jie Li
    Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (2): 175-181.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2016183
    Abstract2039)   HTML54)    PDF (632KB)(3188)       Save

    The application of phylogenetic relationships helps us to understand species composition and species distribution patterns, which provide a scientific basis for the effective protection and sustainable use of biological diversity. Phylogenetic diversity (PDfaith), based on branch lengths of the phylogenetic tree, is the most basic measurement index. Many indices are derived from PDfaith, which makes difficult to choose the most appropriate parameters. The most effective and feasible way is to select suitable indices based on specific research questions, and some examples have been presented in plant phylofloristics and biodiversity conservation. DNA sequences have rapidly accumulated particularly through the global DNA barcoding project, which provides a standardized mass data, and can be used to reconstruct mega-phylogeny. But studies conducted around the phylogenetic diversity require more information, specifically data on species distribution, environmental factors, and climatic data. In addition, some fundamental questions need to be verified, such as the relationship between phylogenetic diversity and ecosystem functions.

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    Cited: CSCD(8)
    Effects of the expansion of Phyllostachys edulis on species composition, structure and diversity of the secondary evergreen broad-leaved forests
    Ming Ouyang, Qingpei Yang, Xin Chen, Guangyao Yang, Jianmin Shi, Xiangmin Fang
    Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (6): 649-657.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015290
    Abstract2006)   HTML27)    PDF (488KB)(2429)       Save

    The expansion of Phyllostachys edulis into the adjacent secondary evergreen broad-leaved forest (EBF) is obvious and greatly affects its ecological function. Little research has examined its effects on community structure and biodiversity. We comparatively analyzed the characteristics of species composition, community structure and diversity before and after the expansion of P. edulis forest (PEF), P. edulis-broad-leaved mixed forest (PBMF) and EBF along a gradient of P. edulis expansion in the Jinggangshan National Nature Reserve in Jiangxi Province using a space for time substitution method. Results indicated that: (1) The Bray-Curtis similarity index values of the tree layer, shrub layer and herb layer between PEF and EBF were 0.003, 0.046 and 0.030, respectively. (2) The PEF vertical structure showed a “>” type and the abundance percentage was 33.3% in 12-14 m interval, its diameter at breast height (DBH) class structure concentrated distribution in 5-10 cm interval, whose percentage was as high as 90.0%; while the EBF vertical structure showed a “L” type and the abundance percentages was 54.3% in 2-4 m interval, its DBH class distribution range was relatively wide, the average percentage of four larger diameter grades was 10.3%. (3) The Shannon-Wiener index value in the tree layer declined from 2.56 in EBF to 0.06 in PEF, with a reduction of 98%. In the shrub layer, the index value dropped from 2.58 to 2.03, declining 21%. We suggest that the expansion of P. edulis simplified the community composition and structure of the secondary evergreen broad-leaved forest and reduced species diversity, which can cause adverse impacts on forest ecosystem functioning.

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    Cited: CSCD(32)
    Eupatorium adenophorum invasion alters soil bacterial community and diversity
    Xunzhi Zhu, Qiang Li, Yangping Li, Hongbo Han, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (5): 665-672.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014158
    Abstract1925)   HTML19)    PDF (490KB)(2419)       Save

    The invasion of alien species can affect biological community structure and ecosystem functioning, but the relationships between invasive plants and soil microbial composition and diversity are still unclear. In order to examine the effect of the invasion of an exotic plant Eupatorium adenophorum on soil chemical properties and microbial community structure and diversity, we compared the differences in soil microbial community of three communities with different densities of E. adenophorum (native plant community, E. adenophorum and native plant mixed community, and E. adenophorum dominated community) by high-throughput sequencing. Analysis of soil chemical properties showed that soil pH, organic matter, total nitrogen and total potassium decreased with increasing invasion of E. adenophorum. However, total phosphorus was highest in the most heavily invaded soil. The high-throughput sequencing results showed that there were 7,755 soil microbial OTUs (operational taxonomic unit) in total. The invasion of E. adenophorum did not exert heavy impacts on soil microbial diversity. ACE index and Chao index showed no significant differences among the three different communities. However, soil microbial diversity of the mixed community of E. adenophorum and native plant species showed the lowest Shanonn index. The relative abundances of Acidobacteria and Verrucomicrobia in the medium invaded community were the highest. In sum, the invasion of E. adenophorum altered the diversity and structure of soil microbial communities, and changed the soil chemical properties.

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    Cited: CSCD(17)
    Recovery dynamics of secondary forests with different disturbance intensity in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve
    Yuanjie Xu, Dunmei Lin, Xiangcheng Mi, Haibao Ren, Keping Ma
    Biodiv Sci    2014, 22 (3): 358-365.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2014.13202
    Abstract1856)   HTML13)    PDF (544KB)(1920)       Save

    Understanding the underlying processes of secondary forest recovery after disturbances such as logging is essential for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem rehabilitation. We surveyed 12 forest plots (1 ha in size) with different extents of anthropogenic disturbances in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve and explored the community dynamics of secondary forest recovery by applying multivariate statistical ana- lysis. We found significant differences in community composition among various recovery phases, whereas high similarities of community composition were observed within the same recovery phase. No significant difference in species richness was observed among recovery stages, but species richness tended to increase during the recovery process. Species evenness in Chinese fir forests was relatively low whereas no significant difference occurred in other forests. The main differences in community composition and species diversity were found in the canopy layer. Respective indicator species were found in shrubs and regeneration layers during different recovery phases. The most representative indicator species were deciduous shrubs or heliophilous trees for plantation forests of Chinese fir, evergreen shrubs or small trees for young secondary forests, sub-canopy evergreen trees for old secondary forests, and canopy species for old-growth forests, respectively. Overall, species diversity recovered rigorously. Also the life-form composition of saplings in the same recovery phase presented consistent trends in spite of complex and unpredictable changes in species composition during the recovery process.

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    Cited: CSCD(10)
    The relationship between species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality in the Pinus yunnanensis natural secondary forest
    Xiaobo Huang, Shuaifeng Li, Jianrong Su, Wande Liu, Xuedong Lang
    Biodiv Sci    2017, 25 (11): 1182-1191.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017167
    Abstract1721)   HTML36)    PDF (962KB)(1598)       Save

    Under global climate change, biodiversity is decreasing rapidly due to deforestation and habitat fragmentation, which has serious consequences for ecosystem functioning. In recent years, the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has been a core research area in ecology. Previous researchers have paid great attention to the relationship between biodiversity and individual ecosystem functioning, and seldom consider multiple functions (multifunctionlity), especially in forest ecosystems. Here, based on survey data from 94 plots of Pinus yunnanensis in a natural secondary forest, we selected variables related to ecosystem functioning: woody plant biomass, soil organic carbon, plant nitrogen, plant phosphorus, soil total nitrogen, soil hydrolyzable nitrogen, soil total phosphorus, and soil available phosphorus. We used an averaging approach, single threshold approach, and multiple threshold approach to evaluate the effects of species richness on ecosystem multifunctionality and impacting factors. Results showed that the relationship between species richness and ecosystem multifunctionality was stronger than that of individual ecosystem functioning. Species richness had a significant positive effect on multifunctionality within thresholds ranging from 3% to 88%. When using a moderate threshold (54%), species richness had the strongest positive effect, and the percentage of maximum possible species richness was 53.53%. Path analysis of a structural equation model showed that species richness had the strongest (positive) effect on multifunctionality in the Pinus yunnanensis natural secondary forest. Mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation, and soil pH had insignificant effects on multifunctionality, but indirect effects via influences on species richness. Species richness may be of primary importance when considering ecosystem multifunctionality. Increasing species numbers may not always lead to the optimal state of all functions. Increasing species numbers had the strongest effects on multifunctionality, but only once multifunctionality reached moderate levels.

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    Cited: CSCD(9)
    A horizon scan of the impacts of environmental change on wild bees in China
    Xiuwei Liu, Douglas Chesters, Chunsheng Wu, Qingsong Zhou, Chaodong Zhu
    Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (7): 760-765.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018078
    Abstract1710)   HTML35)    PDF (578KB)(1692)       Save

    Wild pollinator bees play an important role in ecosystem function and food security. In recent years, natural forests have been lost, while afforestation programs are primarily monoculture plantation, whether commercial or restorative. The net effect for bees has been fragmentation and sometime wholesale loss of habitats. For instance, diversity of wild bees in pure forest, Camellia oleifera and rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantation was found to be unexpectedly low. The rampant use of neonicotinoid pesticides and herbicide is known to negatively impact development and behavior of bees. Urbanization has dramatically impacted bee communities, with significant changes in species richness between suburban and central business areas. These are likely tied to the effect of effluent, exhaust gas and dust on foraging, growth and development. Climate change from greenhouse gas emissions can disrupt the mutualistic relationship between pollinating bees and plants via rapid phenological shifts. The above environmental changes occurring in China are likely cause wide declines in diversity and decreases in populations. Although China has rich natural heritage for bees, there is a lack of long term monitoring programs for species of pollinator bees and a dearth of data on distributions of bee species. As a result, the drivers of bee community composition and population decline are poorly understood. We emphasize the need to prioritize surveys of pollinating bees, continue ongoing monitoring programs and build wider research networks for the study of wild pollinator bees. These steps will ensure that sufficient data can accumulate for developing a prediction and risk assessment framework to help manage the declines in pollinating bee populations and mitigate the attendant economic and non-economic impacts.

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    Cited: CSCD(6)
    Effects of ecological engineering on net primary production in the Chang Tang and Sanjiangyuan national nature reserves on the Tibetan Plateau
    Wei Qi, Wanqi Bai, Yili Zhang, Xue Wu, Lanhui Li, Mingjun Ding, Caiping Zhou
    Biodiv Sci    2016, 24 (2): 127-135.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015082
    Abstract1679)   HTML12)    PDF (2435KB)(2116)       English Version    Save

    Long term series of remotely sensed imagery of net primary production (NPP) data could reflect ecosystem health. In this study, we employed NPP to evaluate the effects of ecological engineering (nature reserve and new ecological engineering in 2004 or 2005 techniques) by the sampling area comparison method in the Chang Tang and Sanjiangyuan national nature reserves on the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that: (1) among the 10 pairs of sampling areas, annual NPP of 9 pairs tended to increase between 1982 and 2009; (2) the new ecological engineering techniques improved the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation, with NPP in 8 pairs of sampling areas increasing faster than before; and (3) among all alpine grassland types, the new ecological engineering techniques remarkably improved the effectiveness of conserving the meadows.

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    Cited: CSCD(13)
    Effects of rehabilitation species on slope vegetation diversity and soil and water conservation
    Shengwang Pan, Mingcheng Hu, Jinghong Luo, Yunxiao Wu
    Biodiv Sci    2015, 23 (3): 341-350.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014115
    Abstract1613)   HTML4)    PDF (739KB)(2261)       Save

    China’s mammalian fauna is unique: it possesses the endemic species and genera of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; it has the relic families, Ailuropodidae and Lipotidae, of the Tertiary Period; more than half of the species of the Ochotonidae in the country are endemic; furthermore China is also the country with world most abundant ungulate diversity. In the new millennia, changes to the taxonomy of mammals of world were proposed. New mammalian species and new mammals were reported in China. Thus it is necessary to renew the inventory of China’s mammal diversity. During the compiling of The Red List of Endangered Species in China: Mammals, we collected the available data on China’s mammals (including those of Taiwan) and formed The Checklist of China’s Mammal Species 2015. For taxonomy of orders, we followed the existing theory using molecular phylogeny whereas for the classification of families and the taxa below family level, we followed the A Complete Checklist of Mammal Species and Subspecies in China: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference by Wang (2003) and Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference by Wilson & Reeder (2005). We also adopted Ungulate Taxonomy by Groves & Grubb (2011) to classify the ungulates in China. The initial list included species recorded in taxonomic books and field guides, new species and new records in literature before March 31, 2015. After five evaluation meetings and two rounds of evaluation by correspondence, we finalized The Checklist of China’s Mammal Species 2015, which includes 12 orders, 55 families, 245 genera and 673 species. Among those species, 18 new species (including 11 discovered with molecular biology methods, the validity of the species are still in dispute among zoologists), 18 new species records in country, and 60 subspecies were elevated to the status of species were added to the checklist. According to literature and expertise, we deleted 52 species which are not found in China. Of them, specimens of some species were collected only once, and then never been found again during following surveys. Taxonomists hold different opinions on 20 Glires, and those species need further investigation. Compared with the data of IUCN Red List (2014), the number of mammal species in China recorded in the study is surpassed that of Indonisia (670), China became the country with the most abundant mammal species in the world. The mammals in China accounted for 12.3% of the world total numbers of mammalian species. There are 150 endemic mammals in China, which accounted for 22.3% of the national total. 43% of the species in Lagomorpha are endemics to the country. The endemic ratio of Ochotonidae is even higher, 52% of the total. Endemic ratio of Eulipotyphla is 35%. About one fifth of Primates, Chiroptera and Rodentia in China are also endemics, including 12 new bat species discovered in the country during recent decade. The Checklist of China’s Mammal Species 2015 provides the most updated baseline information for biodiversity research and conservation.

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    Cited: CSCD(4)
    Evaluating the effectiveness of Shennongjia National Nature Reserve based on the dynamics of forest carbon pools
    Shuyu Deng, Xiangzhong Dong, Mingzhe Ma, Zhenhua Zang, Wenting Xu, Changming Zhao, Zongqiang Xie, Guozhen Shen
    Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (1): 27-35.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017240
    Abstract1501)   HTML36)    PDF (705KB)(1396)       English Version    Save

    Nature reserves are a cornerstone of global conservation strategies. However, the effectiveness of the reserve in conserving ecosystem function such as carbon storage is poorly understood. The Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is a conservation icon and has taken exceptional efforts to protect forests. It provides a unique case to address this question. Here, we quantified the carbon storage from aboveground carbon, belowground carbon, litter, coarse woody debris, and soil organic carbon inside and outside the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve between 1990 and 2010, based on inventory data and digitized historical land cover maps. The result showed that the woodland covered 92.76% of the reserve, most of which was coniferous forest (51.85%), deciduous broad-leaved forest (35.11%), and evergreen broad-leaved forest (4.47%). Between 1990 and 2010, the area of the woodland has increased 0.11%, while the area of shrubland and cropland has declined 8.85% and 6.06%, respectively. The Shennongjia National Natural Reserve has accumulated 24.24 Tg carbon (22.57-26.62 Tg C) until 2010, of which 90.68% was contributed by soil organic carbon and aboveground carbon. A total of 95% of the carbon storage in Shennongjia National Nature Reserve are contributed by evergreen broad-leaved forest, deciduous broad-leaved forest and coniferous forest. Between 1990 and 2010, the aboveground carbon pool and soil organic carbon pool has increased 14.50 kt C (11.81-18.31 kt C) and 6.84 kt C, respectively. The carbon density inside the reserve is 22.37 t C/ha higher than that outside the reserve. Our results indicated that the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve is efficiently conserving forest carbon.

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    Cited: CSCD(3)
    Relationship between plant functional diversity and productivity of Pinus massoniana plantations in Guangxi
    Xiaorong Huang
    Biodiv Sci    2018, 26 (7): 690-700.   DOI: 10.17520/biods.2018092
    Abstract1415)   HTML51)    PDF (990KB)(1250)       English Version    Save

    Understanding the relationship between plant diversity and productivity can provide essential information for forest management. We surveyed plant communities in Pinus massoniana dominated plantations from four regions of Guangxi. Using correlation analysis, automatic linear modeling and variance partitioning, we assessed the effect of species diversity, functional diversity, and functional dominance on productivity. We found that productivity was extremely positively correlated with species richness, Shannon index, functional richness and functional evenness (P < 0.01). Species evenness, RaoQ, functional dispersion, functional group richness and aspect were also positively correlated with productivity (P < 0.05), while forest age was negatively correlated with productivity (P < 0.01). Four functional diversity parameters positively correlated with four species-diversity indices. No evidence of negative density-dependence was found. In the best variance partitioning model, functional diversity parameters, functional dominance and forest age explained 56%, 43% and 33% of variance in productivity respectively; and the overlap between functional diversity parameters and functional dominance was up to 27%. Functional richness and functional evenness were major contributors of complementary effects while community weighted mean (CWM) of growth form contributed to selection effects. Plots identified as dominantly shrub had higher productivity than plots identified as dominantly herbs or trees, suggesting that subordinates and transients may have important effects on ecosystem functions. The best-fit subset model built by automatic linear modeling included forest age, growth form CWM, functional richness, functional evenness and functional group richness (FGR) indescending order. We recommend that to maintain diversity and forest function, protection of understory plant species should be strengthened. Further, to enhance productivity and biodiversity we recommend planting functionally important species through compensatory photosynthesis and growth competition in understorey layers.

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    Cited: CSCD(9)
    A guide to analyzing biodiversity experiments
    Bernhard Schmid, Martin Baruffol, Zhiheng Wang, Pascal A. Niklaus
    J Plant Ecol    2017, 10 (1): 91-110.   DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw107
    Abstract528)            Save
    Aims The aim of this guide is to provide practical help for ecologists who analyze data from biodiversity–ecosystem functioning experiments. Our approach differs from others in the use of least squares-based linear models (LMs) together with restricted maximum likelihood-based mixed models (MMs) for the analysis of hierarchical data. An original data set containing diameter and height of young trees grown in monocultures, 2- or 4-species mixtures under ambient light or shade is used as an example.
    Methods Starting with a simple LM, basic features of model fitting and the subsequent analysis of variance (ANOVA) for significance tests are summarized. From this, more complex models are developed. We use the statistical software R for model fitting and to demonstrate similarities and complementarities between LMs and MMs. The formation of contrasts and the use of error (LMs) or random-effects (MMs) terms to account for hierarchical data structure in ANOVAs are explained.
    Important findings Data from biodiversity experiments can be analyzed at the level of entire plant communities (plots) and plant individuals. The basic explanatory term is species composition, which can be divided into contrasts in many ways depending on specific biological hypotheses. Typically, these contrasts code for aspects of species richness or the presence of particular species. For significance tests in ANOVAs, contrast terms generally are compared with remaining variation of the explanatory terms from which they have been 'carved out'. Once a final model has been selected, parameters (e.g. means or slopes for fixed-effects terms and variance components for error or random-effects terms) can be estimated to indicate the direction and size of effects.
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    Preservation of nucleic acids by freeze-drying for next generation sequencing analyses of soil microbial communities
    Christina Weißbecker, François Buscot, Tesfaye Wubet
    J Plant Ecol    2017, 10 (1): 81-90.   DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw042
    Abstract436)      PDF       Save
    Aims Soil sample preservation is a challenging aspect in molecular studies on soil microbial communities. The demands for specialized sample storage equipment, chemicals and standardized protocols for nucleic acid extraction often require sample processing in a home laboratory that can be continents apart from sampling sites. Standard sampling procedures, especially when dealing with RNA, comprise immediate snap freezing of soils in liquid nitrogen and storage at ?80°C until further processing. For these instances, organizing a reliable cooling chain to transport hundreds of soil samples between continents is very costly, if possible at all. In this study we tested the effect of soil sample preservation by freeze-drying with subsequent short-term storage at 4°C or ambient temperatures compared to ?80°C freezing by comparative barcoding analyses of soil microbial communities.
    Methods Two grassland soil samples were collected in Central Germany in the Biodiversity Exploratory Hainich-Dün. Samples were freeze-dried or stored at ?80°C as controls. Freeze-dried samples were stored at 4°C or ambient temperature. Investigated storage times for both storage temperatures were 1 and 7 days. Total DNA and RNA were extracted and bacterial and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal communities were analyzed by amplicon 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S (V4-V5 variable region) and 18S (NS31-AM1 fragment) of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) marker genes, respectively.
    Important findings Bacterial communities were sufficiently well preserved at the rDNA and rRNA level although storage effects showed as slightly decreased alpha diversity indices for the prolonged storage of freeze-dried samples for 7 days. AM fungal communities could be studied without significant changes at the rDNA and rRNA level. Our results suggest that proper sampling design followed by immediate freeze-drying of soil samples enables short-term transportation of soil samples across continents.
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    Seasonal characteristics and determinants of tree growth in a Chinese subtropical forest
    Xiulian Chi, Qiang Guo, Jingyun Fang, Bernhard Schmid, Zhiyao Tang
    J Plant Ecol    2017, 10 (1): 4-12.   DOI: 10.1093/jpe/rtw051
    Abstract373)      PDF       Save
    Aims To quantify the seasonal differences in effects of leaf habit, species identity, initial diameter, neighborhood interaction and stand environment on tree absolute diameter growth rates in a subtropical forest in China.
    Methods We used man-made dendrometer bands to record radial increments of all trees with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥5cm and height ≥3 m within 25 comparative study plots (30×30 m for each) of the 'Biodiversity–Ecosystem Functioning Experiment China' (BEF-China) in the Gutianshan National Nature Reserve, Zhejiang Province, China. We measured stem circumferences twice a year from 2011 to 2014 to calculate absolute diameter growth rate of a warm and wet season (WWS, April to September) and a dry and cold season (DCS, October to the next March) for each individual tree: annual growth (GR year), growth during the WWS (GR WWS) and growth during the DCS (GR DCS). We firstly tested the differences in growth rates between different seasons using paired t -tests with Bonferroni correction. Then we applied linear mixed models to explore the effects of leaf habit, species identity, initial diameter, neighborhood interaction (indicated by richness, density and total basal area of all neighboring trees within a radius of 5 m around target trees), stand age and topography (elevation, slope and aspect) on tree growth rates of the two different seasons in three deciduous and 14 evergreen species.
    Important findings GR year, GR WWS and GR DCS varied between 0.04–0.50cm year-1 (mean = 0.21), 0.03–0.46cm season-1 (mean = 0.18) and 0.01–0.05cm season-1 (mean = 0.03) across the 17 species, respectively. GR WWS was significantly higher than GR DCS for all species. Growth rates of faster growing species tended to have larger absolute differences between the WWS and DCS. Tree growth rates of both seasons and of the year (GR year, GR WWS and GR DCS) varied significantly among leaf habit and species, and increased allometrically with initial diameter, decreased with stand age, but were not significantly related to topography and neighborhood richness or density. GR WWS decreased with neighborhood total basal area, while GR DCS did not. In conclusion, species might the temporally complementary, contributing to plot growth at different times of the year.
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