2013 Vol. 34, No. 6
From October 2010 to October 2012 (total 126 days), we used the line transect method combined with interviews applied during seven individual surveys to explore the bird resources of Qomolangma National Nature Reserve (QNNR). Based on the historical records and the present results, a total of 390 bird species belonging to 62 families and 18 orders, had been confirmed. Our results indicated that QNNR plays a vital and unique role in bird species preservation and scientific study, especially for endemic and endangered species. Species richness of both the Palearctic and Oriental realms were different, there was no overall significant difference (164 and 178, respectively). Species differences between the northern and southern slope of QNNR were especially remarkable. The northern slope was characterized with enriched endemic plateau species over small total number of bird species the southern flank held an abundance of bird species with complex composition. Moreover, on the southern slope, the peak of breeding birds richness occurred at 2,500~3,100 m a.s.l., supporting the mid-domain effect hypothesis. Meanwhile, as elevation increased, the richness of Oriental species decreased while that of Palearctic species increased. The percentages of Oriental and Palearctic species were similar at 3,100~4,000 m a.s.l.. Accordingly, we estimated that the boundary of Oriental realm and Palearctic realm was at 3,100~4,000 m a.s.l., and the species invasion from Palearctic to Oriental realm was more obvious. Perhaps most significantly, the specific distribution species along the vertical gradients also indicated their corresponding adaptation strategies.
This study analyzed the population dynamics of the Oriental white stork (Ciconia boyciana) wintering in the Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve (PLNNR) from 1985 to 2011, to see if there was any relationship with climate change. Testing of several climate variables-monthly average temperature, monthly average maximum and minimum temperature, as well as monthly precipitation-indicated that the population size of the Oriental white stork in the PLNNR was 1,340±178 ind., with significant linear increase and drastic annual fluctuation. Every single year, the population size only significantly correlated with the average minimum temperature of Nov. In theory, the low temperature of Nov. could drive individuals to choose other wetlands in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, instead of the Poyang Lake as wintering habitats. Meanwhile, temperatures in wintering areas also showed a carry-over effect on subsequent population size. Temperatures in primary stage and later stage of wintering period were significantly correlated with population size 2-9 years later, while the temperature of Oct. was highly significantly correlated with population size 2-5 years after. Temperatures of Feb. and Mar. in the later stage of wintering period were highly significantly correlated with population size of 8 and 3 years after, respectively. Moreover, the stepwise linear regression result showed that the average maximum temperature of Oct. and average maximum temperature of Mar. 2 years ago, as well as the average maximum temperature of Oct. and the average temperature of Mar. 4 years ago were significant predictor factors of the population size fluctuation of the Oriental white stork, which totally accounted for 79.2% of the population size change.
In this study, the unilateral and bilateral syrinx nerve (NXIIts) were resected in the red-billed Leiothrix (Leiothrix lutea) to assess the roles of NXIIts in vocalization. Wavesurfer and Sound Analysis Pro were used to analyze pre- and postsurgical acoustic changes. After resecting of unilateral NXIIts, red-billed Leiothrix produced the common calls with lengthened syllable interval, shortened duration and a declined FM index. The effects of left NXIIts resction on temporal and spectral characteristics of syllables were more significant than that of right NXIIts. These results indicated that the neural control of NXIIts was unilateral and left-side dominated. Moreover, the left NXIIts could produce high frequency components and harmonic waves. After resecting of bilateral NXIIts, the calls were characterized by monotone, reduced loudness and increased syllable pulse numbers.
2013, 34(6): 564-573. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.6.0564
Animal coloration has many adaptive functions and plays an important role in signal communication both among intra- and interspecies. For example, it has been widely used in mate choice, intrasexual competition, and as aposematic or cryptic coloration in predator avoidance. Many colors and pigments also function in microbial resistance, structural support, photoprotection, and thermoregulation. Differing from human vision, based on RGB system, many other animals have tetrachromatic vision system, which includes the ultraviolet (UV) range that is undetectable by human eyes. Previous studies showed that ultraviolet is important in some species' social signaling and communication. Moreover, cone inner segments of most classes of vertebrate contain an oil droplet, which acts as a cut-off filter absorbing wavelengths below a critical value, and transmitting longer wavelengths. Animal and human vision is significantly different in that the classification of color by human standards may be a misleading for measuring animal coloration. Here, we illuminate how to use fiber spectrophotometer to quantify animal coloration, and analyze it by spectra analysis and visual modeling. As an example, we obtained plumage reflectance spectra from male and female scarlet minivets (Pericrocotus flammeus). This bird species is sexually dimorphic that the males have plumage color in black and red, while the females have grey and yellow accordingly. These plumage colors are typically generated from melanin and carotenoid pigments, which have an effect on antioxidant activity. Analysis of spectra segments provides hue, chroma, brightness and relative brightness of each wave range. Visual modeling maps color patches on tetrahedral color space and Robinson projection, meanwhile, calculates color span and color space volume which describe the color contrast and color diversity, respectively. In visual modeling, ambient light irradiance and spectral sensitivity of animal retinas are included, which provides an objective evaluation of coloration of animal vision.
Periods of restricted food intake that lead to lower body weight are often followed by rapid regaining of the lost weight after ad libitum refeeding, an event generally known as the "compensatory growth". To explore the physiological mechanisms underlying "compensatory growth", we evaluated a series of energetic parameters (energy intake, energy expenditure, body composition and serum leptin levels) of adult KM mice subjected to three cycles of stochastic food restriction following by ad libitum refeeding (SFR-Re). The results indicated that animals lost their body mass after stochastic food restriction and then regained to the control level after refeeding. After the final cycle, SFR-Re mice showed higher basal metabolic rate, lower nonshivering thermogenesis, and their cytochrome c oxydase activities, as well as uncoupling protein 1(UCP1) contents of brown adipose tissue all decreased compared with controls. Meanwhile, higher energy intake and digestibility, as well as heavier fat pads also were found in SFR-Re mice. But, serum leptin levels showed no difference between SFR-Re and control mice. On the whole, these findings indicated that when food is resourceful, SFR-Re mice are under rapid "compensatory growth" by increasing their food intake and energy storage efficiency, meanwhile, decreasing energy consumption in thermogenesis. Moreover, leptin may be a possible player in the regulations of energy budget and thermogenesis during "compensatory growth".
The effects of ketamine and urethane on neuronal activities remain in debate. As a member of immediate early genes family, the expression of c-fos is stimulation dependent and could be treated as an index to evaluate the strength of neural activities. In this study, SABC immunohistochemical techniques were applied to compare the c-fos expression in neurons of the primary visual cortex (V1) of cats and therefore, to evaluate the effects of acute anesthesia with ketamine HCl and uethane on inhibiting neural activities. Our results showed that compared with control cats, there were no significant differences with the average densities of Nissl-stained V1 neurons in each cortical layers of either urethane or ketamine anesthetized cats. In urethane anesthetized cats, neither the average densities nor the immunoreactive intensities of c-fos positive V1 neurons showed significant difference with that of control ones. However, both the average densities and immunoreactive intensities of c-fos positive V1 neurons in ketamine anesthetized cats decreased significantly compared with that of control and urethane anesthetized cats. These results suggested that ketamine has strong inhibitory effects on the activities of visual cortical neurons, whereas urethane did not.
In this study, one-trial step-through task was applied to reveal the effect of prefrontal infralimbic cortex GABAA receptor agitating on passive avoidance memory consolidation in rats. Immediately after training (with shock), GABAA receptor agonist, muscimol (0.5 μg/0.25 μL) or saline (0.25 μL) was infused into the test animal's infralimbic cortex, then, the latencies of rats stepping through the dark room were recorded. Meanwhile, local EEG power was adopted as index of the inactivation effect of muscimol. The step-through latencies of muscimol group were comparable(P>0.05)with saline group, but their local EEG power had decreased significantly (P<0.05). These results suggest that the inactivation of infralimbic cortex would not demolish the passive avoidance memory consolidation of rats.
Grooming behavior is evolved in animals in response to the costs associated with ectoparasites. In this study, ecotparasite densities and grooming behavior-including licking and scratching-of wild-caught lesser bamboo bat (Tylonycteris pachypus) and greater bamboo bat (T. robustula) were analyzed. The results indicated that both the frequencies and durations of licking were higher than those of scratching in both bat species, though T. pachypus licked more but scratched less than T. robustula. There were no difference in the durations of licking and scratching between the two bat species, and the durations and frequencies of grooming behavior of the two bat species were irrelevant with ectoparasite densities. These findings suggest that the grooming behavior of T. pachypus and T. robustula might be modulated by both the central control (programmed grooming) model and the peripheral stimulation (stimulus driven) model.
Surveys about the breeding bird guild structure in karst forest of Nonggang Nature Reserve, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, were conducted successively in May-July 2010, 2011 and 2012. The feeding modes, foraging strata and foraging heights of 44 breeding bird species were analyzed by clustering and principal component method. The results indicated that the avian community could be divided into 6 guilds, including ground feeding guild, lower feeding guild, upper feeding guild, multilayer feeding guild, trunk feeding guild and air strike guild. Depending on the vegetation structure of Nonggang karst forest and feeding habits, middle layer, lower layer and multilayer feeding guilds were dominant in the karst monsoon forest. Data suggests that the birds tried to alleviate competition pressures by increasing niche breadth, so multilayer feeding guild was formed.
The recently popularized non-denaturing fluorescence in situ hybridization (ND-FISH) is a new technique that is both quick and efficient, in part because denaturing of both of the probes and the chromosomes is unnecessary. Synthetic simple sequence repeats (SSRs) labeled with fluorescein are used as probes to detect SSR-enriched chromosome regions and provide markers to identify the chromosomes. To date this method has not been applied to amphibians, even though the polymorphism of the distribution of SSRs may help to advance genetic polymorphism research. This paper also improved the double-colour FISH method by simultaneously using probes labelled with fluorescein and probes labelled with DIG to get double-color signals. This study found 5 SSRs markers that may be useful in the polymorphism research, and that the amphibian chromosomes must be denatured in ND-FISH.
From 2009 to 2011, luteinizing hormone releasing hormone analogue (LHRH-A2) mixed with domperidon (DOM) was successfully applied during the artificial propagation of Neolissochilus benasi. Totally, 60 females and 100 males were injected with the hormone mixture, resulting in 47 (78.3%) females and 92 (92.0%) males being successfully spawned. A total of 1,986-5 854 eggs were spawned per female with an egg diameter varying between 2.2-2.8 mm, and an average nucleus deviation rate of 73.2%. Sperm density, vitality and life span were 16.32±2.89×109/mL, 60.6±3.2% and 70.2±5.3 s, respectively. On the whole, the embryonic development of N. benasi was similar to that of zebra fish-albeit relatively slower-lasting approximately 120 hours. The development itself can be divided into six discrete stages: zygote, cleavage, blastula, gastrula, segmentation and hatching. Results showed that the average hatching rate was 32.4%, with 86.5% of larvae surviving 45 days after hatching. During embryonic development, deformities commonly occurred on the mouth, chest, ocular region, especially in the spinal column. To try to attempt improving future breeding efforts, we provided a survey of the embryonic developmental difficulties of N. benasi using LHRH-A2 followed by several potential solutions, including providing suitable breeding conditions and minimizing capture stresses.
During April, July to August and November of 2012,three surveys were conducted to estimate the early-stage fish resources in the area of Liyuan power station on Jinshajiang River of Yunnan Province. During the survey conducted at the crossing of Daju Town, Yulong County, Yunnan Province, from July to August, 2012, two egg-tides of Jinshaia sinensis were detected. One was from 8:00 of August 1st to 10:00 of August 4th and the other one was from 23:00 of August 9th to 6:00 of August 13th. The average egg diameter was 3.89 mm, ranging from 3.37 to 4.41 mm. Natural fertilization and hatching rate as well as abnormality rate in mimic wild environment were 91.5%, 97.1% and 2.2%, respectively. Meanwhile, three spawning grounds had been conjectured, which were Longpan Town, Liming Town and Judian Town of Yulong County, Yunnan Province. Moreover, the total number of eggs from those three spawning grounds during the two egg-tides was approximately 1.49×107 ind.. The discovery of the three spawing grounds is of importance in fullfilling the study of Jinshaia sinensis, and in protecting fish resources under the influences of power stations.
Ottelia acuminata was a dominant macrophyte in Dianchi Lake prior up through the 1970s, when it was thought to have gone extinct in 1976. Various theories have been proposed as to its extinction, with a particular focus on pollution-driven factors. By comparing the historical records on pollution and fish yields of Dianchi Lake from the 1950s to early 2000, we found that the extinction of O. acuminata from Dianchi Lake occurred earlier than the documented spread of pollution. The surveyed data also demonstrate that the extinction of O. acuminata was likely caused primarily by the massive introduction of grass carp, from1958 to 1973. Future reclamation of lake bays and pollution may yield some impact on the restoration of the O. acuminata population even after the decline of grass carp population.
In this study, we investigated the nutritive composition in the muscle of Sinocyclocheilus grahami and S. tingi. The contents of crude protein in the fresh muscle of S. grahami and S. tingi can be described as being 21.7% and 20.6%, crude fat were 3.43% and 2.66%, and total amino acid were 19.23% and 17.67%, respectively. Essential amino acids accounted for 44.08% and 43.69% of total amino acids of S. grahami and S. tingi, respectively. The values of essential amino acid index (EAAI) of the two species were 70.00% and 65.99%, respectively, with S. grahami being better than S. tingi. Ultimately, the amino acid composition of S. grahami and S. tingi muscle tissue met the standards of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as well as those of the World Health Organization (FAO/WHO). According to the nutritive evaluation in amino acid score (AAS), the first limited amino acids of both fish were cystine+methionine. Compared with other commercial fish, the nutrition value of the muscle of Sinocyclocheilus fish can generally be considered as being better.
The prototype phylogenetic tree, i.e., evolutionary "tree" or "tree of life", was first conceived by Charles Darwin in his seminal book "The Origin of Species", and its reconstructions have been approached by generations of biologists ever since. In this article, we briefly reviewed the major algorithms and software packages for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Specifically we discuss four categories of phylogeny algorithms including distance-matrix, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian framework, as well as software packages (PHYLIP, MEGA, MrBayes) based on them.
Social network analysis (SNA) is a framework used to study the structure of societies. As an umbrella term that encompasses various tools of graph theory and mathematical models to visualize networks, SNA allows researchers to detect and quantify patterns in social networks. Within SNA, individuals are not independent, but are symbiotic or linked with one another in a network. Given its powerful analytical tools, SNA is capable of addressing a range of animal behaviors, and has accordingly become increasingly popular in behavioral ecology studies examining such notions as mate choice/sexual selection, cooperation, information flow and disease transition, behavioral strategies of individuals, fitness consequences of sociality and network stability. Nevertheless, SNA it relatively underutilized among Chinese behavioral ecologists. This study aims at highlighting the benefits of SNA in studying animal behaviors in order to promote greater utilization of SNA within Chinese studies. By first introducing social network theory and demonstrating how social networks can influence individual and collective behaviors, this paper provide a prospective overview of SNA's general utilization for the study of animal behavioral ecology as well as promising directions in the overall use of SNA.
Generally, the mitochondrial genome is characterized by the property of highly conserved organization. After comparing the 1,255 fish complete mitogenome sequences deposited in GenBank (as of Nov. 3, 2013), approximately 52 complete mitogenomes are found to have been rearranged. Of these species, three types of rearrangement-shuffling, translocation, and inversion-have been found. Further analysis shows that the sites of the rearrangements occur frequently in WANCY cluster, IQM cluster, ND6 gene, control region (D-loop) and its adjacent genes. Based on the four models that explain the gene rearrangements commonly adopted by scientists, we attempted to infer the possible mechanisms for the three types of gene rearrangement as well as the application of gene rearrangement in phylogenetic studies.
2013, 34(6): 674-679. doi: 10.11813/j.issn.0254-5853.2013.6.0674
Since water is a perfect medium for both bacteria and parasitic microbes, fish skin is constantly exposed to pathogen attacks. It is generally believed that skin mucus serves a mechanical as well as biochemical barrier. Lectins, an important part of the mucus, are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are neither antibodies nor enzymes, yet play important roles in innate and adaptive immunity. Based on the structure of the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) and their function, fish mucus lectins are classified as four types. Recent research has shed light on the structural diversity and functions in innate immunity of mucus lectins. Here, we reviewed recent research progress on the classification, biological properties and functions of fish mucus lectins. Analyses on other fish species are therefore important in clarifying lectin diversity and their functions in skin mucus.
According to the extant records, there are a total of 165 species of fish along the middle and lower Langcangjiang River. However, in recent years, only 71 of these species have been be collected, indicating that fish resources of the middle and lower Langcangjiang River are declining, especially the medium-large and rare-endemic species. Accordingly, this study suggests several new initiatives, including controlling introduced species, restricting fishing intensity and implementing fish reproduction and release.
Chinese chiropterologists have made significant improvements into research on bat taxonomy and distribution. Overall, scholars recorded 6 new species of bats, alongside 11 species recorded species in the Chinese Mainland and 4 new bat species of Murina in Taiwan. Chinese chiropterologists intensively cooperated with the international experts on bats, and adopted several new, multidisciplinary methods to carry out their studies. Likewise, in China, an increased awareness of bat conservation has been growing. Whilepublications on Chiroptera are continuing to increase increased in China, the methodology of these studies remains to be further developed in hopes of revealing the new and cryptic bat species. Considering the vast territory of China and the migrational habit of bats, we expect that with more refined methodology, more new species of bats and their distributions may be uncovered in the near future. Concurrently, it is important to reexamine the known species by the new taxonomic methods and fauna analysis through which the distribution and subdivision of bats can be updated. Additionally, an international platform for exchanging information of bats needs to be established to enhance the academic cooperation for bat researches. It is highly possible that China will soon become an important research center on taxonomy, distribution, phylogenetics and diversity evolution of Chiroptera, especially as Chinese researchers continues create new knowledge for bats at the α, β and γ taxonomic levels.
As important traditional Chinese medicine materials, medicinal animals have been highly appreciated due to their strong bioactivities. Among these, medicinal insects have been thought to be significant, especially in preventing and treating modern diseases and tumors. Some of the most famous medicinal insects, such as horseflies, blister beetles and American cockroachs (Periplaneta americana) have been well known due to their reported effects in anti-thrombosis and fighting cancer. In general, identifying the medicinal functions and active components of medicinal insects has been a gradual processes. Originally, these medicinal insects were collected from open fields and usually their whole bodies were adopted. But, currently, most medicinal insects are under large-scale artificial propagations and only their purified active components are in use. In this article, we reviewed the historical process of the application of the horsefly in traditional Chinese medicine and tried to provide useful references for the modernization of traditional Chinese medicines via discussing the interrelationship between traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine.