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Grumbine R.E.,CAS Kunming Institute of Botany | Grumbine R.E.,World Agroforestry Center
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2014

In recent decades, perspectives on the integrated social-ecological aspects of natural resource problems have become increasingly influential as traditional national security outlooks have expanded to include environmental and human concerns. However, China has not been influenced much by new environmental security frameworks. An overview of six main stressors - ecosystem degradation, food security, energy, water, urbanization, and climate change - that affect security in China reveals that current policies need to be reformed. China's ecosystems remain subject to widespread degradation, food supply is under stress, energy demand is growing rapidly, there are increasing conflicts over water quality and quantity, urbanization cannot proceed without fundamental environmental and social reforms, and climate-change impacts are projected to intensify. To resolve such security issues, China's leaders must depend less on technological solutions and should instead craft adaptive management reforms to address the lack of interdisciplinary problem-solving, low institutional capacity, and gaps between policy and implementation. © The Ecological Society of America.

Volis S.,CAS Kunming Institute of Botany
Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics | Year: 2012

Delayed seed germination is considered to be a bet-hedging strategy, but experimental evidence of its adaptive role as an inherited trait is still lacking. In each of two co-occuring annual grass species, populations of Mediterranean and desert origin were studied during three consecutive years for population demography and seed germination in the reciprocally introduced experimental soil seed banks. The two environments strikingly differed in productivity (annual rainfall) and predictability (variation in amount and timing of annual rainfall). The two species exhibited highly similar pattern of seed size and dormancy across the two environments. In both species, a higher proportion of dormant seeds was observed at the desert location and for the seeds of desert origin, consistent with bet-hedging buffering against unpredictability of rainfall and high probability of drought in this environment. In addition, in both species seed mass was significantly less in plants of desert origin than in plants of Mediterranean origin. The two environments differed in demographic consequences of temporal variation in precipitation. In the Mediterranean population, even in the year of least precipitation, adults grew to maturity and seeds were produced. These seeds served to maintain population size. In contrast, in the desert population, in the year of least rainfall no seedlings survived to maturity and the soil seed bank was the only source of population persistence. Altogether, the results concur with predicted by adaptive bet hedging importance of delayed germination under marginal precipitation. © 2012 Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics.

Zhou D.Q.,Kunming University of Science and Technology | Edward Grumbine R.,CAS Kunming Institute of Botany
Biological Conservation | Year: 2011

Beginning in 1956, China has built a large protected areas system, but has struggled to implement effective management. There remain ongoing problems with administrative authority, unclear regulations, inadequate funding, inappropriate development within protected areas, a dearth of professional capacity, and more. To address these concerns, since 2001, international nongovernment organizations led by The Nature Conservancy have encouraged various levels of government in China to experiment with an international model of national parks. The government in Yunnan province, the center of China's biological and cultural diversity, has acted to create a national park experimental system with new administrative bureaus, comprehensive regulations, park master plans, and several national park pilots. We review two of these pilots, Pudacuo National Park and Laojun Mountain National Park, to evaluate whether this park model, as it is being applied in Yunnan, offers an improvement to existing nature reserve regulations and implementation. Though the experiment is in its early stages, issues remain around regulatory authority, community participation, park funding and staff capacity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Yang Z.L.,CAS Kunming Institute of Botany
Fungal Diversity | Year: 2011

A brief survey towards an understanding of evolution of Basidiomycota in the last five decades is given. Between 1960-1990 studies were based mainly on morphology, subcellular structure, biochemistry, physiology and ecology. In the last 20 years, molecular methods have revolutionized the study of taxonomy, systematics, phylogeny, biogeography, population and microevolutionary processes in basidiomycetes. A fundamental improvement in the understanding of evolution of basidiomycetes has been achieved. It is anticipated that numerous new taxa at different taxonomic levels will be recognized based on integrated approaches, and new data will soon provide fascinating insights into the origin, evolution and biogeography of basidiomycetes in the coming years. © The Author(s) 2011.

Huang J.,East Carolina University | Huang J.,CAS Kunming Institute of Botany
BioEssays | Year: 2013

The significance of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotic evolution remains controversial. Although many eukaryotic genes are of bacterial origin, they are often interpreted as being derived from mitochondria or plastids. Because of their fixed gene pool and gene loss, however, mitochondria and plastids alone cannot adequately explain the presence of all, or even the majority, of bacterial genes in eukaryotes. Available data indicate that no insurmountable barrier to HGT exists, even in complex multicellular eukaryotes. In addition, the discovery of both recent and ancient HGT events in all major eukaryotic groups suggests that HGT has been a regular occurrence throughout the history of eukaryotic evolution. A model of HGT is proposed that suggests both unicellular and early developmental stages as likely entry points for foreign genes into multicellular eukaryotes. © 2013 The Author. Bioessays Published by WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

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