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Phylogenetics and Biogeography

Dr. Junxing Yang, Professor, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee and Vice Director of the Kunming Branch, Chinese Academy of Science. The research team is mainly interested in biodiversity monitoring survey, fauna taxonomic, phylogenetic and biogeographic; ecology and conservation research to rare and native species; especially focuses on the restoration of wetland ecosystem and application. In 2013, total 31 research programs have been implementing with 12 programs newly applied. Published 1 monograph and 11 SCI papers. 4 national invention patent licensing.

Drought and China’s Cave Species

The impact of severe drought in southwestern China since 2009 appears to be an example of how climate change and poor environmental management can combine to create a biodiversity disaster. The impact on cave biodiversity has been overlooked. Water resources in caves will decrease during drought seasons, especially when people are searching for and exstracting water. This will cause the endemic aquatic biodiversity to decline dramatically, or even disappear. This part of China and other karst regions in Asia and beyond have exceptionally range-restricted and acutely poorly known faunas, which are under threat from a range of climate change and human actions. We do not want to see a newly revealed global biodiversity hotspot lost before it is known.

Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of Percocypris

The molecular phylogenetic relationships of Percocypris were investigated based on three mitochondrial genes (16S; COI; Cyt b) and one nuclear marker (Rag2). The results show that Percocypris is a strongly supported monophyletic group. Combined with analyses of morphological characters, it suggests that Percocypris needs to be reclassified to six species. Based on the results of the estimation of divergence times and ancestral drainages, we hypothesize that Percocypris likely originated in the early Miocene from a paleo-connected drainage system containing the contemporary main drainages of the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau. This study suggests that vicariance has played an important role in the speciation of the genus. Furthermore, external morphological characters and an internal trait appear to be correlated with different habitats in rivers and the lake.

Monitoring of key species

Ptychobarbus chungtienensis is a schizothoracin fish endemic to high plateau region of Yunnan, and was evaluated as an endangered species by China red data book of endangered animals. Since 2008, a biological monitoring has been carried on in the distribution area of Ptychobarbus chungtienensis. The result shows there is a relic population left only in Lake Bita. Based on years of monitoring and data collected, some basic biological information were firstly clarified, such as relationship between body length and body weight, age and grow function, breeding season etc.

During monitoring, different methods were applied and tested in practice considering specialty of wetland in high plateau, and based on which, a Technical Guidelines for Species Monitoring (Fish Resources) was prepared and will be released by the national ministry of environment protection, and a monograph on biological monitoring published.


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