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The extent of intertidal flats in the Yellow Sea region has declined significantly in the past few decades, resulting in severe population declines in several waterbird species. The Yellow Sea region holds the primary stopover sites for many shorebirds during their migration to and from northern breeding grounds. However, the functional roles of these sites in shorebirds’ stopover ecology remain poorly understood. Through field surveys between July and November 2015, we investigated the stopover and moult schedules of migratory shorebirds along the southern Jiangsu coast, eastern China during their southbound migration, with a focus on the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea and ‘Endangered’ Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer. Long-term count data indicate that both species regularly occur in globally important number in southern Jiangsu coast, constituting 16.67–49.34% and 64.0–80.67% of their global population estimates respectively, and it is highly likely that most adults undergo their primary moult during this southbound migration stopover. Our results show that Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank staged for an extended period of time (66 and 84 days, respectively) to complete their primary moult. On average, Spoon-billed Sandpipers and Nordmann’s Greenshanks started moulting primary feathers on 8 August ± 4.52 and 27 July ± 1.56 days respectively, and their moult durations were 72.58 ± 9.08 and 65.09 ± 2.40 days. In addition, some individuals of several other shorebird species including the ‘Endangered’ Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris, ‘Near Threatened’ Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, ‘Near Threatened’ Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata and Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaultii also underwent primary moult. Our work highlights the importance of the southern Jiangsu region as the primary moulting ground for these species, reinforcing that conservation of shorebird habitat including both intertidal flats and supratidal roosting sites in this region is critical to safeguard the future of some highly threatened shorebird species.
Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in China (JUNA) will take the advantage of the ultra-low background in Jinping underground lab. High current accelerator with an ECR source and detectors were commissioned. JUNA plans to study directly a number of nuclear reactions important to hydrostatic stellar evolution at their relevant stellar energies. At the first period, JUNA aims at the direct measurements of 25Mg(p,γ)26 Al, 19F(p,α) 16 O, 13C(α, n) 16O and 12C(α,γ) 16O near the Gamow window. The current progress of JUNA will be given.
Many shorebird populations are in decline along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The rapid loss of coastal wetlands in the Yellow Sea, which provide critical stop-over sites during migration, is believed to be the cause of the alarming trends. The Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, a protected area in the north Yellow Sea, supports the largest known migratory staging populations of Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica (menzbieri and baueri subspecies) and Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris. Monitoring of the macrozoobenthos food for these shorebirds from 2011 to 2016 showed declines of over 99% in the densities of the bivalve Potamocorbula laevis, the major food here for both Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots. The loss of the bivalve might be caused by any combination of, but not limited to: (1) change in hydrological conditions and sediment composition due to nearby port construction, (2) run-off of agrochemicals from the extensive shoreline sea cucumber farms, and (3) parasitic infection. Surprisingly, the numbers of birds using the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland remained stable during the study period, except for the subspecies of Bar-tailed Godwit L. l. menzbieri, which exhibited a 91% decline in peak numbers. The lack of an overall decline in the number of bird days in Great Knots and in the peak numbers of L. l. baueri, also given the published simultaneous decreases in their annual survival, implies a lack of alternative habitats that birds could relocate to. This study highlights that food declines at staging sites could be an overlooked but important factor causing population declines of shorebirds along the Flyway. Maintaining the quality of protected staging sites is as important in shorebird conservation as is the safeguarding of staging sites from land claim. Meanwhile, it calls for immediate action to restore the food base for these beleaguered migrant shorebirds at Yalu Jiang coastal wetland.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
Croftonweed is an invasive plant in southwest China. We examined the relationships between its invasion patterns and native plant diversity at different spatio-temporal scales. At the 25 m2 scale, invasion success was negatively correlated with native plant diversity, indicating that resource availability might be the dominant factor regulating community invasibility. At the 400-m2 scale, both negative and positive relationships were detected, possibly identifying a spatial scale threshold where extrinsic environmental factors became more important to community invasibility. At the vegetation province scale, variations in physical environment outweighed the importance of intrinsic biotic factors and positive relationships between diversity and invader success were found. Native plant diversity also inhibited croftonweed over the course of community succession and at the early stages of invasion at local spatial scales. However, the changing relationship might be an artifact of sampling at different spatial scales.
Roads and streams are important conduits for the spread of invasive species, and croftonweed is an invasive plant in southwest China. We established six transects along one road and stream in Huili County, Sichuan Province to determine the pattern of invasion and identify major factors potentially influencing it. Results demonstrated that the invasion (cover, abundance, and number of clusters) of croftonweed declined significantly with distance from the road and stream. However, after compensation for environmental factors, only distance from the road was significantly negatively related to number of clusters of this plant. Instead, native plant species cover and richness were significantly negatively associated with croftonweed invasion along the road; elevation and native species cover were negatively correlated with the invasion along the stream. These findings indicated that roads and streams were main conduits for the spread of croftonweed in southwest China, and reduced native species cover could facilitate invasion by croftonweed in habitats along roads and streams.
The widespread decline of migratory shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) is one of the greatest crises for migrating birds. Among the migratory species with known population trends, 88% (22 of 25 species) show population declines, and seven have been listed as threatened or Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List. The decline of migratory shorebirds is related to the deterioration of stopping sites (including staging and stopping sites) in the Yellow Sea, including loss of intertidal wetlands, spread of invasive smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora on intertidal flats, an increase in pollution, and an increase in human disturbance. We review research concerning shorebird migration through the Yellow Sea and highlight key research activities required for the conservation of shorebirds in the region. These activities include: confirming the population consequences of loss of stopping sites, estimating migration timing and numbers of shorebirds at stopping sites, determining the differing abilities of species to use alternative habitats, understanding intra- and interspecific differences in the use of stopping sites, maintaining and expanding surveys on shorebirds and habitat condition, and identifying threats to shorebirds beyond habitat loss by reclamation. The information generated by these research activities is required for the design and selection of effective conservation actions to reverse the decline in shorebird populations.
Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica and Great Knots Calidris tenuirostris are long-distance migratory shorebirds with declining numbers in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. One of the most important staging sites for these two species during northward migration is Yalu Jiang coastal wetland in the north Yellow Sea. Historical counts have been limited to once a year and conducted at different periods; these yield inadequate data for population monitoring. We estimated the numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits and Great Knots and described their migration phenology during northward migration from 2010 to 2012 at the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland, using a combination of periodic area-wide counts over the migration period and a modelling approach that estimates passage times and total numbers of birds transiting. The mean arrival date for L. l. baueri godwits was 29 March and mean departure date was 8 May. Corresponding dates were 11 April and 15 May for L. l. menzbieri godwits and 7 April and 14 May for Great Knots. We estimated that an annual average of over 68,000 Bar-tailed Godwits and 44,000 Great Knots used the area on northward migration from 2010–2012. Our results indicate that the Yalu Jiang coastal wetland supports on average at least 42% of the flyway’s northward-migrating L. l. baueri godwits, 19% of L. l. menzbieri godwits, and 22% of the Great Knots. Comparisons with historical counts conducted during peak migration periods indicate a 13% decline in Bar-tailed Godwits since 2004 and an 18% decline in Great Knots since 1999. Our results confirm that the study area remains the most important northward migration staging site for Bar-tailed Godwits and indicate that it has become the most important northward migration staging site for Great Knots along the flyway.
Birdwatching is a popular activity in western countries where it has helped to integrate research into birds, bird conservation, and socio-economic development. We analysed the development of birdwatching in mainland China and its roles in bird study and conservation using a standard questionnaire and interviews. Birdwatching in mainland China began only recently (in the 1990s). The increased numbers of foreign birdwatchers visiting China promoted birdwatching there. As of 2010, a total of 36 local birdwatching societies had been established, and the number of birdwatchers exceeds 20,000. The development of birdwatching has been positively correlated with local economic conditions–that is, the number of birdwatchers is much greater in economically developed areas than in relatively undeveloped areas. Birdwatchers have not only contributed to a greater understanding of the population status of birds in China but also promoted bird conservation at the local level. Although China’s conservation policies are currently formulated and implemented in a top-down manner via government regulation, with little contribution from local individuals, the rapid development of birdwatching reflects an improved understanding of conservation by local communities and growing participation in conservation initiatives by local people and organisations. We predict that with the continued development of China’s economy, birdwatching will further develop and play an increasing role in China’s conservation policies and practices. This is important as China is a country with a high rate of endemism and many globally-threatened species
Broadband spectral conversion from visible light to near-infrared radiation in Ce3+–Nd3+/Yb3+ codoped yttrium aluminum garnet is reported. Excitation, emission spectra, and decay curves have been measured to prove the energy transfer from Ce3+ to Nd3+ or Yb3+. The energy transfer efficiencies have been estimated, and the mechanisms of the energy transfer between Ce3+ and Nd3+/Yb3+ have been proposed. Ce3+–Nd3+ codoped YAG can obtain more effective emission in the desired near-infrared region (around 1100 nm) through broadband conversion, showing potential application to improve the conversion efficiency of Si solar cells.
The historical distribution of the Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis together changes in its breeding and wintering grounds in China are reviewed. According to historical information the bird mainly bred in Heilongjiang and Jilin Provinces and wintered at coastal regions near the Yangtze estuary. Due to geographical and anthropological changes, the breeding grounds gradually moved to the west and south while the wintering grounds moved northward. Efforts have been made to protect this endangered species but factors still exist which restrict further development of the population.
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