Based on the several surveys conducted since the 1990s onward, this paper aims to demonstrate that in terms of the access to higher education, social class differentiation is far starker than that of urban/rural income in contemporary China. According to the investigation that focused on students enrolled in 37 universities, the chance of farmers’ children to have a higher education is 5.6 times lower than that of nonfarmers. If we compare the chance of government and party officials’ children with that of farmers’ children, the ratio will rise to nearly 18:1. More seriously, the recent boom in higher education has not lessened but, in fact, worsened the structural factors of this inequality. The skyrocketing tuition fee constitutes an escalating fence that keeps the children from low-income, marginalized families away from acquiring higher education.
Energy development can be understood to a large extent as a process of “creating disasters.” Although this type of typical “man-made disaster” can be predictable, the study of this paper on the related conditions in Shanxi Province shows that because of the intertwining of complex systemic political, economic, and social defects, the power for creating disasters became huge. The land of Shanxi was thus dismembered in a “shocking” way. At the same time, since it is difficult to develop an effective response, the disaster came to be remade over and over again, expanding the affected areas and the affected numbers of people. Redress for the rural residents who lost their means of survival is nowhere in sight. The “crisis of governance” has come to mean in effect a crisis of survival. How to eliminate such a crisis becomes thus an exceptionally urgent problem.
After more than ten years of compensatory growth, the Chinese people’s dietary life has undergone a significant consumer revolution since the 1990s: there has been a major change in the quantity, structure, and consumption patterns of food, and animal food intake has increased significantly. The consumer revolution is underpinned not only by the “hidden agricultural revolution” in China, but also by the huge imports of agri-food and the hundreds of millions of acres of “virtual farmland,” which reached 200 million tonnes and one billion mu respectively in 2017. Given the tendency of food consumption to exceed the needs of maintaining health, the heavy ecological pressure on domestic agriculture, as well as the risks of the international situation and the external ecological impact associated with massive imports, the sustainability of this unfinished revolution is in question. At the national strategic level, advocating the moderation of consumption and the reduction of waste and reducing consumption expectations and consumption volume have become necessary choices.
The breeding of most high-altitude birds remains poorly known. We studied the breeding ecology of Kessler’s thrush (Turdus kessleri) and documented reproductive information throughout the nestling periods in the western Sichuan plateau. The data included natural nest sites, nest components, nest size, egg-laying dates, egg morphology, egg size, clutch size, egg incubation, nestling brooding and feeding, nestling morphology and growth, and reproductive outcome. The study found that T. kessleri used the old nest to breed. As the nestling grew, the female’s nestling brooding time decreased, and the feeding frequency of parent birds increased at first and then decreased. The frequency of clearing feces was positively correlated with the feeding frequency. The difference in the feeding frequency of both parents may be attributed to their division of labor, with a distinct difference between their investments. The parent birds’ cost of reproduction per nestling varies from one breeding period to the next. Predation by natural enemies is the main factor leading to reproductive failure in T. kessleri. This suite of life-history and behavioral strategies enables fledgling T. kessleri to cope with the harsh environments of mountains at higher altitudes.
Mango is an important tropical fruit, and thrips are important pests that have threatened mango yield and quality in recent years. It is important to determine the dominant species and distribution of thrips in mango for effective thrips control. In the present study, the species of thrips in mango flowers in the five main mango-producing provinces of China, and the species of thrips in different phenological stages of mango in Hainan Province were investigated. Thrips species on weeds in mango agroecosystems were also determined. The results indicated that in total there are 41 species of thrips in mango orchards in the five main mango-producing provinces of China, belonging to 21 genera, five subfamilies and three families. These are 31 species in 13 genera of Thripidae, nine species in seven genera of Phlaeothripidae, and one species in one genus of Aeolothripidae. The major species of thrips differed across the main mango production areas. Thus, 26, 17, 23, 12 and 7 species of thrips were collected in mango orchards in Hainan, Guangxi, Yunnan, Sichuan and Fujian, respectively. Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), an important invasive pest in China, was only discovered in mango orchards in Yunnan and Sichuan. Thrips species and population dynamics are closely related to the phenological stage of mango. In Hainan, the dominant thrips species during the shoot period and young fruit stage was Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood. In the flowering period, the thrips population increased significantly and species composition became complicated in the field, with Thrips hawaiiensis and F. intonsa being the dominant species. Frankliniella intonsa and T. hawaiiensis were the dominant species on weeds in the mango ecosystem, which was consistent with them being dominant thrips species on mango. It is speculated that in mango ecosystems, weeds provide refuge to thrips and removing weeds benefits thrips control in mango orchards during the flowering period.