Table of Content

    14 August 2017, Volume 37 Issue 3
    Research on the change of giant pandas’ spatial utilization and road impacts in the Qinling Mountains
    LIU Lanmei, LIU Xuehua, JIN Xuelin, WANG Zhichen, GONG Minghao
    2017, 37(3):  215-225.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703001
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    Research on the spatial utilization dynamics of giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) population and human interference are essential to identify potential habitat and to sustain the population. The data were collected from the Third and the Forth National Survey of Giant Panda Populations and Habitats. Geographic information system technology and comparative analyses were applied to investigate spatial utilization dynamics in giant panda populations and the disturbance of roads on neighboring panda populations. Our results show that: (1) In the period 2000-2012, giant panda’s high spatial utilization density increased to the west and decreased to the east. It increased in Huangbaiyuan Nature Reserves, but decreased slightly in Foping, Guangyinsha and Zhouzhi Nature Reserves. The area of high-density panda spatial utilization decreased in size, as pandas spread out over a wider area. The maximum increase in utilization density was 3.05 tracks/km2, and the maximum decrease was 2.71 tracks/km2.  (2) The rateof increase of Giant pandas’ spatial utilization density rose within 2000m in national, provincial, county roads. The range of spatial utilization density change decreased 2000m away from rural roads. Spatial utilization density increased 3500m between highways. Our study on the spatial utilization pattern of giant panda population provides a reference for more suitable and sustainable habitats, which would be helpful to optimize road locations and nature reserve planning, and to alleviate the conflict between human activities and wildlife.
    Giant panda selection of Fargesia robusta shoots in Wolong Nature Reserve,China
    ZHANG Mingchun, LI Zhong, HUANG Yan, HUANG Jinyan, LI Desheng, LIU Dian, ZHOU Xiaoping, ZHOU Shiqiang, LI Rengui, ZHANG Hemin
    2017, 37(3):  226-232.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703002
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    The shoots of Fargesia robusta are the most important food source for giant pandas in Wolong nature reserve in spring. We conducted three line transects in the springs of 2014, 2015, and 2016. We found that giant pandas preferred to forage on lower elevation shoots and avoided foraging in areas with heavy grazing and other human actives. There was a significant positive correlation with the lowest foraging elevation used by giant pandas and the amount of anthropogenic disturbance. When shoots reached a height greater than two meters, giant pandas left to forage on food patches at higher elevation. Giant pandas preferentially selected areas with bigger bamboo shoots and within a bamboo forest they foraged on the largest shoots available particularly when stands were composed mostly of small diameter shoots (P<0.05). When the majority of the shoots were bigger, giant pandas switch to foraging shoots randomly (P>0.05). Pandas foraged on a higher percentage of shoots in areas containing larger shoots, (F=20.12, P<0.05), and foraged fewer shoots at higher elevations because shoots were thinner in diameter and taller. There was a significant positive correlation between the height of the shoot stub and the shoot itself (r=0.50, P<0.001). To encourage giant pandas to forage on Fargesia robusta shoots, managers should limit anthropogenic disturbances in spring, especially at elevations between 2100-2400 meters where giant pandas preferentially feed.
    Discovery of a new formed group and current population status of eastern black crested gibbon in Bangliang National Nature Reserve, Guangxi, China
    WEI Shaogan, MA Changyong, TAN Wujing, YANG Jiang, CUI Liangwei, FAN Pengfei
    2017, 37(3):  233-240.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703003
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    Eastern black crested gibbons (Nomascus nasutus) are listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List, because of their small population size. The single remaining population is comprised of about 110 individuals living in a karst forest patch along the border of China and Vietnam. We monitored gibbon calls from fixed listening posts to survey the Chinese population in Guangxi Bangliang National Nature Reserve (Bangliang NNR) during May and August of 2015. We found a previously unknown group of eastern black crested gibbons that consists of 1 adult male, 2 adult females, and 1 infant. This is the first discovery of a newly formed group in China since 2006, when the species was rediscovered in Bangliang NNR. The population of eastern black crested gibbons in China is now estimated to have increased from 22 individuals in 3 groups to 26 individuals in 4 groups. The population size is likely limited by available habitat, restoration of which will be vital to future population growth. Presently, livestock grazing is a serious threat to gibbon habitat in Bangliang NNR. Actions must be taken to reduce or even prohibit grazing inside the nature reserve. Given that this population is distributed across the border of China and Vietnam, relevant government departments in both countries need to strengthen cooperation in border management and habitat protection. Fragmentation of this population by the international border would harm its recovery.
    Geographical variation in the skull morphology of the great Himalayan leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros armiger)
    HOU Linlin, JIANG Tinglei, LIN Aiqing, FENG Jiang
    2017, 37(3):  241-250.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703004
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    We studied the geographical variation in skull morphology of the Himalayan leaf-nosed bat, Hipposideros armiger across nine populations from South China using geometric morphometrics. We found significant differences in skull size and shape among the nine populations and found the most obvious differences between populations from Simao in Yunnan Province and from Lingshui in Hainan Province. Results of multivariate regression analysis showed that both the variation in skull size and shape were associated with the variation in climatic factors across sampling localities. With increases of mean annual temperature, mean annual precipitation and mean annual humidity, the skull increases in size. The shape of the upper jaw, teeth, masseter kinsertion and the cochlea in the skull have changed. In addition, the skull size is positively related with altitude and the skull shape is related to latitude. Our results suggest that adaptation to local ecological conditions partially promotes the geographical variation in skull morphology of H. armiger in China.
    Emergence times and seasonality of the great leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros armiger, Chiroptera: Hipposideridae) in Hong Kong, China
    David J. Stanton
    2017, 37(3):  251-255.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703005
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    Between May 2014 and May 2015 the evening emergence of the great leaf-nosed bat Hipposideros armiger was studied at a lowland roost in Hong Kong, PRC. Average emergence of H. armiger was 14.6 ± 6.1 min after sunset. There is a strong correlation between first emergence and civil twilight (r = 0.968, P < 0.0001) and also a strong correlation between last emergence and civil twilight (r = 0.977, P< 0.0001). No bat emergence was noted during December and January, the colder months of the year. The species is widely distributed in Asia though little had been published on its basic ecology when compared to bat species in temperate regions. It is hoped that understanding of the seasonal emergence of Hipposideros armiger will help in further investigations of ecology and conservation of this bat species.
    Species resources and factors affecting mammals in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
    ZHANG Libiao, GUO Qiang, LIU Qi, LIU Quansheng, HU Kaijin, SU Qianqian, CHEN Yi, PENG Xingwen, WANG Yingyong, WU Yi, ZHANG Peng
    2017, 37(3):  256-265.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703006
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    During the period April 2014 to October 2015, mammals in different regions of Shenzhen were surveyed using different methods. Overall, 49 species (8 orders, 15 families, 32 genera) were found, of which 24 species (49.0%, 4 families, 12 genera) were Chiroptera, 13 species (26.5%, 3 families, 8 genera) were Rodentia, 5 species (10.2%, 3 families, 5 genera) were Carnivora, 3 species (6.1%, 1 families, 3 genera) were Soricomorpha, other 4 species were belonged 4 orders, respectively. We found 1 new record for a mammal for Guangdong Province, and 8 new records for mammals for Shenzhen City. Based on the landscape ecology and habitats, Shenzhen City was divided into 11 regions. Using correlative analysis, the mammal species richness of different regions was significantly negatively correlated with the human density, but significantly positively correlated with the vegetative condition and the distance to urban areas, Species richness was not significantly correlated with the size of vegetative patches. Multiple regression analysis indicated that vegetative condition was the most important factor to mammal species, and there were significant correlations among vegetative condition, the distance to urban areas, and human density. Finally, we discussed the habitat preference types, fauna characteristics, and endangered status of each species.
    Habitat selection and the response to human disturbances by Anourosorex squamipes
    ZONG Hao, XIANG Dabing, WU Sisi, LI Jiang, REN Xi, LI Wanyu, FU Changkun, WANG Qiong, CHEN Shunde
    2017, 37(3):  266-276.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703007
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    The population sizes of Anourosorex squamipes in twelve different types of habitats was surveyed during April to September in 2014. According to the order of trapping success and the degree of human disturbance of the different habitats, we analyzed trends of habitat selection of Anourosorex squamipes. Simulated population disturbance was executed by the way of artificial capture. The investigation consisted of population size, age group and sex ratio for different habitats specified as one of four typical sorts (grassland, abandoned pear garden, bush-land and landscape planted woods) after 1, 2, 3 and 4 months of human disturbance, It is shown that the trapping success for Anourosorex squamipes in the 12 habitats presents a sequence from large to small for five grades as follows: forest area > human habitat environment or abandoned pear garden >landscape planted woods or bush-land or abandoned vineyard or grassland >  Eucalyptus woods or vegetable field > bamboo woods or vineyard or rape field. It was found that Anourosorex squamipes select their habitat more likely in a sequence as follows: habitats with intermediate disturbance and environmental heterogeneity, habitats with high disturbance and low environmental heterogeneity, habitats with low disturbance and high environmental heterogeneity, and habitats with excessive disturbance or environmental heterogeneity or both. Moreover, the population of Anourosorex squamipes in all the habitats was reduced significantly at the beginning of human disturbance, and then could be restored to the normal level in 2 months. More specifically, the average sex ratio was increased by 3.52% , the pregnancy ratio changed slightly, the rate of adult groups was decreased by 1.71%, the rate of old groups decreased by 7.53%, the rate of young group increased by 2.33% and the sub-adult group increased by 6.91% after the human disturbance. Nevertheless, the increasing of rate of young group and sub-adult group suggests that Anourosorex squamipes populations would maintain a continuous growth trend in a long period.
    The effects of cabergoline on social behavior in male Rattus losea
    QIN Jiao, SU Qianqian, LIU Quansheng
    2017, 37(3):  277-283.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703008
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    Fertility control reduces the birth rate of rodent populations and influences animal reproductive capability. By contrast, the effects of sterilants on individual behaviors may affect the social hierarchy of populations, and interfere with reproduction in normal animals. To understand the effects of cabergoline treatment dosage and treatment duration on the behavior of male Rattus losea, 40 male rats were randomly divided into five groups and treated with 0, 50, and 100 μg/kg cabergoline for 3 consecutive days. One male subject from the pre-treatment group (T750, T7100) was assigned to dyadic encounters with one subject from the control group (C) on the first day after the end of the three-day treatment. T2450 and T24100 rats encountered the same rat from C on the 18th day after the end of the three-day treatment. T750  and T7100 were assigned to dyadic encounters with normal females on the fourth day after the end of the three-day treatment. T2450 and T24100 rats encountered normal females on the 21st day after the end of the three-day treatment. Social behaviors between the same sex and the opposite sex were observed for 30 min and videotaped. The results showed that cabergoline treatment negatively affected the investigative and aggressive behavior of male R. losea,  and reduced the aggression duration and frequency of males toward females. The frequency of investigation, grooming and resting in males that encountered female counterparts were significantly different between pre- and post-treatment with 100 μg/kg cabergoline. In conclusion, cabergoline treatment disturbs the inter- or intra-sexual social behaviors of R. losea. Furthermore, with longer duration post-treatment, the behavioral data in our experiment were not significantly different compared with pre-treatment. These results indicate that the effects of drug on social behavior of the male can gradually disappear after suspending cabergoline treatment.
    Soil microorganisms and enzymes in burrows of plateau zokor in eastern Qilian Mountain region
    JI Chengpeng, YANG Siwei, ZHOU Yanshan, CHU Bin, HUA Limin
    2017, 37(3):  284-292.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703009
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    The complex burrowing system of Plateau Zokor has an important influence on soil physical and chemical characteristics in alpine meadows. Soil samples taken at burrow sites of zokors were compared with those of non-burrow soil samples collected in the same soil layer in surrounding areas without disturbance oby zokors. We measured soil microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes), soil enzymes (urease, invertase, alkaline phosphatase) and soil total nitrogen and organic matter, as well as available phosphorus in active burrow and non-burrow soil .Our results showed that the content of available phosphorus and total nitrogen in burrows of zokor were higher than those of non-burrow soil; the content of available phosphorus differed significantly in May and October (P<0.05); the content of organic matter and fungi in non-burrow soil were significantly higher than that of burrows (P<0.05); there were no significant differences in activities of three soil enzymes between active burrow and non-burrow soil (P>0.05); the content of soil bacteria in May and fungi in October in non-burrow soil were significantly higher than that of the burrows (P<0.05); soil bacteria, actinomycetes, available phosphorus, total nitrogen and organic matter reached maximum values in both the burrow and non-burrow soil in August , these indices were not significantly different between burrow and non-burrow soil in the other months (P>0.05). Based on the above results, we concluded that the soil microorganism and soil enzyme were not significantly different between burrow and non-burrow soil (P>0.05).
    Cloning of the CDS of yak Endothelin-1 gene and construction of its eukaryotic expression plasmid
    WANG Qianhao, LIU Jianfeng, DING Yanping, WANG Jianlin, SHAO Baoping
    2017, 37(3):  293-299.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703010
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    Endothelin-1 is a potent vasoconstricting factor that can induce structural and functional changes of the blood vessel by promoting vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. This study was designed to study the molecular basis of high-altitude adaption in yak with a focus on the potential role of Endothelin-1. We cloned and analyzed the CDS of yak (Bos grunniens) Endothelin-1 and constructed a eukaryotic expression plasmid to provide a useful tool to study its fuction in the future. The results showed that the full-length of yak Endothelin-1 contains a complete ORF (609bp) encoding 202 amino acids. The putative molecular weight and theory isoelectric point of Endothelin-1 gene in yak are 22.98 kDa and 9.63. We also successfully constructed a eukaryotic expression vector pEGFP-C1-Endothelin-1 in which the CDS of the Endothelin-1 is driven by CMV promoter and the expression can be monitored by GFP. Amino acid sequences of yak Endothelin-1 are 100%、93%、81%、77%、70% identical to those in Bos Taurus、Ovis aries、Pantholops hodgsoni and Homo sapiens, respectively. In summary, findings from the study will pave the way to further explore the molecular mechanism of high-altitude adaption in yak and likely other animals.

    Molecular evolution of the RNase5 in Rodentia
    LANG Datian, ZHANG Xinjun, WU Yinmei
    2017, 37(3):  300-307.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703011
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    RNase5 is an important member of the RNASE A superfamily. It has been considered as an intriguing model in molecular evolution studies. 17 species belong to 10 families from three evolution branches of Rodentia are analysised. RNase5 is detected in each genome by TBlastN and BlastN,which suggest the gene is losted in all species of Ctenohystrica after the evolution clade formed. Reconstructed RNase5 trees based on both Neighbor-Joining and Maximum likelihood methods supported three independent gene duplications are observed in Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus and Peromyscus maniculatus in the mouse-related clade suborder. Strong positive selection was detected in the branch model,site model and branch-site model of PAML. In sum, the present work demonstrated the diversity about RNase5 studies, that provides an important foundation for further studies adaptive evolution mechanism of the RNase5.
    Ecologically-based rodent management in the agro-pastoral ecotone of North China: a case study in Mongolian gerbils
    LIU Wei, ZHONG Wenqin, WAN Xinrong, WANG Jianqing
    2017, 37(3):  308-306.  DOI: 10.16829/j.slxb.201703012
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    The agro-pastoral ecotone of North China not only is a vulnerable ecosystem zone,but also is an ecological security boundary line in China. Rodent pests have always been one of the important ecological issues plaguing the agriculture-stock production of this area. With increased understanding of ecological and environmental security, research and development of ecologically based pest management, aimed at maintaining such security, has begun paying attention to natural pest regulation, highlighting the “win-win” nature of gains in both pest control and sustainable development. As a case, we demonstrated a study of Mongolian gerbils Meriones unguiculatus, which were one of major rodent pests of the agro-pastoral zone in Inner Mongolia, China.  We reviewed the characteristics of group living, food hoarding, and space behavior in gerbils, and their behavioral adaptation to habitat quality or food abundance as well as to local phenological characters and agronomic cultivation practices. We propose that key manipulation principles of a synergistic habitat management strategy should focus on adaptive characteristics of pest behavior in ecologically-based management of Mongolian gerbils.  It is hoped to that this information will enable exploration of ecologically- based management strategies via fundamentals behavioral ecology, which integrate sustainable environment- friendly rodent control and integral benefits.