Habitat Use and Activity Patterns of Mammals and Birds in Relation to Temperature and Vegetation Cover in the Alpine Ecosystem of Southwestern China with Camera-Trapping Monitoring

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Li, Z.; Tang, Z.; Xu, Y.; Wang, Y.; Duan, Z.; Liu, X.; Wang, P.; Yang, J.; Chen, W.; Prins, H.H.T. Habitat Use and Activity Patterns of Mammals and Birds in Relation to Temperature and Vegetation Cover in the Alpine Ecosystem of Southwestern China with Camera-Trapping Monitoring. Animals 2021, 11, 3377.

Title: Habitat Use and Activity Patterns of Mammals and Birds in Relation to Temperature and Vegetation Cover in the Alpine Ecosystem of Southwestern China with Camera-Trapping Monitoring
Author: Li, Zhouyuan; Tang, Zhuo; Xu, Yanjie; Wang, Yingying; Duan, Zhaogang; Liu, Xuehua; Wang, Pengyan; Yang, Jian; Chen, Wei; Prins, Herbert H. T.
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2021-11-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/336765
Abstract: The high-altitude ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau in China is a biodiversity hotspot that provides unique habitats for endemic and relict species along an altitudinal gradient at the eastern edge. Acquiring biodiversity information in this area, where the average altitude is over 4000 m, has been difficult but has been aided by recent developments in non-invasive technology, including infrared-triggered camera trapping. We used camera trapping to acquire a substantial number of photographic wildlife records in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China, from 2013 to 2016. We collected information of the habitat surrounding the observation sites, resulting in a dataset covering 37 species and 12 environmental factors. We performed a multivariate statistical analysis to discern the dominant environmental factors and cluster the mammals and birds of the ecosystem in order to examine environmental factors contributing to the species&rsquo; relative abundance. Species were generalized into three main types, i.e., cold-resistant, phyllophilic, and thermophilic, according to the identified key environmental drivers (i.e., temperature and vegetation) for their abundances. The mammal species with the highest relative abundance were bharal (<i>Pseudois nayaur</i>), Moupin pika (<i>Ochotona thibetana</i>), and Himalayan marmot (<i>Marmota himalayana</i>). The bird species with highest relative abundance were snow partridge (<i>Lerwa lerwa</i>), plain mountain finch (<i>Leucosticte nemoricola</i>), Chinese monal (<i>Lophophorus lhuysii</i>), and alpine accentor (<i>Prunella collaris</i>).


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