2013 Vol. 34, No. 3
Biological market theory predicts that animals exchange the same commodities, or interchange different ones, to their mutual benefit. Using focal and behavioral sampling methods and continuous recording techniques, we studied Tibetan macaques (Macaca thibetana) in two study groups (YA1 and YA2) at Huangshan, China to see whether adults interchanged male-to-female agonistic support for copulation. Overall, male-to-female agonistic support was significantly correlated with copulation behaviors when data from both study groups were combined. For YA1, copulations in post-agonistic support observation (PO) was greater, but not significantly so, than random observation (RO) in the breeding season, and copulation in PO was significantly greater than RO in the non-breeding season. For YA2 copulations in PO were significantly greater than RO in both breeding and non-breeding seasons. These results suggest that a male who extends post-agonistic support to a female is significantly more likely to copulate with her. Our study provides evidence for the existence of a biological market involving interchanged social behaviors. Our study also illuminates the reproductive strategies of male competition and female choice in this species.
Surface water is a major limiting factor affecting animal activities in karst ecosystems. From March, 2006 to June, 2007 and from October, 2010 to May, 2011, infra-red camera traps were installed along animal trails and temporary rain pools in Nonggang National Nature Reserve, Guangxi, China, to monitor mammal diversity and relative abundance. In total, 19 species from 17 genera, 12 families, and 5 orders were recorded, including two State Key Protection Class I species, the François’ langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) and Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis). Although 42% of species only occurred in one of the microhabitats, differences in species assemblages between trails and pools were not significant. The results of our observation indicated that camera trapping was effective in monitoring medium to large sized mammals, and for recording illegal hunting. In addition, our results suggest that authorities should reinforce patrolling, especially at water pools during the dry season, and eradicate unsustainable extraction of underground water. Moreover, based on the advantages of large inhibited environments to animal species, especially to large predators, we also recommend connecting the three isolated sections of the reserve to promote species recovery and dispersal.
Food selection by folivorous primates is thought to relate to macronutrients, micronutrients and plant secondary metabolites. However, few studies explain their effects on food choices. This study was designed to clarify the effect of phytochemical components on Rhinopithecus bieti food choice by analyzing the chemical composition of food samples collected from March to May in 2010 and 2011 at Mt. Lasha in northwest Yunnan, China. Compared with non-foods, there was more phosphorous and crude protein, less total sugar and a lower ratio of calcium to phosphorus in selected foods. However, no differences were found in crude fat, crude ash, calcium and tannin content between foods and non-foods. Phytochemical constituents may influence food choices; the monkeys preferred foods with high phosphorus and low Ca/P, low calcium, low sugar and low tannins. Rhinopithecus bieti foraged high quality foods such as buds and young leaves to meet their nutritional needs after a long winter. Therefore, if tannin content in food did not exceed the enduring threshold of R. bieti, the nutrient intake was prioritized by phosphorus and calcium regulation when the need for macronutrients dominated by protein was satisfied.
Species ecomorphological characteristics are the evolutionary results of selective pressures that have enabled individuals of a given species to survive and reproduce. Closely related species co-occurring in homogeneous environments should be morphologically distinct to partition limited resources, so as to minimize interspecific competition. From 1983 to 2012, we studied the ecomorphological characteristics of nine passerine species in alpine meadow. Results showed six ecomorphological characteristics of the nine species were significantly different. Approximately, 92.0% of samples were correctly classified and the correct rates ranged from 84.5% to 100.0%, except for the Oriental Skylark (Eremophila alpestris), which was 79.2%. Accordingly, the nine species were divided into five guilds based on their characteristics. Results indicated that the niches of all species were divergent, and the ecomorphological characteristics of the specific species in each guild were related to their habitats and foraging behaviors. These results also explained the possible mechanisms of different species coexistence in alpine meadow.
Although forest gap ecology is an important field of study, research remains limited. By plot setting and point counted observation, the response of birds to forest gaps in winter as well as bird distribution patterns in forest gaps and intact canopies were studied in a north tropical monsoon forest of southwestern China from November 2011 to February 2012 in the Fangcheng Golden Camellia National Nature Reserve, Guangxi. The regression equation of bird species diversity to habitat factor was Y1=0.611+0.002 X13+0.043 X2+0.002 X5-0.003 X8+0.006 X10+0.008 X1 and the regression equation of bird species dominance index to habitat factor was Y3=0.533+0.001 X13+0.019 X2+0.002 X3-0.017 X4+0.002 X1. There were 45 bird species (2 orders and 13 families) recorded in the forest gap, accounting for 84.9% of all birds (n=45), with an average of 9.6 species (range: 2-22). Thirty-nine bird species (5 orders and 14 families) were recorded in non-gap areas, accounting for 73.6% of all birds (n=39), with an average of 5.3 species (range: 1-12). These results suggested that gap size, arbor average height (10 m from gap margin), arbor quantity (10 m from gap margin), shrub quantity (10 m from gap margin), herbal average coverage (1 m from gap margin) and bare land ratio were the key forest gap factors that influenced bird diversities. On the whole, bird diversity in the forest gap was greater than in the intact canopy. Spatial distributions in the forest gaps were also observed in the bird community. Most birds foraged in the “middle” and “canopy” layers in the vertical stratification. In addition, “nearly from” and “close from” contained more birds in relation to horizontal stratification. Feeding niche differentiation was suggested as the main reason for these distribution patterns.
The Chinese Bulbul, Pycnonotus sinensis, is one of the most abundant and widely distributed birds of south China, settling even in dense urban areas. From March-July 2012, we surveyed the Chinese Bulbul in the urban environment of Hangzhou, China, to gain a clearer perspective on their breeding ecology. Totally, 117 nests were found, mainly on the trees of Osmanthus fragrans (84.6%, n=117) in residential areas,street tree strips, and green belt. Our results include several noteworthy observations: nest height from the ground was 3.16?0.91 m (n=117); egg-laying begins in early April with peak times from April 11-25; and the nesting period was 11.85?1.12 days (n=47). In terms of fertility and reproduction, we also observed that the average incubation period was 11.34?1.12 days (n=32); average clutch size was 3.37?0.48 eggs (n=103); hatching success 68.3%, fledging rate 52.1%, and the total breeding success 35.58% (n=117). The main causes of breeding failure included egg and fledgling predation, as well as human disturbance.
To explore adaptive changes of the Zebrafish (Danio rerio) to anaerobic exercise training as well as to collect basic data of molecular mechanisms of adaption to anaerobic exercise training among this fish, we investigated the influences of 4 weeks of anaerobic exercise training on the behavior, morphology, growth, muscle biochemical components and metabolic enzyme activities of the Zebrafish. Our results indicated that individual’s daily activity level declined after 4 weeks training and they preferred to swim together more frequently. Both body length and weight gain decreased, allowing the fish to adapt to the increased locomotion. Similarly, glycogen in muscles increased and exercise endurance also strengthened due to the enhancement of energy storage. Moreover, although the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in muscle has increased, the activity of citrate synthase (CS) decreased. Taken together, these results suggest that both the ability of anaerobic exercise and anaerobic metabolism of Zebrafish can in fact be enhanced by training, and the tangible changes that we could measure were retained, but only for a limited time.
In order to understand the acoustic characteristics and adaptive strategies of sympatric male Amolops wuyiensis and male Odorrana tormotus in environments controlled for high noise levels, we recorded and analyzed the advertisement calls produced by individual males during breeding season. The results show that A. wuyiensis produced a single type of call composed of variable syllables (from 3 to 6 syllables) with 2~10 pulses over different time periods. The average values of call duration, dominant frequency and signal noise ratio were 2 198.20 ms, 2 231.90 Hz and 33.00 dB respectively. There were no ultrasonic elements in A. wuyiensis calls and they did not have the basis of ultrasonic communication. The average values of call duration, dominant frequency and signal noise ratio of O. tormotus were 331.80 ms, 6 665.50 Hz and 37.00 dB respectively. Call structure of O. tormotus was consistent with previous studies. The noise did not mask the calls from the male A. wuyiensis and male O. tormotus, which have higher frequencies and amplitudes. To fulfill the intra-species communication in a noise-controlled environment, the A. wuyiensis male, which has a low vocal frequency and long transmission length, varied vocal frequency, composition, and duration, the latter of which serves to attract females. By contrast, the male O. tormotus increased vocal frequency, which reduces the energy expended on intra-species communication.
Potatso National Park was the first national park in mainland China, preceded by the earlier Bitahai Nature Reserve. Located in the northwest of Yunnan and on the southeast of Qinghai-Tibet plateau, Potatso is a typical low latitude and high elevation wetland nature reserve, with large areas of coniferous forest around alpine lakes and both wetland and water area ecosystems. In August, 2011, we undertook a survey of crustaceans in the park, sampling lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers throughout Potatso. We found a total of 29 species (including varieties) belonging to 24 genera and 11 families. Notable discoveries include Parartemiopsis sp, Arctodiaptomus parvispinus and Simocephalus congener, which are the first examples of these species to be recorded in China. Likewise, Gammarus bitaensis is a unique crustacean found only in Potatso National Park and Thermocyclops dumonti and Gammarus paucispinus are both endemic species to northwestern Yunnan. The overall faunal characteristics of crustaceans in the park also revealed several things about Potatso: (1) Cosmopolitan and Palaearctic elements reach 48.27% and 37.93%, clearly showing the Palaearctic element as the dominant fauna; (2) most of the crustacean, such as Arctodiaptomus parvispinus and Gammarus, are typical alpine types, confirming that Potatso has feature typical of alpine and plateau fauna; and (3) the proportion of endemic and rare crustacean species in Potatso National Park is approximately 10%, suggesting that the Potatso National Park in particular and the northwest of Yunnan in general have a unique geological and evolutionary history.
We examined the prey selection and behavioral responses of tiger frog Hoplobatrachus chinensis larvae exposed to unpalatable and palatable sympatric prey tadpoles, Bufo melanostictus and Pelophylax nigromaculatus. We found that after a short exposure to the toxic toad tadpoles B. melanostictus, predators may learn to decrease going after unpalatable prey, subsequently it seems they may express short-term behavioral memory in order to avoid the toxic prey. In general, H. chinensis showed no preference for either any of the two prey species, which may be the result of P. nigromaculatus using behavioral performance and chemical defense as antipredatation strategies. These results facilitate further investigation of other aspects of the behavioral ecology of these three anuran species and hint at some potentially interesting possibilities of memory in choice of prey which may suggest further study.
Aggressive encounters between animals of the same species have been termed as “agonistic behaviors”. Different to aggressions in predator-prey and other nonsocial interactions, agonistic behaviors widely exist in various aquatic animal individuals. To provide references for future research of agonistic behaviors and aquaculture, this article reviewed the expression forms, reasons, and mechanisms of agonistic behavior as well as its research status and development tendencies.
In total, three different tissues from the rough-legged buzzard were obtained by culture and successfully cryopreserved and then recovered. During the subculture process, biological characteristics including as cell morphology, growth curve, cell adhesion rate, and karyotype were analyzed and compared, and overall all three kinds of tissue cells exhibited fibroblast-like growth. Oviduct-derived cells had the strongest adherent ability, followed by lung-derived cells and trachea-derived cells. The doubling times of lung-derived cells, trachea-derived cells, and oviduct-derived cells were 29.91?0.39 h, 33.18?0.21 h, and 30.67?0.28 h, respectively, with population doubling times 3.54?0.01, 4.52?0.02, and 4.38?0.03, respectively. Likewise, we noted the chromosome number of the rough-legged buzzard was 68, within the typical type of ZW. These results may potentially provide material and a basis for further research in the field, with the successful preservation of genetic information of rough-legged buzzard.
In autumn of 2008 and 2009, we studied the foraging habitat selection of Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) in the Momoge Nature Reserve of Jilin province. Using the resource selection index, resource selection functions, and the chi-squared test, we found that the Siberian Crane exhibited selectivity in their preferred foraging environments in relation to the distance to human disturbances, vegetation density, coverage and height, foraging vegetation density and water level. Interestingly, this selectivity in regards to large scale disturbances was lower than other factors. The characteristics of favorite foraging habits of Siberian Cranes include a variety of factors: a distance >5 000 m from a national highway, >1 500 m from a non-gravel road, >1 000 m from the nearest road, >1 000 m from a residential area, >1 000 m from farmland; plant density between 20 and 50 grass/m2; plant coverage lower than 10%; plant height lower than 20 cm; Scirpus planiclmis density between 1 and 50 grass/m2; Scirpus triqueter density between 1 and 10 grass/m2; and the water level between 40 and 60 cm. The resource selection functions of Siberian Crane foraging habitat in autumn can be described thusly: Logistic (P) = 0.663 + 0.565×distance to national highway + 0.042×distance to non-gravel road + 0.519×distance to the nearest road + 0.353×distance to residential area + 0.169×distance to farmland - 0.455×vegetation density - 0.618×vegetation coverage - 0.548×vegetation height - 0.158×Scirpus planiclmis density - 0.404×Scirpus triqueter density + 0.920×water level,T (x) =eLogistic(p) / [1 + eLogistic(p)], with an overall prediction accuracy of 82.9%.
The physiological and behavioral differences between Myotis lucifugus and Pteropus vampyrus should be attributed to molecular mechanisms and deserve intensive investigation. We conducted genome-wide scan for coding sequences from the orthologue genes of seven mammalian species. Selection analyses were carried out by setting the branches leading to Myotis lucifugus and Pteropus vampyrus as foreground branches, respectively. Enrichment analyses were conducted for positively selected genes. Our results indicated that more genes exhibited positive selection in Myotis lucifugus than that in Pteropus vampyrus. The positively selected genes of the two species were enriched in different functions. The differences between Myotis lucifugus and Pteropus vampyrus represented their differentiation in biological functions, especially the functions of immunity, motor ability, energetic metabolism and sensory organ development.
The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Remiz consobrinus was determined using long PCR and conserved primers walking approaches. Based on the results of assembling and annotation, the structure, sequence composition and codon usage of the genome protein-coding genes were analyzed, and the prediction of the secondary structure of 22 tRNA and 2 rRNA, the control region structure, and the phylogeny were also conducted, which provided new information for phylogenetic studies of passerine birds. The entire mitochondrial genome of Remiz consobrinus was 16 737 bp in length, the accession number was KC463856 and the content of A, T, C, and G were 27.8%, 21.5%, 35.4%, and 15.3%, respectively. The genome harbored the same gene order with that of other birds, and contained 13 protein coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNA, 2 rRNA, and a non-coding control region. There were 77 bp intergenic intervals between 18 pair genes and 30 bp overlaps between 7 pair genes. Except for ND3 gene, which used ATT as the initiation codon, all other PCGs started with the typical ATG codon. Except for COIII and ND4, which used incomplete termination codon T, the other 11 PCGs used standard TAA, TAG, AGA or AGG as termination codons. The tRNAs all formed typical cloverleaf secondary structure, except for tRNASer-AGN, which lost the DHU arm in its structure. A total of 27 base mismatches appeared, with 19 common G-U mismatches. The predicted secondary structure of SrRNA and LrRNA contained 3 domains with 47 helices and 6 domains with 60 helices, respectively. Besides F-box, D-box, C-box, and B-box, Bird similarity-box and CSB1-box were also found in the control region of Remiz consobrinus, as found in other bird species. Our results suggest Remizidae as a separate family. The monophyly of Sylviidae and Remizidae was supported.
In a previous study, we observed that multiple low doses of streptozotocin (STZ) can induce spontaneous restoration of normoglycemia in adult mouse diabetes models. In the present study, we sought to identify when spontaneous recovery from diabetes occurs and to disclose the changes in the diabetic data of diabetic mice induced by multiple low doses of streptozotocin (MLD-STZ mice). After inducing type 1 diabetes mellitus, radioimmunoassay, indirect immunofluorescence and hematoxylin-eosin staining were used to determine the diabetic data of MLD-STZ mice. In MLD-STZ mice, the diabetic indicators, including food intake, water consumption, body weight, blood glucose level and serum insulin concentration, developed gradually until week 20. Thereafter, the symptoms of diabetes gradually improved. By the week 36, although body weight and β cell masses remained significantly different between the MLD-STZ mice and the age-matched control animals, food intake, water consumption, blood glucose levels and serum insulin concentrations had all returned to normal levels, and no lymphocytic infiltrations were observed in pancreatic islets. This data demonstrates that MLD-STZ can induce spontaneous recovery from diabetes mellitus in adult mice, suggesting further research into the processes by which normoglycemia is recovered.