Volume 36 Issue 1
Jan.  2015
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Ji XIA, Fei WU, Wan-Zhao HU, Jian-Ling FANG, Xiao-Jun YANG. The coexistence of seven sympatric fulvettas in Ailao Mountains, Ejia Town, Yunnan Province. Zoological Research, 2015, 36(1): 18-28. doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2015.1.18
Citation: Ji XIA, Fei WU, Wan-Zhao HU, Jian-Ling FANG, Xiao-Jun YANG. The coexistence of seven sympatric fulvettas in Ailao Mountains, Ejia Town, Yunnan Province. Zoological Research, 2015, 36(1): 18-28. doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2015.1.18

The coexistence of seven sympatric fulvettas in Ailao Mountains, Ejia Town, Yunnan Province

doi: 10.13918/j.issn.2095-8137.2015.1.18
Funds:  This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Y201011041), the National Science and Technology Basic Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2008FY110300) and the Natural Science Foundation of Yunnan Province (Y103841101)
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  • Corresponding author: Xiao-Jun YANG
  • Received Date: 2014-07-02
  • Rev Recd Date: 2014-09-25
  • Publish Date: 2015-01-08
  • The coexistence of ecologically similar species sharing sympatric areas is a central issue of community ecology. Niche differentiation is required at least in one dimension to avoid competitive exclusion. From 2012-2014, by adopting the methods of mist-nets and point counts to evaluate spatial niche partitioning and morphological differentiations, we explored the coexistence mechanisms of seven sympatric fulvettas in Ailao Mountains, Ejia town, Yunnan Province, China. The microhabitats of these seven fulvettas were significantly different in elevation, roost site height and vegetation coverage, indicating a spatial niche segregation in different levels. Approximately, 90.30% of the samples were correctly classified by linear discriminant analysis (LDA) with correct rates at 91.20%-100%, except the White-browed fulvetta (Alcippe vinipectus) (65.4%) and the Streak-throated fulvetta (A. cinereiceps) (74.6%). The seven fulvettas were classified into four guilds based on their specific morphological characters, suggesting that the species in each guild use their unique feeding ways to realize resource partitioning in the overlapped areas. These finding indicate that through multi-dimensional spatial niche segregation and divergence in resource utilizing, the inter-specific competition among these seven fulvettas is minimized, whereas, coexistence is promoted.
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