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Ding P.,Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography | Ding P.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Ma M.,Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography | Chen Y.,Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Arid Land | Year: 2011

On 15 September, 2010, a Pechora Pipit Anthus gustavi Swinhoe was found in the Hami prefecture (41°13'N and 93°29'E, 1,143 m a.s.l.), Xinjiang, during the period of a comprehensive scientific survey in Lop Nur region. The bird, which was photographed, is a new avian record for Xinjiang. The pipit reproduces in northern Eurasia, mainly in wide meadows and low hills, and can be found in open forests and nearby residential areas in the process of on migration. The species is an insectivore and is a rare migrant or vagrant in Xinjiang. The geographical distribution, character, habitat, ecological habit and subspecies of the Pechora Pipit were discussed in this paper.


Votier S.C.,University of Exeter | Bearhop S.,University of Exeter | Bilton D.,University of Plymouth | Newton J.,NERC Life science Mass Spec. Facility | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Ornithology | Year: 2016

Niche segregation plays a critical role in the speciation process, but determining the extent to which taxa are geographically or ecologically isolated is challenging. In this study, we use stable isotopes of carbon (δ13C), nitrogen (δ15N), hydrogen (δ2H) and oxygen (δ18O) to test for ecological differences among taxa in the Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca complex. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) revealed 6 distinct haplotype groups, which conform to at least 5 distinct taxa. Stable isotopes provided insight into geographical and broad-scale ecological differences among haplotypes. The most striking isotope differences were between the populations inhabiting Siberian boreal forest (S. c. blythi) from the one inhabiting semi-desert in Kazakhstan (S. c. halimodendri). It is generally assumed that these two populations form a morphological cline along a gradient from mesic to xeric habitat. Our sample includes a large proportion of morphologically intermediate individuals that appear to represent a hybrid population. However, in all of these, there is strict correspondence between haplotype and isotope signature, suggesting an ecological division on the breeding grounds between all our samples of these two taxa. The lack of ecologically intermediate individuals among our sample of morphologically intermediate ones thus speaks against the existence of a cline. The two taxa blythi and halimodendri emerge as potential models for the study of the early stages of the speciation process. While differences in stable isotopes may be largely influenced by geography, we also demonstrate how, in specific instances (such as the alleged cline reported here), they may be used to evaluate niche segregation between taxa, providing information of importance for determination of species limits. © 2016, Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V.


Nip T.,Asia Ecological Consultants Ltd | Wong C.K.,Chinese University of Hong Kong
Zoological Studies | Year: 2010

Conducted in subtropical coastal waters of eastern Hong Kong, this study provides information on species compositions of juvenile fish communities in several mangrove and non-mangrove habitats, and evaluated the influences of water temperature, salinity, turbidity, sediment organic matter (SOM), water depth, and sediment grain size on fish assemblages. In total, 85,427 fish belonging to 76 species from more than 29 families were collected. Fish densities were higher in mangrove mudflats than in non-mangrove habitats, but only a few of the dominant species were significantly more abundant in mangrove than in non-mangrove habitats. Fish assemblages in mangrove and non-mangrove mudflats were quite similar. Fish compositions were influenced by environmental factors including the SOM and water depth, but not by the presence of mangroves. The present study suggests that the nursery function of mangroves is both site- and species-specific. Compared to shallow mudflats with and without mangroves, deep-water sandy beaches may be less suitable for juvenile fish because of their low SOM content and high piscivorous fish abundances. More studies need to be conducted before definitive conclusions can be made on the nursery function of mangroves in Hong Kong and subtropical Asia.


Leader P.J.,Asia Ecological Consultants Ltd | Carey G.J.,Asia Ecological Consultants Ltd | Olsson U.,Gothenburg University | Sagar Baral H.E.M.,Himalayan Nature | Alstrom P.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Forktail | Year: 2010

We examine the taxonomie status of the three taxa of Rufous-rumped Grassbird Graminicola bengalensis based on a combination of morphology, mitochondrial DNA and vocalisations. We find sinicus and striatus to be extremely similar in morphology, and that sinicus and bengalensis exhibit morphological, vocal and genetic differences (due to the lack of modern records of striatus it was not possible to include that taxon for vocal and genetic analysis). We propose that sinicus be treated as a synonym of striatus (the latter has priority) and that there are probably species level differences between striatus (s.s.) and bengalensis.

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