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Inoue T.,Hokkaido University | Kaneko Y.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Yamazaki K.,Ibaraki Nature Museum | Anezaki T.,Gunma Museum of Natural History | And 7 more authors.
Conservation Genetics | Year: 2012

The masked palm civet Paguma larvata (Carnivora: Viverridae) in Japan has been phylogeographically considered an introduced species from Taiwan. To reveal the population structures and relationships among the P. larvata populations in Japan, seven compound microsatellite loci were isolated from the genome and genotyped for 287 individuals collected from the field. STRUCTURE analysis and factorial correspondence analysis of genotyping data revealed that animals from Japan were divided into four genetic clusters. Geographic distribution of the genetic clusters partly referred to sampling areas, indicating multiple introductions into distinct areas of Japan or independent founding events leading to the generation of different genetic clusters within introduced populations in Japan. The large genetic differentiation of populations in the Shikoku District from those in other areas within Japan suggests that there were at least two introduction routes into Japan, and a possibility that some founders from areas other than Taiwan were also involved in the introduction into Japan. The genetic variation within Japanese populations were not markedly reduced compared with that of Taiwan. The results indicated that the Japanese populations of P. larvata could have retained moderate genetic diversity during founding events, because of multiple introductions, or a large number or high genetic diversity of founders. Although some individuals in Japan showed a sign of admixture between different clusters, there is no evidence that such an admixture markedly increased the genetic diversity within Japanese populations. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Tanabe K.,University of Tokyo | Misaki A.,Kitakyushu Museum of Natural History and Human History | Landman N.H.,American Museum of Natural History | Kato T.,Ibaraki Nature Museum
Lethaia | Year: 2013

The jaw apparatuses of two species of Late Cretaceous Phylloceratina (Ammonoidea), Hypophylloceras subramosum and Phyllopachyceras ezoensis, are described on the basis of well-preserved in situ material from Hokkaido, Japan. Gross morphological and X-ray CT observations reveal that the upper and lower jaws of the two species are essentially similar in their overall structure. Their upper jaws consist of a shorter outer lamella and a pair of larger, wing-like inner lamellae that become narrower and join together in the anterior portion, as in those of other ammonoids. The upper jaws of the two phylloceratid species are, however, distinguishable from those of other known ammonoids by the presence of a thick, arrowhead-shaped calcified rostral tip. The lower jaws of the two species consist of a short, reduced inner lamella and a large, gently convex outer lamella covered with a thin calcareous layer, the features of which are common with the rhynchaptychus-type lower jaws of the Cretaceous Lytoceratina. In the presence of a sharply pointed, thick calcareous tip on upper and lower jaws, the jaw apparatuses of the Phylloceratina resemble those of modern and fossil nautilids, suggesting that they were developed to serve a scavenging predatory feeding habit in deeper marine environments. This and other studies demonstrate that at least some Mesozoic rhyncholites and conchorhynchs are attributable to the Phylloceratina and Lytoceratina. © 2013 The Lethaia Foundation.


Koike S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Morimoto H.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Kozakai C.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Arimoto I.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | And 3 more authors.
Acta Oecologica | Year: 2012

We studied the effects of dung beetles on the fates of endozoochorous seeds of five species (Prunus jamasakura, Prunus verecunda, Prunus grayana, Swida controversa, and Vitis coignetiae) in a temperate deciduous forest in Japan during 2004-2006. In field experiments using dung of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), we investigated the depths that dung beetles (Onthophagus atripennis, Onthophagus lenzii, and Phelotrupes auratus) buried seeds (4.8-6.8 mm diameter) and plastic markers (2 or 5 mm diameter), the levels of predation on buried and unburied seeds, and germination rates of seeds buried to different depths. All three species buried the 2-mm markers, but only P. auratus buried the seeds and 5-mm markers. There were seasonal differences in mean seed burial rates (range, 27-51%) and depths (range, 1-27 mm). Significantly more seeds were buried in June, July, and September than in August or October, and the mean burial depth was significantly deeper in June and July. Most seeds and markers were buried to a 3-6 cm depth. Germination of seeds that were positioned at depths of 1-4 cm was significantly greater than that of seeds left on the surface or buried at greater depths. Buried seeds were less likely to disappear than seeds at the surface, which may reflect differential predation. These results suggested that dung beetles, especially P. auratus, acted as a secondary seed disperser that affected the survival and distribution of seeds dispersed by a frugivore. © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS.


Koike S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Morimoto H.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Kozakai C.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Arimoto I.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | And 4 more authors.
Wildlife Biology | Year: 2012

We investigated the fate of seeds of five tree species hill cherry Prunus jamasakura, Korean hill cherry P. verecunda, Japanese bird cherry P. grayana, giant dogwood Swida controversa and crimson glory vine Vitis coignetiae in the faeces of the Asiatic black bear Ursus thibetanus in a temperate forest in central Japan. Clarifying the fate of seeds dispersed by endozoochorous seed dispersers will enhance assessments of their roles as primary seed dispersers. We established several experimental treatments in the field. Each faeces sample was covered by cages with different mesh sizes which limited accessibility by animals (NM: no mesh, SM: 1 mm mesh and MM: 10 mm mesh). We examined whether seed removal varied among tree species and between mesh-size treatments from 2004 to 2007 (N = 625 samples). We set up an automatic camera trap 1.5 m above the ground at all NM treatments. In the NM treatments, the number of seeds of all tree species decreased immediately after the faeces were set. In June of the following year, < 1% of the seeds from any species remained in the vicinity of the faeces. However, we found 3.0-13.2% intact seeds of all species in the soil below the faeces, as well as within a 10-m radius around the faeces. In the NM treatments, most seed removals were observed within four days after the faeces were set. For all tree species in the MM treatment, most of the seeds were present on the surface of the soil, and 1-2% of the seeds germinated at the location where faeces were set. In the SM treatment, none of the seeds from any of the tree species disappeared and germinated. We took a total of 415 photographs at the NM sites, 97.8% of which were of rodents either holding or eating seeds. Many of the seeds contained in the bear faeces were removed and eaten by rodents. However, 2.1-5.1% of the seeds survived and germinated, which implies that rodents may also act as secondary seed dispersers. © 2012 Wildlife Biology, NKV.


Koike S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Nakashita R.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Kozakai C.,Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History | Nakajima A.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2016

Measures of δ13C and δ15N in tissues of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) can be useful in helping researchers identify nuisance bears and in determining whether a specific bear might be consuming anthropogenic food such as garbage and corn. However, the δ13C and δ15N values of native foods vary across the bear’s range. The purposes of this study were to characterize the stable isotope ratios of bear tissues and potential non-anthropogenic food items and compare that characterization to other studies and an independent analysis of bear food habits. We collected hair from bears in the Ashio–Nikko Mountains (ANM) that, based on capture location and radiotelemetry data, were consuming non-anthropogenic food. We found that the δ13C ratios of bear hair from the ANM were significantly higher than those of bears sampled in another area in central Japan where bears were also eating native food. Bears in the ANM consumed large amounts of ants in summer. Ants in this part of the ANM have relatively higher δ13C value than ants from other areas. Miscanthus sinensis, a C4 plant with a high δ13C value close to that of corn , is abundant in parts of the ANM. We also found that the δ13C of herbivorous insects that may not be consumed by bears also had high δ13C content. From these analyses, the δ13C in bear hair in the ANM was high because bears consume ants in summer and because ants in turn may consume herbivorous insects that feed on C4 plants. Past studies indicate that high δ13C values in bear hair may be used to identify nuisance individuals that damage corn on farms. However, our results showed that bears consuming natural foods may also have high δ13C levels in some regions. Thus, identification of nuisance bears based on isotope data should account for variation in the isotopic signatures of non-anthropogenic food items and should identify and use locally appropriate isotopic end members. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Koike S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Kozakai C.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Nemoto Y.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Masaki T.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Mammal Study | Year: 2012

We studied the relationships between movement and foraging habits of the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and hard mast production of five tree species in cool temperate forest during 2006-2008. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that low mast production affects sexual differences in bear behavior. We summarized the movement pattern of 13 bears in terms of minimum movement distance and cumulative movement distance of the movement path followed during 24 hour. Masting of Quercus crispula acorns was low in 2006, high in 2007 and moderate in 2008. The dominant food items found in bear scats were hard mast, especially Quercus acorns. The percentage of Quercus acorns in the food items in scats was higher in 2007 than in 2006 and 2008. Movement distance of males and females increased in the low mast year. However, the increase of movement distance of females was larger than that of males. Thus, masting influenced the behavior of females more strongly than males. Our results indicated that low mast production changed the food habits and the size of the home range of bears, especially of females. © 2012 The Mammal Society of Japan.


Mise Y.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Yamazaki K.,Ibaraki Nature Museum | Yamazaki K.,Tokyo University of Agriculture | Soga M.,Hokkaido University | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Research | Year: 2016

Research on endozoochorous seed dispersal is needed to further understand plant ecology and evolution. There are several methods for calculating the distribution of seed dispersal distances, although many studies use the “combination of gut retention time and movement data” (CGM) method to determine the potential seed dispersal distance distribution (PSD). However, there have been no evaluations of between PSD values acquired by CGM and seed dispersal distance distributions calculated using other methods. The main purpose of this study was to compare methods of determining seed dispersal distance distributions using raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides). We calculated estimated seed dispersal distance distribution (ESD) using the bait-marker method and PSD using the CGM method. There were no differences between the ESD and PSD results with regard to basic dispersal distance distributions. The results indicate that if the region from which animal movement data was acquired and the region from which markers for the bait-marker method have been collected are the same, the distance distributions using the two methods may match. Additionally, though there were differences in seed mimic gut retention times (GRTs) between the two baits used (median GRT, fruits: 8 h 50 min, animal materials: 12 h 55 min), there were no differences in PSD between the two baits. This indicates that disperser movement has a stronger effect on dispersal distance distribution than GRT when using the CGM method. © 2016 The Ecological Society of Japan


Fujiwara S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Koike S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Yamazaki K.,Ibaraki Nature Museum | Kozakai C.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Kaji K.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2013

We studied the ant-feeding behavior of Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) through direct observation in the Ashio area of Japan. We recorded the bears' " time foraging per ant nest" (TPN), documented the seasonal occurrence of ants in their scats, estimated phenological changes in caste composition of the nests of two abundant ant species (Lasius flavus and . L. hayashi), and calculated the nutritional composition of queens, males, workers, queen pupae, and non-queen pupae of both species. We addressed two main hypotheses: (1) ant-nest phenology, especially the availability of pupae, affects bears' myrmecophagy level; and (2) TPN changes according to the caste composition of ant nests. Bears in the Ashio area consumed more ants than in previous studies elsewhere in Japan, with consumption peaking in early July. The availability of pupae may trigger ant feeding by bears. And, because queen pupae were heavier than members of other castes, calories per individual were higher. TPN varied during the study period (late June-early August). There was a negative relationship between frequency of occurrence of pupae in ant nests and TPN; because pupae cannot move by themselves, bears could consume them effectively and quickly. Thus, bears may change their ant-foraging behavior (especially TPN) based on ant nest composition. © 2012 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.


Okane I.,University of Tsukuba | Yamaoka Y.,University of Tsukuba | Kakishima M.,University of Tsukuba | Abe J.P.,University of Tsukuba | Obata K.,Ibaraki Nature Museum
Mycoscience | Year: 2013

Field observations and inoculation experiments revealed that spermogonia and aecia produced on systemically infected plants of Galium aparine and uredinia and telia on Carex maackii are different stages of the life cycle of a Puccinia fungus. By comparative morphology with allied species, the fungus was concluded to be a new species and named as Puccinia galiiuniversa. © 2013 The Mycological Society of Japan.


Koike S.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Morimoto H.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Goto Y.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Kozakai C.,Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology | Yamazaki K.,Ibaraki Nature Museum
Mammal Study | Year: 2012

We studied insectivory by five carnivores - the Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), Japanese marten (Martes melampus), Japanese badger (Meles meles), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) - in a cool-temperate deciduous forest in Japan. From May 2003 to April 2005, we assayed 373 fecal samples (91 from bear, 158 from marten, 43 from badger, 36 from fox, and 45 from raccoon dog) for insects. Each carnivore species consumed a variety of insect species, some preferentially. Bears preferred colonial insects like ants and wasps; martens ate a variety of forest insects, such as ground beetles and arboreal insects; badgers preferred forest ground beetles; foxes ate ground beetles and grassland insects; and raccoon dogs ate a variety of species. Dietary preferences may reflect the feeding strategy, behavior, or habitat preference of each carnivore species. Based on the habitat preferences of the insects, we could assign carnivores to particular microhabitats: bears and martens used forest in three dimensions, badgers inhabited forest in two dimensions, foxes used grassland and forest in two dimensions, and raccoon dogs inhabited grassland and forest in three dimensions. Identification of insects in feces may provide information on the dietary and habitat preferences of these carnivores. © The Mammal Society of Japan.

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