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Suzuki T.,Azabu University | Takatsuku S.,Azabu University | Higuchi A.,National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo | Saito I.,Owl School
Journal of Raptor Research

We studied the diet of Ural Owls (Strix uralensis) living in the forests of Mt. Yatsugatake, central Japan, in the context of historic logging activities that have greatly extended the amount of open pasture and consequently modified small mammal availability in the region. We used owl pellets from artificial nest boxes to quantitatively analyze diet composition during the breeding season. We identified 1026 small mammals from 17 owl nests. Mandibles were identified and categorized as wood mice (Apodemus spp.), voles (Microtus sp.), and shrew-moles (Urotrichus talpoides). The small-mammal component of the diet was dominated by wood mice (71%), followed by voles (24%) and shrew-moles (5%). This contrasts sharply with the vole-dominated diets associated with most European Ural Owl populations. We also detected significantly fewer voles among mammalian remains for nests at greater distances from open-pasture habitat. We confirmed previous results from studies of Ural Owls in Japan that suggest elasticity in diet across the country and within regions. © 2013 The Raptor Research Foundation, Inc. Source

Hirose M.,National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo

Buchneria dofleini (Buchner, 1924), type species of Buchneria Harmer, 1957, was first described from material collected in 1904-1905 from Sagami Bay, Japan, but the type specimens had not been reexamined since the original description. In this study, I examined specimens of Buchneria from historical collections and material recently collected near Akkeshi, Hokkaido, Japan. Three Buchneria species were detected, two from Sagami Bay that Ortmann (1890) had placed in Escharoides, and one from Akkeshi that Androsova (1958) had described as Porella variabilis. I concluded that Buchneria dofleini is a junior synonym of Escharoides teres Ortmann, 1890; selected a lectotype for E. teres among Ortmann's syntypes; and established the new combination Buchneria teres (Ortmann, 1890), which becomes the type species of Buchneria. I also established the new combination Buchneria rhomboidalis (Ortmann, 1890) and selected a lectotype among Ortmann's syntypes. Porella variabilis is transferred to Buchneria establishing the new combination Buchneria variabilis (Androsova, 1958). Here the three new combinations are redescribed and a key to the Japanese Buchneria species is provided. Finally, I transferred Buchneria to Bryocryptellidae on the basis of ovicell and orifice morphology. Therefore, Buchneria now includes a total of three species; B. sinuata Harmer, 1957, a species from Indonesia that has hitherto been placed in this genus, is almost certainly not congeneric with other Buchneria. As far as is now known, Buchneria is endemic to northern Japan and the northern Sea of Japan. © Masato Hirose. Source

Zuo Q.,East China Normal University | Higuchi M.,National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo | Wang Y.F.,East China Normal University | Hirayama Y.,National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo
Journal of Bryology

The Asian genus Struckia Müll.Hal. is reduced to a synonym of Plagiothecium Bruch & Schimp. according to a phylogenetic analysis involving S. argentata (Mitt.) Mü ll.Hal., S. enervis (Broth.) Ignatov, T.J.Kop. & D.G.Long and 13 representative boreal species of Plagiothecium. Two nuclear regions, ITS and partial gapC, and five chloroplast regions, rbcL, rps4-trnS, psaB, trnG and trnL-F, were utilized to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationship between Struckia and Plagiothecium. Bayesian, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood analyses resulted in a strongly supported clade including Struckia and Plagiothecium. Plagiothecium handelii Broth. and P. paleaceum (Mitt.) A.Jaeger, which share similar geographical ranges with Struckia and intermediate morphological traits between Struckia and Plagiothecium, grouped with the Chinese Struckia, and all of them appeared as sister to the 'core' of Plagiothecium. The accurate position of P. piliferum (Sw.) Schimp. remains unclear due to moderate support from all analyses, and we suggest that it is retained in Plagiothecium until further evidence is available. © British Bryological Society 2011. Source

Sugita N.,National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo | Sugita N.,National Institute for Environment Studies | Kawakami K.,Japan Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute | Nishiumi I.,National Museum of Nature and Science Tokyo
Zoological Science

The Ogasawara Archipelago comprises two groups of oceanic islands: the Bonin Islands, formed in the Paleogene, and the Volcano Islands, formed in the Quaternary. These groups are located within a moderate distance (ca. 160-270 km) of one another; thus, most land bird species are not distinguished as different subspecies. Two land birds, however, show unusual distribution. The Japanese white-eyes Zosterops japonicus originally inhabited only the Volcano Islands, but has been introduced to the Bonin Islands. The brown-eared bulbuls Hypsipetes amaurotis are distributed as a different subspecies. We investigated their genetic differences and divergences in the Ogasawara Archipelago using mitochondria DNA. The Volcano population of white-eyes had four endemic haplotypes that were divergent from one another, except for the Bonin population, which shared three haplotypes with the Volcano, Izu, and Ryukyu Islands and did not have any endemic haplotype. This is the first genetic suggestion that the Bonin population is a hybrid of introduced populations. With respect to bulbuls, the Volcano and Bonin Islands each had a single endemic haplotype. The Volcano haplotype is closest to a haplotype shared with Izu, the Japanese mainland, Daito and Ryukyu, whereas the Bonin haplotype is closest to one endemic to the south Ryukyu Islands. This indicates that the sources of the two bulbul populations can be geologically and temporally distinguished. The populations of the two species in the Ogasawara Archipelago are irreplaceable, owing to their genetic differences and should be regarded as evolutionarily significant units. In order to prevent introgression between the two populations, we must restrict interisland transfers. © 2016 Zoological Society of Japan. Source

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