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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 36, No. 1, 2015, pp. 18-28
Bioline Code: zr15002
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 36, No. 1, 2015, pp. 18-28

 en The coexistence of seven sympatric fulvettas in Ailao Mountains, Ejia Town, Yunnan Province
XIA, Ji; WU, Fei; HU, Wan-Zhao; FANG, Jian-Ling & YANG, Xiao-Jun

Abstract

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 check for this species in other resources ) (65.4%) and the Streak-throated fulvetta ( A. cinereiceps check for this species in other resources ) (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.

Keywords
Fulvettas; Coexistence; Niche segregation; Ailao Mountains

 
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