Zhang, Yuke, He, Xiangbo, Liu, Xuehua, Songer, Melissa, Dang, Haishan, and Zhang, Quanfa. 2021. "Fine-scale activity patterns of large- and medium-sized mammals in a deciduous broadleaf forest in the Qinling Mountains, China." Journal of Forestry Researchhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s11676-021-01291-2
The composition of animal species and interactions among them are widely known to shape ecological communities and fine-scale (e.g., < 1 km) monitoring of animal communities is essential for understanding the relationships among animals and plants. Although the co-existence of large- and medium-sized species has been studied across different scales, research on fine-scale interactions of herbivores in deciduous broadleaf forests is limited. Camera trapping of large- and medium-sized mammals was carried out over a 1 year period within a 25 ha deciduous broadleaf forest dynamics plot in the Qinling Mountains, China. Fourteen species of large- and medium-sized mammals, including six carnivores, six ungulates, one primate and one rodent species were found. Kernel density estimations were used to analyse the diel or 24 h activity patterns of all species with more than 40 independent detections and general linear models were developed to explore the spatial relationships among the species. The combination of overlapping diel activity patterns and spatial associations showed obvious niche separation among six species: giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca David), takin (Budorcas taxicolor Hodgson), Reeves's muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi Ogilby), tufted deer (Elaphodus cephalophus Milne-Edwards), Chinese serow (Capricornis milneedwardsii David) and wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus). Long-term fine-scale monitoring is useful for providing information about the co-existence of species and their interactions. The results demonstrate the importance for fine-scale monitoring of animals and plants for improving understanding of species interactions and community dynamics.