Biodiversity Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (4): 401-411.doi: 10.17520/biods.2019023

• Special Feature: Altay Animal Diversity •     Next Article

Avian species census, richness patterns and faunal composition in the Altay Region, China

Na Li1, 2, Chenchen Ding1, 2, Dandan Cao1, 2, Hongjun Chu3, 4, Yingjie Qi3, Chunwang Li1, 2, Xiaoge Ping1, Yuehua Sun1, 2, Zhigang Jiang1, 2, *()   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
    3 Kalamaili Mountains Ungulate Nature Reserve, Altay, Xinjiang 836500
    4 College of Resource and Environment Sciences, Xinjiang University, Urumqi 830046
  • Received:2019-01-28 Accepted:2019-06-25 Online:2020-06-15
  • Zhigang Jiang

The Altay Region in China is located in North Xinjiang, in the border region of China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. The region contains the Altai Mountains and the desert and riparian landscapes south of them, which constitutes the Altai-Sayan biodiversity hotspot and one of the Global 200 Biodiversity Ecoregions. Being composed of diverse habitat types, the Atlay region harbors a rich avian fauna. Though there are several field studies on a few avian species in the Altay Region, few studies have focused on broad-scale species diversity and distribution patterns across different habitats and landscapes. Thus, we completed a comprehensive census across various landscapes and habitats in the region. In this study, we recorded bird species in different types of habitats on the southern slope of the Altai Mountains and the plains area south of the Altay Region from 2013 to 2016. We also collected information from the literature and local citizen science records. The resulting bird species inventory allowed us to use MaxEnt models to predict distributions and diversity patterns of 77 bird species in the Altay Region. Four classes of environmental predictor variables, i.e. climatic factors, land cover type, human footprint index and terrain were incorporated into the models. We predicted all species’ distribution patterns and added all species’ distribution layers together to determine broad-scale diversity patterns. In total, 19 orders, 55 families, 149 genera and 344 bird species were represented in the Altay Region of China. Along the vertical vegetation belts, there were 24 species in high mountain-bare rock belt; 35 in alpine meadows; 172 in mountain forest belt; 130 in brush land in low mountains; 84 in desert belt; 173 in riparian belt; and an additional 92 species in wetland and water areas. In the Altay Region, Palearctic type birds dominated the avian fauna with 170 species (49.4%) and followed by widespread northern species (93 species; 27.0%). The Altai Mountains belonged to Palearctic Realm, Europe-Siberia Sub-realm, Altai-Sayan Region and Altai Sub-zoogeographical Region, while the plain areas belonged to Palearctic Realm, Central Asia Sub-realm, Inner Mongolia-Xinjiang Region and West Desert Subregion. The MaxEnt models predicted high species diversity in the riparian, plains, and middle and lower montane areas, congruent with previous field data. Protecting tall trees and young saplings and shrubs through eco-friendly economic development strategies and preventing habitat fragmentation will help maintain high species richness in the Altay Region and the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.

Key words: Altay Region, Altai Mountains, birds, habitat types, fauna, species richness

Fig. 1

Transect lines and bird sample points in Altay Region, China"

Fig. 2

Distribution patterns of birds in the Altai Mountains (a) and the plain areas (b) in the south of the Altai Mountains. U, Palearctic Type; O, Widespread Type; C, Holarctic Type; D, Central Asia Type; M, Northeast China Type; P, Highland Type; W, Oriental Type; E, Monsoon Region Type; H, Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains Type."

Fig. 3

Bird species richness in habitat types along elevation gradients in Altay Region, China"

Fig. 4

Bird species diversity distribution pattern in Altay Region, China"

Table 1

Percent contribution of each environmental variable in predicting bird’s distribution"

环境因子 Environmental factors 环境因子描述 Description of environmental factors 贡献百分比 Percent contribution (%)
LCT 土地覆被类型 Land cover type 23.17
HFI 人类足迹指数 Human footprint index 19.73
Altitude 海拔 Elevation 8.91
Slope 坡度 Slope 6.75
Bio15 降水量变异系数 Variation coefficient of precipitation 4.41
Bio2 昼夜温差月均值 Monthly mean of diurnal temperature range 3.62
Bio12 年均降水量 Average annual precipitation 3.55
Bio14 最干月降水量 Precipitation of driest month 3.14
Bio1 年均温 Annual average temperature 2.97
Bio9 最旱季均温 Mean temperature of driest quarter 2.87
Aspect 坡向 Aspect 2.26
Bio3 等温线 Isothermality 2.21
Bio6 最冷月最低温 Min temperature of coldest month 1.89
Bio16 最湿季降水量 Precipitation of wettest quarter 1.83
Bio8 最湿季均温 Mean temperature of wettest quarter 1.78
Bio19 最冷季降水 Precipitation of coldest quarter 1.56
Bio4 季节温度变化 Variation of temperature seasonality 1.54
Bio11 最冷季均温 Mean temperature of coldest quarter 1.45
Bio18 最暖季降水 Precipitation of warmest quarter 1.38
Bio10 最暖季均温 Mean temperature of warmest quarter 1.34
Bio13 最湿月降水量 Precipitation of wettest month 0.99
Bio7 气温年较差 Range of annual temperature 0.92
Bio17 最旱季降水量 Precipitation of driest quarter 0.77
Bio5 最暖月最高温 Max temperature of warmest month 0.63
[1] Anderson RP, Raza A (2010) The effect of the extent of the study region on GIS models of species geographic distributions and estimates of niche evolution: Preliminary tests with montane rodents (genus Nephelomys) in Venezuela. Journal of Biogeography, 37, 1378-1393.
doi: 10.1111/jbi.2010.37.issue-7
[2] Araujo M, Pearson R, Thuiller WM (2005) Validation of species-climate impact models under climate change. Global Change Biology, 11, 1504-1513.
doi: 10.1111/gcb.2005.11.issue-9
[3] Aptimi A, Sun MJ, Shao MQ (2003) Diversity and fauna characteristics of the birds and mammals in mountain areas of Xinjiang. Journal of Arid Land Resources and Environment, 17(3), 117-122. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 阿布力米提·阿布都卡迪尔, 孙铭娟, 邵明勤 (2003) 新疆山地鸟类和哺乳类多样性及其区系特征. 干旱区资源与环境, 17(3), 117-122.]
[4] Braunlich A, Steudtner J (2008) Hodgson’s bushchat Saxicola insignis in the Mongolian Altai. Birding Asia, 9, 62-66.
[5] Cui S, Luo X, Chen D, Sun J, Chu H, Li C, Jiang Z (2016) The adder Vipera berus in Southern Altay Mountains: Population characteristics, distribution, morphology and phylogenetic position. PeerJ, 4, e2342.
[6] Cui SP, Luo X, Li CW, Hu HJ, Jiang ZG (2018) Predicting the potential distribution of white-lipped deer using the MaxEnt model. Biodiversity Science, 26, 171-176. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 崔绍朋, 罗晓, 李春旺, 胡慧建, 蒋志刚 (2018) 基于MaxEnt模型预测白唇鹿的潜在分布区. 生物多样性, 26, 171-176.]
[7] Deng J, Zhang FY, Yang RL, Mark RF, Williams SC (1995) Research on birds of Altai Region, Northern Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region. Forest Research, 8(1), 62-66. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 邓杰, 张孚允, 杨若莉, Mark RF, Williams SC (1995) 新疆北部阿尔泰地区鸟类调查研究. 林业科学研究, 8(1), 62-66.]
[8] Ding CC, Hu YM, Li CW, Jiang ZG (2018) Distribution and habitat suitability assessment of the gaur Bos gaurus in China. Biodiversity Science, 26, 951-961. (in Chinese with English abstract)
doi: 10.17520/biods.2018012
[ 丁晨晨, 胡一鸣, 李春旺, 蒋志刚 (2018) 印度野牛在中国的分布及栖息地适宜性分析. 生物多样性, 26, 951-961.]
doi: 10.17520/biods.2018012
[9] Dong TC, Chu HJ, Wu HP, Wang Y, Ge Y, Bu L (2014) Monitoring birds and mammals through camera traps in Mount Kalamaili Ungulate Nature Reserve, Xinjiang. Biodiversity Science, 22, 804-807. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 董潭成, 初红军, 吴洪潘, 王渊, 葛炎, 布兰 (2014) 卡拉麦里山有蹄类自然保护区鸟兽的红外相机监测. 生物多样性, 22, 804-807.]
[10] Gao XY, Gu JH, Fu CL, Wang DZ (1987) Question about avian fauna and zoogeography division in the Altai Mountains, Xinjiang. Journal of Plateau Biology, 6, 97-102. (in Chinese)
[ 高行宜, 谷景和, 傅春利, 王德忠 (1987) 新疆阿尔泰山地鸟类区系与动物地理区划问题. 高原生物学集刊, 6, 97-102.]
[11] Hu JH, Hu HJ, Jiang ZG (2010) The impacts of climate change on the wintering distribution of an endangered migratory bird. Oecologia, 164, 555-565.
[12] Huang RX, Milman, Shao HG (1992) A new record of birds from China—Altai snowcock. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 17, 501-502. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 黄人鑫, 米尔曼, 邵红光 (1992) 中国鸟类新纪录——阿尔泰雪鸡. 动物分类学报, 17, 501-502.]
[13] Jia ZX, Gao XY (1992) Question about the distributions of Tibetan partridge Perdix hodgsoniae in Xinjiang. Arid Zone Research, 9(2), 64-65. (in Chinese)
[ 贾泽信, 高行宜 (1992) 关于高原山鹑在新疆的分布问题. 干旱区研究, 9(2), 64-65.]
[14] Karyakin IV, Nikolenko EG, Barashkova AN (2010) Golden eagle in the Altai-Sayan Region, Russia. Raptors Conservation, 18, 82-152.
[15] Lan X, Gu JH (1993) The species and distribution of birds in Xinjiang and its micro-computer information system. Arid Zone Research, 10(1), 22-28. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 兰欣, 谷景和 (1993) 新疆鸟类种类与分布及其微机信息系统. 干旱区研究, 10(1), 22-28.]
[16] Li N, Sun Y, Chu H, Qi Y, Zhu L, Ping X, Li C, Jiang Z (2019) Bird species diversity in Altai riparian landscapes: Wood cover plays a key role for avian abundance. Ecology and Evolution, 9, 9634-9643.
[17] Ma M (1999) Important bird areas (IBAs) and globally threatened birds in Xinjiang, China. Arid Zone Research, 16(3), 19-22. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 马鸣 (1999) 新疆的国际性濒危鸟类及重要鸟区. 干旱区研究, 16(3), 19-22.]
[18] Ma M (2011) A Checklist on the distribution of the birds in Xinjiang. Science Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
[ 马鸣 (2011) 新疆鸟类分布名录. 科学出版社, 北京.]
[19] Ma M (1997) Animal fauna in Jintasi Glassland Nature Reserve in Altai Mountains. Xinjiang Environment Protect, 19(1), 58-61. (in Chinese)
[ 马鸣 (1997) 阿尔泰山金塔斯草原自然保护区的动物类型. 新疆环境保护, 19(1), 58-61.]
[20] Ma M, Wang QS (2000) Little gull breeding population first detected in north Xinjiang. Arid Zone Research, 17(4), 32. (in Chinese)
[ 马鸣, 王岐山 (2000) 新疆北部首次发现小鸥繁殖种群. 干旱区研究, 17(4), 32.]
[21] MacKinnon J, Phillips K, He FQ (2000) A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Hunan Education Press, Changsha. (in Chinese)
[ 马敬能, 菲利普斯, 何芬奇 (2000) 中国鸟类野外手册. 湖南教育出版社, 长沙.]
[22] Olson DM, Dinerstein E (2002) The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 89, 199-224.
[23] Phillips SJ, Anderson RP, Schapire RE (2006) Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modelling, 190, 231-259.
[24] Phillips SJ, Dudík M (2008) Modeling of species distributions with MaxEnt: New extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography, 31, 161-175.
[25] Saupe EE, Qiao HJ, Hendricks JR, Portell RW, Hunter SJ, Soberón J, Lieberman BS (2015) Niche breadth and geographic range size as determinants of species survival ongeological time scales. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24, 1159-1169.
[26] Swets JA (1988) Measuring the accuracy of diagnostic systems. Science, 240, 1285-1293.
[27] Svenning JC, Normand S, Kayeyama M (2008) Glacial refugia of temperate trees in Europe: Insights from species distribution modelling. Journal of Ecology, 96, 1117-1127.
doi: 10.1111/jec.2008.96.issue-6
[28] Wang YM, Liu F, Ma M, Zhang GQ, Gou J, Wen CH (2015) Eastern marsh harrier Circus spilonotus, a new record of bird from Xinjiang. Arid Land Geography, 38, 1085-1086. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 王音明, 刘枫, 马鸣, 张国强, 苟军, 文翠华 (2015) 新疆鸟类新纪录——白腹鹞(Circus spilonotus). 干旱区地理, 38, 1085-1086.]
[29] Wassink A, Oreel G (2007) The Bird of Kazakhstan. Alphascript Publishing, De Cocksdorp.
[30] Wu QM, Wang L, Zhu RP, Yang YB, Jin HY, Zou HF (2016) Nesting habitat suitability analysis of red-crowned crane in Zhalong Nature Reserve based on MaxEnt modeling. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 36, 3758-3764. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 吴庆明, 王磊, 朱瑞萍, 杨宇博, 金洪阳, 邹红菲 (2016) 基于MaxEnt模型的丹顶鹤营巢生境适宜性分析——以扎龙保护区为例. 生态学报, 36, 3758-3764.]
[31] Wisz MS, Hijmans RJ, Li J, Peterson AT, Graham CH, Guisan A (2008) Effects of sample size on the performance of species distribution models. Diversity and Distributions, 14, 763-773.
doi: 10.1111/ddi.2008.14.issue-5
[32] Xiang LG, Huang RX (1986) Study on birds in the Altai of Xinjiang. I. Distribution of birds. Journal of Xinjiang University, 3(3), 90-107. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 向礼陔, 黄人鑫 (1986) 新疆阿尔泰山鸟类的研究(I)—鸟类的分布. 新疆大学学报(自然科学版), 3(3), 90-107.]
[33] Xie Y, Li DM, MacKinnon J (2002) Preliminary researches on bio-geographical divisions of China. Acta Ecologica Sinica, 22, 1599-1615. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 解焱, 李典谟, MacKinnon J (2002) 中国生物地理区划研究. 生态学报, 22, 1599-1615.]
[34] Xing R, Li WD, Ma M, Wen CH, Zhou ZX, Gao ZH (2010) Two new bird records in Xinjiang—Oriental plover Charadrius veredus and common ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula. Sichuan Journal of Zoology, 29, 545. (in Chinese)
[ 邢睿, 李维东, 马鸣, 文翠华, 周展星, 高正华 (2010) 新疆鸟类新纪录二种——东方鸻、剑鸻. 四川动物, 29, 545.]
[35] Yuan GY (1986) The vertical zonation of the western Altai Mountains. Acta Geographica Sinica, 41, 32-40. (in Chinese with English abstract)
[ 袁国映 (1986) 阿尔泰山西部地区的垂直自然带. 地理学报, 41, 32-40.]
[36] Yu D, Chen M, Zhou ZC, Eric R, Tang QG, Liu HZ (2013) Global climate change will severely decrease potential distribution of the East Asian coldwater fish Rhynchocypris oxycephalus (Actinopterygii, Cyprinidae). Hydrobiologia, 700, 23-32.
[37] Zabelin VI (2007) Ecological features of species range formation in the Altai snowcock. Russian Journal of Ecology, 38, 347-352.
[38] Zhu CL, Sun DM, Ma M, Wen ZM, Xing R (2011) Asian brown flycatcher Muscica padauurica—A new record in Xinjiang. Sichuan Journal of Zoology, 30, 44. (in Chinese)
[ 朱成立, 孙迪明, 马鸣, 文志敏, 邢睿 (2011) 北灰鹟——新疆鸟类新纪录. 四川动物, 30, 44.]
[39] Zhang RZ (1999) Zoogeography of China. Science Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
[ 张荣祖 (1999) 中国动物地理. 科学出版社, 北京.]
[40] Zheng GM (2017) A Checklist on the Classification and Distribution of the Birds of China, 3rd edn. Science Press, Beijing. (in Chinese)
[ 郑光美 (2017) 中国鸟类分类与分布名录(第三版). 科学出版社, 北京.]
[1] Wen WenCHU Zhigang Jiang Kai -LI Defu Hu Hongjun Chu. (2020) The snow leopard in Altai Mountains, near the Sino-Mongolia border, and its conservation significance . Biodiv Sci, 28(4): 442-444.
[2] Kai Wang,Jinlong Ren,Hongman Chen,Zhitong Lyu,Xianguang Guo,Ke Jiang,Jinmin Chen,Jiatang Li,Peng Guo,Yingyong Wang,Jing Che. (2020) The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China . Biodiv Sci, 28(2): 189-218.
[3] Zhang Mingming,Yang Zhaohui,Wang Cheng,Wang Jiaojiao,Hu Canshi,Lei Xiaoping,Shi Lei,Su Haijun,Li Jiaqi. (2019) Camera-trapping survey on mammals and birds in Fanjingshan National Nature Reserve, Guizhou, China . Biodiv Sci, 27(7): 813-818.
[4] Liu Yan, Yang Yushuang. (2019) Importance of conservation priority areas for bryophyte biodiversity in Chongqing . Biodiv Sci, 27(6): 677-682.
[5] Zou Anlong, Ma Suhui, Ni Xiaofeng, Cai Qiong, Li Xiuping, Ji Chengjun. (2019) Response of understory plant diversity to nitrogen deposition in Quercus wutaishanica forests of Mt. Dongling, Beijing . Biodiv Sci, 27(6): 607-618.
[6] Guijun Yang,Min Wang,Yichun Yang,Xinyun Li,Xinpu Wang. (2019) Distribution patterns and environmental interpretation of beetle species richness in Helan Mountain of northern China . Biodiv Sci, 27(12): 1309-1319.
[7] Zhou Haonan, Zhao Yuhao, Zeng Di, Liu Juan, Jin Tinghao, Ding Ping. (2019) Spatial patterns and influencing factors of ground ant species diversity on the land-bridge islands in the Thousand Island Lake, China . Biodiv Sci, 27(10): 1101-1111.
[8] Dong-Ting ZOU, Qing-Gang WANG, Ao LUO, Zhi-Heng WANG. (2019) Species richness patterns and resource plant conservation assessments of Rosaceae in China . Chin J Plant Ecol, 43(1): 1-15.
[9] Anrong Liu,Teng Yang,Wei Xu,Zijian Shangguan,Jinzhou Wang,Huiying Liu,Yu Shi,Haiyan Chu,Jin-Sheng He. (2018) Status, issues and prospects of belowground biodiversity on the Tibetan alpine grassland . Biodiv Sci, 26(9): 972-987.
[10] Xu Xiang, Zhang Huayong, Xie Ting, Sun Qingqing, Tian Yonglan. (2018) Elevational pattern of seed plant diversity in Xishuangbanna and its mechanisms . Biodiv Sci, 26(7): 678-689.
[11] Zejin Zhang,Yanpei Guo,Jin-Sheng He,Zhiyao Tang. (2018) Conservation status of Wild Plant Species with Extremely Small Populations in China . Biodiv Sci, 26(6): 572-577.
[12] Xiaqiu Tao,Shaopeng Cui,Zhigang Jiang,Hongjun Chu,Na Li,Daode Yang,Chunwang Li. (2018) Reptilian fauna and elevational patterns of the reptile species diversity in Altay Prefecture in Xinjiang, China . Biodiv Sci, 26(6): 578-589.
[13] Qian YANG, Wei WANG, Hui ZENG. (2018) Effects of nitrogen addition on the plant diversity and biomass of degraded grasslands of Nei Mongol, China . Chin J Plan Ecolo, 42(4): 430-441.
[14] Zhigang Jiang,Lili Li,Yiming Hu,Huijian Hu,Chunwang Li,Xiaoge Ping,Zhenhua Luo. (2018) Diversity and endemism of ungulates on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Evolution and conservation . Biodiv Sci, 26(2): 158-170.
[15] Yu Zhang, Zhenggao Xiao, Linhui Jiang, Lei Qian, Xiaoyun Chen, Fajun Chen, Feng Hu, Manqiang Liu. (2018) Nitrogen levels modify earthworm-mediated tomato growth and resistance to pests . Biodiv Sci, 26(12): 1296-1307.
Full text