Biodiv Sci ›› 2009, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (1): 1-9.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2009.08290

• Paper •     Next Articles

Spatial-temporal patterns of Bashania fargesii bamboo shoot emergence and giant panda herbivory

Zhijun Lu1,2,*(), Wei Wang2, Wenhui Zhang3, Hong Li4, Qing Cao5, Gaodi Dang5, Dong He1, Scott Franklin2,6   

  1. 1 Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430074, P. R. China
    2 Department of Biology, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152, USA
    3 Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100, P. R. China
    4 Xi’an University of Finance and Economics, Xi’an 710061, P. R. China
    5 Foping National Nature Reserve Administration Bureau, Foping, Shaanxi 723400, P. R. China
    6 Department of Biological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639, USA
  • Received:2008-11-12 Accepted:2009-01-20 Online:2009-01-20 Published:2009-01-20
  • Contact: Zhijun Lu

Abstract:

Bashania fargesii is an important food resource for giant panda in the Qinling Mountains, China, especially in winter and spring when giant panda prefers new shoots. Therefore, regeneration of B. fargesii is a key factor for conservation of the giant panda. B. fargesii regenerates mainly via new shoot recruitment. To identify spatial-temporal patterns of B. fargesii new shoot emergence and giant panda herbivory as well as spatial and quantitative associations between them, we established one 40 m×40 m permanent plot in Foping National Nature Reserve, and investigated new shoots of B. fargesii and giant panda herbivory from 2002 to 2008 (except 2007). Results of univariate and bivariate Ripley’s K function demonstrated that new shoots of B. fargesii were aggregated in the plot, maybe due to clonal growth, resource heterogeneity, and giant panda herbivory and trampling. Giant panda herbivory was also clumped at most scales from 0 m to 20 m. This pattern may be explained by spatial patterns of a restricted food resource (B. fargesii new shoots), giant pandas’ herbivory habits, and topography of the forging sites. Giant panda herbivory was significantly spatially correlated to B. fargesii new shoots, confirming the importance of B. fargesii as an important food resource for giant panda in the Qinling Mountains. Regression analysis revealed no relationship between giant panda herbivory intensity (percentage of eaten shoots in the plot) and B. fargesii new shoot density, possibly indicating the existence of other bamboos as a food source for giant panda, suggesting a partial dependence of giant panda on B. fargesii.

Key words: animal-plant relationship, giant panda conservation, population regeneration, Ripley’s K, spatial point pattern