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Giant Panda Selection Between Bashania fangiana Bamboo Habitats in Wolong Reserve, Sichuan, China
Donald G. Reid and Hu Jinchu
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 28, No. 1 (Apr., 1991), pp. 228-243
Published by: British Ecological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2404127
Page Count: 16
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(1) Habitat selection by the giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca was studied in the subalpine forests of Wolong Reserve, Sichuan, China, where Bashania fangiana bamboo is the preferred food. (2) The pandas' seasonal use of available habitats, for feeding, was quantified by estimating the density of droppings on 20 m long segments of 2-m wide belt transects running through bamboo patches. Habitat parameters were measured along transect segments (slope steepness, forest canopy cover), and in plots associated with segments (bamboo culm density, height and diameter). (3) Pandas showed stronger habitat preferences in summer than winter. (4) In summer, when feeding on leaves, pandas preferred dense bamboo, under sparse forest canopy. (5) In winter, when feeding on stem, pandas preferred bamboo stands with the tallest and widest culms, and avoided areas with substantial previous use. (6) In all seasons, pandas preferred bamboo growing on more level terrain. (7) Pandas showed little discrimination between bamboo patches based on average patch quality. Their selection was for those portions of patches which provided the best combinations of seasonally preferred bamboo growth form plus low slope.
Journal of Applied Ecology © 1991 British Ecological Society