9papers in this issue.
The study has been carried out with an objective to prepare Siberian roe deer habitat potential maps in South Korea based on three geographic information system-based models including frequency ratio (FR) as a bivariate statistical approach as well as convolutional neural network (CNN) and long short-term memory (LSTM) as machine learning algorithms. According to field observations, 741 locations were reported as roe deer’s habitat preferences. The dataset were divided with a proportion of 70:30 for constructing models and validation purposes. Through FR model, a total of 10 influential factors were opted for the modelling process, namely altitude, valley depth, slope height, topographic position index (TPI), topographic wetness index (TWI), normalized difference water index, drainage density, road density, radar intensity, and morphological feature. The results of variable importance analysis determined that TPI, TWI, altitude and valley depth have higher impact on predicting. Furthermore, the area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was applied to assess the prediction accuracies of three models. The results showed that all the models almost have similar performances, but LSTM model had relatively higher prediction ability in comparison to FR and CNN models with the accuracy of 76% and 73% during the training and validation process. The obtained map of LSTM model was categorized into five classes of potentiality including very low, low, moderate, high and very high with proportions of 19.70%, 19.81%, 19.31%, 19.86%, and 21.31%, respectively. The resultant potential maps may be valuable to monitor and preserve the Siberian roe deer habitats.
This study was carried out to investigate the moss flora of Barton Peninsula on King George Island of Antarctica. The study presented here was based on field surveys of Barton Peninsula conducted by the author during the austral summer season in 2012/2013, 2013/2014, 2014/2015 and herbarium specimens from Hiroshima University. The result of the study showed that the moss flora Barton Peninsula consisted of a total of 35 species, with 11 families and 21 genera.
We measured the sizes of microstructures and the reflectance of blue feathers in the Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis). The colors were mainly produced in the barbs, which were composed of keratin sponge layers with air spaces and melanin rods. The reflectance spectra of back and tail feathers of the Common Kingfisher showed a peak with a broad plateau in the visible wavelength, whereas those of the wing feathers showed peaks in ultraviolet and visible and short-wavelengths. Moreover, the reflectance of back and tail feathers was higher than that of wing feathers. The blue color of the feathers comes from the keratin sponge layer due to coherent scattering. The back and tail feathers are composed of the keratin sponge layer only, and the wing feathers are composed of the keratin sponge layer and the keratin honeycomb structure. Due to the difference in these structures, it supposed that the reflectance is different. Determining why the reflectance spectra of the back and tail feathers were flattened will require further study.
Reproduction and molt are costly processes in avian life histories. These two fitness-related traits are expected to be under one of physiological trade-offs. Age-related molt is known to be higher in young birds than that in adults presumably due to the cost of reproduction in adults. The present study partially replicated a previous study using a non-invasive method of seasonal wing feather loss instead of capture-inspection for molting progress in oriental storks (Ciconia boyciana). We first examined characteristics of the known six wing feather types (i.e., primaries [P], primary coverts [PC], secondaries [S], secondary coverts [SC], and tertials [T]) from two specimens with four wings. Results were utilized as references for further investigation. We then collected a total of 3,807 wing feathers shedded by 61 captive storks for one year and classified them into six wing feather types based on the reference with structures of vane (i.e., how asymmetrical) and calamus (i.e., how rigidly attached to skin) of wing feathers. Our results indicated that annual losses of all six-type wing feathers decreased with increasing ages, ranging from 29% to 58% for PC, alula, SC, P, S, and T in order. Our results were also comparable to those of a former study, suggesting that the pattern of age-specific molt might be associated with the cost of reproduction in adults. However, juveniles might shed more wing feathers with low quality formed during the previous development stage than older birds.
South Korea presently harbors less than 800 long-tailed gorals (Naemorhedus caudatus), an endangered species. I report for the first time on the taxonomic status and genetic diversity of the Korean species using non-invasive fecal sampling based on mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence analyses. To determine the taxonomic status of this species, I reconstructed a consensus neighbor-joining tree and generated a minimum spanning network combining haplotype sequences obtained from feces with a new goral-specific primer set developed using known sequences of the Korean goral and related species (e.g., Russian goral, Chinese goral, Himalayan goral, Japanese serow, etc.). I also examined the genetic diversity of this species. The Korean goral showed only three different haplotypes. The phylogenetic tree and parsimony haplotype network revealed a single cluster of Korean and Russian gorals, separate from related species. Generally, the Korean goral has a relatively low genetic diversity compared with that of other ungulate species (e.g., moose and red deer). I preliminarily showcased the application of non-invasive fecal sampling to the study of genetic characteristics, including the taxonomic status and genetic diversity of gorals, based on mitochondrial DNA. More phylogenetic studies are necessary to ensure the conservation of goral populations throughout South Korea.
Areas (WPA) were classified based on their habitat characteristics and on the analysis of their emergent fish communities, as estuarine (n=2), coastal dune (n=1), marsh (n=2), stream (n=2), and stream-marsh (n=1) types. The environmental factors revealed to have the greatest influence on the species diversity of emergent fish were maintenance and repair, installation of reservoirs, and construction of artificial wetlands around them. The present study offers basic information on the diversity of fish species in different Wetland Protected Area types that can be used to inform conservation and management decisions for WPA.
Distribution of fish community depends largely on environmental disturbance such as habitat change. In this study, we evaluated the impact of environmental variables and microhabitat patch types on fish distribution in Yudeung Stream at 15 sites between early May and late June 2019. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling to examine the distribution patterns of fish in each site. Gnathopogon strigatus, Squalidus gracilis majimae, Zacco koreanus, and Zacco platypus were associated with riffle and boulder areas, whereas Iksookimia koreensis, Acheilognathus koreensis, Coreoleuciscus splendidus, Sarcocheilichthys nigripinnis morii, and Odontobutis interrupta were associated with large shallow areas. In contrast, Cyprinus carpio, Carassius auratus, Lepomis macrochirus, and Micropterus salmoides were found at downstream sites associated with large pool areas, sandy/clay-bottomed areas, and vegetated areas. On the basis of these results, we suggest that microhabitat patch types are important in determining the diversity and abundance of fish communities, since a mosaic of different microhabitats supports diverse fish species. As such, microhabitat patches are key components of freshwater stream ecosystem heterogeneity, and a suitable patch composition in stream construction or restoration schemes will support ecologically healthy food webs.
This study aimed to verify the suitability of an air quality regulating service for wetland ecosystem service evaluation by investigating the effect of reducing particulate matter (PM) on vegetation in wetlands. We installed tunnel-type experimental plots at Yonghwasil Pond in the National Institute of Ecology and set up the input and output of PM by applying the natural vegetation of the relevant wetlands. We took measurements by replicating four different conditions four times each. The air quality regulating service in each experimental plot was measured based on PM10 concentration; further, the difference between the input and the output concentration of PM passing through the Phragmites australis community tunnel was measured using a light scattering method. For the Phragmites australis community in the outdoor conditions and bare land, the PM concentration was measured with the same specifications as tunnel-type experimental plots without setting up the input and output. For the tunnel-type experimental plots, PM10 concentration was significantly lower in the output than in the input. Furthermore, in the outdoor conditions, a comparison between the Phragmites australis community and bare land showed that the concentration was relatively low in the former than in the latter. This confirmed the PM reducing effect due to the blockage and absorption of PM depending on the growth of Phragmites australis. Based on the results of this study, we assessed the air quality regulating service in wetlands as an evaluation indicator.
The present study aimed to clarify flora living at the area of Restoration Center for Endangered Species in Yeongyang, Gyeongbuk Province. In May, August, and September 2019 and in May and July 2020, all of vascular plants were recorded, and endangered, Korea endemic, and exotic plant species were further identified. The study site contained a total of 418 floral taxa (98 families, 261 genera, 384 species, 4 subspecies, 27 variations, and 3 formations), in which Magnoliophyta accounted for larger proportion (95.2%) than Pteridophyta (3.6%) and Pinophyta (1.2%). In addition, 1 endangered (Cypripedium macranthos Sw.) and 5 Korea endemic species (Aconitum pseudolaeve Nakai, Eleutherococcus divaricatus var. chiisanensis [Nakai] C.H. Kim & B.-Y. Sun, Lonicera subsessilis Rehder, Paulownia coreana Uyeki, and Weigela subsessilis [Nakai] L.H. Bailey) were detected. The number of exotic species was 33, consisting of 4 invasive-exotic, 4 potentially invasive-exotic, and 25 non-invasive species. Compared to a previous assessment before the establishment of the center (in 2014), there were increases in total floral taxa (from 361 to 418), endangered species (from 0 to 1), and exotic species (from 26 to 33). These results possibly reflect temporal changes in floral community, which should be confirmed through subsequent long term monitoring.