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Distribution and Ecology of Birds of Japan

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Title:Distribution and Ecology of Birds of Japan
Authors:Higuchi, Hiroyoshi
Minton, Jason
Katsura, Chieko
Date Issued:Jan 1995
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Higuchi H, Minton J, Katsura C. 1995. Distribution and ecology of birds of Japan. Pac Sci 49(1): 69-86.
Abstract:The effects of island biogeography are clearly seen in the avifauna
of Japan. Species composition and distribution reflect Japan's geographic,
climatic, vegetational, topographical, and geological characteristics. It is a
country composed primarily of mountainous, forested islands that lies off the
coast of a continent rich in bird life. Though Japan has a wide range of climates
and diverse forest habitats, the terrestrial and freshwater avifauna is depauperate
when compared with species, family, and order diversity on the
nearby continent, which is both larger in total area and more diverse in habitats.
However, the bird groups that do have higher species diversity in Japan
than in the Asian mainland are seabirds. The large, productive ocean area and
small, isolated islands provide them with foraging and nesting sites, and the
long geographic range of Japan allows seabirds from both northern and
southern regions to nest in the Islands. Island biogeography also affects the
ecology of many terrestrial species. Niche shift and expansion of foraging and
parasitic behaviors are seen in populations established on islands where the
species composition does not include certain competitors. The terrestrial species
resident on small islands have developed unique breeding behavior, in comparison
with their conspecifics on larger islands, such as smaller clutch size,
exaggerated begging behavior, and longer parental care in small-island populations
of Varied Tits, Parus varius Temminck & Schlegel.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 49, Number 1, 1995

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