Ecological consequences of the Three Gorges Dam: Insularization affects foraging behavior and dynamics of rodent populations

Jianzhu Wang, Jianhui Huang, Jianguo Wu, Xingguo Han, Guanghui Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A number of permanent and seasonal islands will be formed when the worlds largest dam, Chinas Threi Gorges Dam, begins to operate at full capacity in 2009. The possible effects of this large-scale habitat insular ization on biodiversity and ecosystem processes have attracted considerable attention from scientists around the globe. We investigated the species composition and distribution of rodent populations at two geographic locations in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area through field surveys and determined the dietary composition of dominant rodent species using stable isotope techniques. Our results show that the total rodent densityon the islands was significantly higher than that of mainland areas. Stable isotope analysis revealed that the dietary composition of rodents was more diverse on islands than at nearby mainland sites. Moreover, the island populations had greater overlap in food sources than did the mainland populations, suggesting more intense competition for food in the newly insularized habitats. Thus, habitat fragmentation due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam may substantially increase intra- and interspecific competition among local rodent populations, leading to further changes in species composition and biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

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foraging behavior
gorge
rodent
environmental impact
rodents
dam
foraging
stable isotopes
stable isotope
biodiversity
species diversity
food
intraspecific competition
habitat
habitat fragmentation
interspecific competition
habitats
field survey
biogeography
China

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Ecological consequences of the Three Gorges Dam : Insularization affects foraging behavior and dynamics of rodent populations. / Wang, Jianzhu; Huang, Jianhui; Wu, Jianguo; Han, Xingguo; Lin, Guanghui.

In: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 8, No. 1, 02.2010, p. 13-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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