Summer dietary compositions of sika deer on Yakushima Island, southern Japan

Abstract

Summer food habits of Sika deer (Cervus nippon yakushimae) on Yakushima Island, southern Japan, were studied focusing in particular onPseudosasa owatarii, a dwarf bamboo native to the island. Fecal analyses showed that the food habit of the Sika deer on Yakushima island was plastic: the dietary composition was dominated by graminoids (ca. 90%), particularlyP. owatarii (50%–60%) in the bamboo grassland of theP. owatarii zone above the timber line, whereas leaves and non-leafy parts of woody plants were important in the crytomeria forest and evergreen broad-leaved forest below the timber line. The maximum culm age ofP. owatarii was 8.5 yr, but the majority of leaves (97.8%) were younger than 2.5 yr. Since the weight contribution of the leaves is great (27.7%) and the turnover rate is high, theP. owatarii grassland affords a good foraging place for the Sika deer on Yakushima Island.

DOI: 10.1007/BF02346995

Cite this paper

@article{Takatsuki2006SummerDC, title={Summer dietary compositions of sika deer on Yakushima Island, southern Japan}, author={Seiki Takatsuki}, journal={Ecological Research}, year={2006}, volume={5}, pages={253-260} }