How Potassium Content in Soil Shapes Giant Panda Distribution
Dan Zhao 1,2
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College of Earth Sciences, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, China
Institute of Ecological Resources and Landscape Architecture, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, China
School of Geographic and Environmental, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China
Shandong Agriculture and Engineering University, Jinan, China
Submission date: 2017-11-12
Final revision date: 2017-12-23
Acceptance date: 2018-01-02
Online publication date: 2018-10-26
Publication date: 2018-12-20
Corresponding author
Peihao Peng   

College of Earth Sciences, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, 610059, China, EAST ERXIANQIAO ST. SECTION3 NO.1, 610059 Cheng Du, China
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2019;28(2):973-979
Potassium (K), one of main essential macronutrient elements in soil, is vital to the growth and metabolism of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and its staple food bamboos (SFB). However, it is still unknown how the content of K in soil shapes giant panda distribution. To address this problem, we use geographical information system (GIS) and regression analysis to measure their spatial distribution data and analyze their relationships. Our results show a unimodal relationship between the species richness of SFB and K (R2 = 0.90, P<0.01), a significant positive linear correlation relationship between SFB and giant panda (R2 = 0.47, P<0.01), and a significant unimodal relationship between the K and giant panda (R2 = 0.58, P<0.01). Moreover, results reveal that the giant panda may tend to select habitats with K in the soil ranging from 2.58 to 3.14 (mg/g). Our study also highlights the important effect of the eco-geological environment in shaping the distribution of giant panda. Our study suggests that it is essential to incorporate the beneficial and harmful element factors of an eco-geological environment into wildlife habitat research and management. It should improve on habitat estimation, corridor establishment, and biodiversity conservation.
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