Hills and Streams
An Ecology of Hong Kong
Publication Year: 1994
Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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This book is about the ecology of freshwater and terrestrial habitats in Hong Kong. Those wishing to know something of the streams, woodlands, shrublands and grasslands have had few sources to turn to, apart from G.A.C. Herklots' account, The Hong Kong Countryside (1951), and S.L. Thrower's handbook, Hong Kong Country Parks...
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This book could not have been written without the assistance, advice and information provided by our students (past and present) and colleagues at The University of Hong Kong, as well the many amateur naturalists who shared their unpublished data with us and made helpful, and sometimes inadvertent, suggestions. In particular, we would like...
1. Evolution and Adaptation
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In order to understand why the plants and animals in Hong Kong live where they do, and why they have adopted particular habits and lifestyles, it is helpful to have some knowledge of how evolution has shaped them. Thus this chapter is devoted to a brief account of evolution by natural selection and its importance as a principle underlying ecology. The latter point...
2. Environment and History
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Hong Kong is a self-administered British Dependent Territory on the South China coast. It lies between latitudes 22�09' and 22�37'N, to the east of the Pearl River (Zhujiang) estuary (see map on front endpaper). Hong Kong consists of a section of the Chinese mainland (Kowloon and the New Territories, 782 km2 ) and numerous islands...
3. Climate and the Hong Kong Biota [Includes Image Plates]
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Is Hong Kong tropical? The simplest answer is yes, it is more than 100 km south of the Tropic of Cancer and thus well within the tropics. However, if the question is 'Does Hong Kong have a tropical climate?', the answer is less obvious. Hong Kong's climate has features which are not typical of the tropics as a whole. As noted in Chapter 2...
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Life-cycle events and fluctuations in the abundance of temperate-zone animals and plants are often seasonal; spring-time breeding, mammalian hibernation, migration by birds, and loss of leaves by deciduous plants during the autumn are familiar examples. Periodic phenomena are also known in the tropical flora and fauna, even in equatorial regions...
5. Succession and Climax
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Compared with most animals, vascular plants are long-lived, sedentary organisms. It is therefore tempting to view vegetation as merely the static matrix through which animals move. Plants are not immortal, however, and the seed stage is highly mobile. Vegetation does change and often with surprising rapidity. Seasonal changes in vegetation and...
6. Land and Water
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Inhabitants of streams and rivers must contend with the unidirectional flow of water from the upper reaches down to the sea. This has the consequence that events upstream affect those downstream, so that running-water habitats do not consist of a series of distinct autonomous sections but rather an interconnected continuum. A second...
7. Foods and Feeding
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Living organisms require energy for their activities and matter for their construction. Only green plants can make direct use of solar radiation as a source of energy and simple inorganic molecules as a source of matter. All other organisms, with the minor exception of some autotrophic bacteria, depend on green plants, the primary producers...
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When people first started clearing patches of forest for cultivation and settlement, an entirely new type of habitat for plants and animals was created. The most distinctive characteristic of this new habitat was that it combined high light intensities with adequate water and nutrients. Tree-fall gaps in forest have these characteristics but they are usually...
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Despite the massive human impact described in the previous chapters — deforestation, erosion, fire, hunting, trapping, pollution and the introduction of exotic species — Hong Kong's flora and fauna are still surprisingly diverse. The Territory supports more native plant species than Britain, more mammals, more reptiles, more amphibians, more...
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Page Count: 244
Publication Year: 1994