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タイトル: Are small rodents key promoters of ecosystem restoration in harsh environments? : A case study of abandoned croplands on Mongolian grasslands
著者: Yoshihara, Y.
Okuroa, T.
Jamsranb,U.
Sasakia,T.
Takeuchia, K.
キーワード: Ecosystem engineer
Elymus chinensis
Mongolian gerbil
Plant litter
Recovery
Soil crust
発行日: 2009年3月
出版者: Elsevier
掲載誌情報: Journal of Arid Environments. 73(3), 2009-03, pp. 364-368
抄録: We focused on the potential contribution of fossorial rodents to recovery of degraded abandoned Mongolian croplands. From field observations and the literature, we determined that plant litter and soil crusting were the main factors preventing establishment or growth of the perennial grass Elymus chinensis (Poaceae) on these croplands. We hypothesized that small fossorial rodents such as Mongolian gerbils promote grass establishment and growth by clearing litter and destroying crusts. We designed a path model linking number of burrows to patch size and plant volume of E. chinensis. As we hypothesized, small rodents increased the patch size of E. chinensis through reduction of litter cover. However, unexpectedly, we could not find significant effects on E. chinensis via crust thickness. Our results suggest that litter removal by the rodents gave E. chinensis suitable space that was free of competitors; this allowed expansion of the E. chinensis patches. Any effect of soil crusting on plant volume could not be explained simply by the variables we used, probably because some other mechanism, such as temporal variation in the crust, was involved. We demonstrate that small rodents are key agents in the recovery of degraded grasslands.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2261/33907
ISSN: 0140-1963
出現カテゴリ:1162010 学術雑誌論文
014 自然科学

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