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Habitat engineering under dry conditions : The impact of pikas (Ochotona pallasi) on vegetation and site conditions in southern Mongolian steppes

Title data

Wesche, Karsten ; Nadrowski, Karin ; Retzer, Vroni:
Habitat engineering under dry conditions : The impact of pikas (Ochotona pallasi) on vegetation and site conditions in southern Mongolian steppes.
In: Journal of Vegetation Science. Vol. 18 (2007) Issue 5 . - pp. 665-674.
ISSN 1100-9233
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2007.tb02580.x

Abstract in another language

Question: Does ecosystem engineering by small mammalshave a significant influence on vegetation patterns in the aridsteppe vegetation of southern Mongolia?
Location: Gobi Altay Mountains, southern Mongolia
Methods: We assessed the impact of the small lagomorph Ochtona pallasi on plant community composition, soil nutrient levels and biomass production in montane desert steppes in southern Mongolia. Data were derived from vegetation relevés, harvests of above-ground standing crop and a bioassay, followed by analyses of soil and plant nutrients.
Results: Although the local climate is arid with Agropyron cristatum. Standing crop and nutrient concentrations were higher for plants growing on burrow soil. In situ measurements and a pot experiment showed that this effect was related to increased levels of soil nutrients (P, K, N) rather than moisture availability.
Conclusions: The study confirms that O. pallasi positively influences soil nutrient levels on its burrows, which leads to increased grassland productivity even under dry conditions. Thus, O. pallasi does not deteriorate site conditions, and the need for presently applied pest control schemes aimed at thisspecies should be reassessed.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER36695
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 06:35
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2015 06:35
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/15236