Rodent Communities in an Exurbanizing Southwestern Landscape (U.S.A.)

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Date: Aug. 2006
From: Conservation Biology(Vol. 20, Issue 4)
Publisher: Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.
Document Type: Report
Length: 397 words

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Abstract :

Byline: CARL E. BOCK ([double dagger]*), ZACH F. JONES ([double dagger][dagger]), JANE H. BOCK ([double dagger]) Keywords: Arizona; development; grassland; grazing; housing; livestock; mesquite; oak Abstract: Abstract: Ranches are being converted to exurban housing developments in the southwestern United States, with potentially significant but little-studied impacts on biological diversity. We captured rodents on 48 traplines in grasslands, mesquite savannas, and oak savannas in southeastern Arizona that were grazed by livestock, embedded in exurban housing developments, grazed and embedded in development, or neither grazed nor embedded in development. Independent of habitat or development, rodent species richness, mean rank abundance, and capture rates of all rodents combined were negatively related to presence of livestock grazing or to its effects on vegetative ground cover. Exurban development had no obvious effects on rodent variety or abundance. Results suggest southwestern exurban developments can sustain a rich assemblage of grassland and savanna rodents if housing densities are low and houses are embedded in a matrix of natural vegetation with little grazing. Abstract (Spanish): Comunidades de Roedores en un Paisaje Exurbano Sur Occidental (E.U.A.) Resumen: En el sur oeste de Estados Unidos, los ranchos estan siendo convertidos en desarrollos de vivienda exurbana, con impactos sobre la diversidad biologica potencialmente significativos pero poco estudiados. En el sureste de Arizona, capturamos roedores en 48 lineas de trampas en pastizales, mesquites, sabanas y sabanas de robles pastoreados por ganado enclavados en desarrollos de vivienda exurbana, pastoreados y enclavados en areas desarrolladas o ni pastoreados ni enclavados en areas desarrolladas. Independientemente del habitat o el desarrollo, la riqueza de especies de roedores, la abundancia promedio y las tasas de captura de todos los roedores combinados estuvieron relacionadas negativamente con la presencia de pastoreo de ganado y/o sus efectos sobre la cobertura vegetal del suelo. El desarrollo exurbano no tuvo efectos obvios sobre la variedad o abundancia de roedores. Los resultados sugieren que los desarrollos exurbanos sur occidentales pueden sostener a un rico ensamble de roedores de pastizal y sabanas si las densidades de las viviendas son bajas y las casas estan enclavadas en una matriz de vegetacion natural con poco pastoreo. Author Affiliation: ([double dagger])Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0334, U.S.A. Article History: Paper submitted June 15, 2005; revised manuscript accepted October 13, 2005. Article note: (*) email carl.bock@colorado.edu ([dagger]) Current address: Department of Biology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, U.S.A.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A158176294