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

Rodent Communities in an Exurbanizing Southwestern Landscape (U.S.A.) 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

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

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References (41)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
DOI
10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00419.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

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.

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2006

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