Study on the Classification and Diversity of Zonal Rodent Community in Semi-Desert and Desert Areas of China


Many studies focus on rodent community pattern and changing at present in the world, but most of them are conducted in small plots. Few studies investigated the rodent community classification and diversity in semi-desert and desert areas at regional scale, although some researchers started to study the change of animal community patterns on a large scale. We investigated rodent communities in desert, non-irrigated farming land and desert steppe of Inner Mongolia, covering an area of 380,000 km2 from May to August in 1988-1993 and in 1998-2003, respectively, in order to reveal the changing characteristics of zonal rodent communities. The community classification and diversity of rodents were analyzed in research areas. The results suggested that the communities could be classified in 9 zonal types. Spermophilus dauricus, Cricetulus longicaudatus and Eutamias sibiricus were dominant species in Community I; Phodopus roborovskii, Cricetulus barabansis and Cricetulus longicaudatus were dominant in Community II; Meriones unguiculatus, Phodopus roborovskii and Cricetulus longicaudatus were dominant in Community III; Allactaga sibirica, Allactaga bullata and Spermophilus dauricus were dominant in Community IV; Allactaga bullata, Dipus sagitta and Meriones unguiculatus were dominant in Community V; Meriones meridianus, Spermophilus dauricus and Allactaga bullata were dominant in Community VI; Allactaga sibirica, Allactaga bullata and Dipus sagitta were dominant in Community VII; Phodopus roborovskii, Dipus sagitta and Allactaga sibirica were dominant in Community VIII; Meriones meridianus, Dipus sagitta and Allactaga sibirica were dominant in Community IX. The community diversity and evenness analysis showed that the edge effect of community, the effect of disturbance and habitat fragmentation and scale effect were significantly correlated with community diversity in the semi-desert and desert regions. The ordinal results of 9 zonal rodent communities were in accordance with the results analyzed with similar community indices, showing the habitat change in the characteristics of the above-mentioned groups.

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Wu, X. , Fu, H. , Yuan, S. , Gao, Q. and Yue, X. (2015) Study on the Classification and Diversity of Zonal Rodent Community in Semi-Desert and Desert Areas of China. Open Journal of Ecology, 5, 39-54. doi: 10.4236/oje.2015.53005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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