Spatial patterns of rodent communities in the Ramon erosion cirque, Negev Highlands, Israel Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Habitat distribution of 12 rodent species in the Negev Highlands, Israel was studied. Five main habitat types were distinguished, based on similarity in rodent species composition of sample plots: (i) sand dunes, (ii) flat gravel plains (hammadas), (iii) limestone cliffs, (iv) wadis among loess hills and (v) wadis among gravel plains. Species richness was highest in (v) and lowest in (iii). Species diversity was highest in (iii) and lowest in (v) and intermediate and similar in all other habitat types. Rodent biomass was the lowest in (ii) and highest in (iv). Indirect rodent ordination showed that species were spatially segregated along the first three ordination axes. These axes may be interpreted as (a) a gradient of soil hardness from rock to sand, (b) a gradient of relief from cliffs to flat plains and (c) a gradient of vegetation density. We classified rodents into five groups by their habitat preferences: petrophyles (Acomys spp, and Sekeetamys calurus), psammophyles (Gerbillus gerbillus), inhab

publication date

  • March 1, 1996