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Habitat and Burrow System Characteristics of the Blind Mole Rat Spalax galili in an Area of Supposed Sympatric Speciation.

Lövy M, Šklíba J, Hrouzková E, Dvořáková V, Nevo E, Šumbera R - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We also mapped nine complete mole rat burrow systems to compare burrowing patterns between the soil types.Basaltic soil had a higher food supply and was harder than rendzina even under higher moisture content and lower bulk density.A combination of food supply and soil parameters probably influences burrowing patterns resulting in shorter and more complex burrow systems in basaltic soil.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
A costly search for food in subterranean rodents resulted in various adaptations improving their foraging success under given ecological conditions. In Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies, adaptations to local ecological conditions can promote speciation, which was recently supposed to occur even in sympatry at sites where two soil types of contrasting characteristics abut each other. Quantitative description of ecological conditions in such a site has been, nevertheless, missing. We measured characteristics of food supply and soil within 16 home ranges of blind mole rats Spalax galili in an area subdivided into two parts formed by basaltic soil and pale rendzina. We also mapped nine complete mole rat burrow systems to compare burrowing patterns between the soil types. Basaltic soil had a higher food supply and was harder than rendzina even under higher moisture content and lower bulk density. Population density of mole rats was five-times lower in rendzina, possibly due to the lower food supply and higher cover of Sarcopoterium shrubs which seem to be avoided by mole rats. A combination of food supply and soil parameters probably influences burrowing patterns resulting in shorter and more complex burrow systems in basaltic soil.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

PCA ordination plot showing interrelationships between ecological characteristics (depicted in black) and passively projected burrow system parameters (in grey).Squares and circles represent males and females, respectively. Solid symbols represent individuals from basaltic soil, open symbols represent those from rendzina. Triangles are centroids for each habitat. The first ordination axis explains 52.5% of the data variability.
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pone.0133157.g004: PCA ordination plot showing interrelationships between ecological characteristics (depicted in black) and passively projected burrow system parameters (in grey).Squares and circles represent males and females, respectively. Solid symbols represent individuals from basaltic soil, open symbols represent those from rendzina. Triangles are centroids for each habitat. The first ordination axis explains 52.5% of the data variability.

Mentions: Inter-soil differences in the burrow system parameters and their relationships to soil and food supply characteristics are shown in Fig 4. The first ordination axis of the PCA ordination plot clearly differentiates between two soil types and explains 52.5% of the variability in food supply and soil parameters. Whereas in basaltic soil mole rats tended to have more complex and branched burrow systems characterised by a higher fractal dimension, burrow systems in rendzina tended to be longer and more linear (Fig 4, Table 2). In the ordination plot, the complexity of the burrow systems is associated mainly with higher aboveground biomass of plants and with higher soil moisture and hardness. In addition, the burrow length appears to be negatively correlated with biomass of underground storage organs of plants, their density and number of species per sample square (Fig 4). The depth of the burrow systems was similar in basaltic soil and rendzina (20±8 and 19±8 cm for basaltic soil and rendzina, respectively; Mann-Whitney U test, p = 0.38).


Habitat and Burrow System Characteristics of the Blind Mole Rat Spalax galili in an Area of Supposed Sympatric Speciation.

Lövy M, Šklíba J, Hrouzková E, Dvořáková V, Nevo E, Šumbera R - PLoS ONE (2015)

PCA ordination plot showing interrelationships between ecological characteristics (depicted in black) and passively projected burrow system parameters (in grey).Squares and circles represent males and females, respectively. Solid symbols represent individuals from basaltic soil, open symbols represent those from rendzina. Triangles are centroids for each habitat. The first ordination axis explains 52.5% of the data variability.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4508111&req=5

pone.0133157.g004: PCA ordination plot showing interrelationships between ecological characteristics (depicted in black) and passively projected burrow system parameters (in grey).Squares and circles represent males and females, respectively. Solid symbols represent individuals from basaltic soil, open symbols represent those from rendzina. Triangles are centroids for each habitat. The first ordination axis explains 52.5% of the data variability.
Mentions: Inter-soil differences in the burrow system parameters and their relationships to soil and food supply characteristics are shown in Fig 4. The first ordination axis of the PCA ordination plot clearly differentiates between two soil types and explains 52.5% of the variability in food supply and soil parameters. Whereas in basaltic soil mole rats tended to have more complex and branched burrow systems characterised by a higher fractal dimension, burrow systems in rendzina tended to be longer and more linear (Fig 4, Table 2). In the ordination plot, the complexity of the burrow systems is associated mainly with higher aboveground biomass of plants and with higher soil moisture and hardness. In addition, the burrow length appears to be negatively correlated with biomass of underground storage organs of plants, their density and number of species per sample square (Fig 4). The depth of the burrow systems was similar in basaltic soil and rendzina (20±8 and 19±8 cm for basaltic soil and rendzina, respectively; Mann-Whitney U test, p = 0.38).

Bottom Line: We also mapped nine complete mole rat burrow systems to compare burrowing patterns between the soil types.Basaltic soil had a higher food supply and was harder than rendzina even under higher moisture content and lower bulk density.A combination of food supply and soil parameters probably influences burrowing patterns resulting in shorter and more complex burrow systems in basaltic soil.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

ABSTRACT
A costly search for food in subterranean rodents resulted in various adaptations improving their foraging success under given ecological conditions. In Spalax ehrenbergi superspecies, adaptations to local ecological conditions can promote speciation, which was recently supposed to occur even in sympatry at sites where two soil types of contrasting characteristics abut each other. Quantitative description of ecological conditions in such a site has been, nevertheless, missing. We measured characteristics of food supply and soil within 16 home ranges of blind mole rats Spalax galili in an area subdivided into two parts formed by basaltic soil and pale rendzina. We also mapped nine complete mole rat burrow systems to compare burrowing patterns between the soil types. Basaltic soil had a higher food supply and was harder than rendzina even under higher moisture content and lower bulk density. Population density of mole rats was five-times lower in rendzina, possibly due to the lower food supply and higher cover of Sarcopoterium shrubs which seem to be avoided by mole rats. A combination of food supply and soil parameters probably influences burrowing patterns resulting in shorter and more complex burrow systems in basaltic soil.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus