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Arid Ecosystems

, 1:177 | Cite as

The 28-year abundance and biomass dynamics of the little ground squirrel (Spermophilus pygmaeus Pall., 1778) in the pasture ecosystems of Kalmykia

  • S. A. Shilova
  • L. E. Savinetskaya
  • V. V. Neronov
Applied Problems of Arid Lands Development

Abstract

The progression of tall-grass steppes has caused a consequent reduction in the abundance of the little ground squirrel. By the beginning of this century, its population had fallen to zero and was not compensated by other rodent species’ biomass. The little ground squirrel is a biocenotically valuable species for a semidesert terrain, since it participates in the latter’s pedogenesis and is a food source for the steppe eagle. Thus, its disappearance would threaten to significantly disturb the structure of the biocenosis.

Keywords

little ground squirrel biomass semidesert landscape abundance dynamics 

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. A. Shilova
    • 1
  • L. E. Savinetskaya
    • 1
  • V. V. Neronov
    • 1
  1. 1.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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