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Zhang F.,Inner Mongolia Agricultural University | Zhang F.,Key Laboralory of Grassland Resources | Fu H.,Inner Mongolia Agricultural University | Fu H.,Key Laboralory of Grassland Resources | And 7 more authors.
Acta Theriologica Sinica | Year: 2011

Population dynamics of six rodent species in Alxa desert was investigated by mark-and-recapture method between 2002 and 2009. The study was performed in three different kinds of disturbed habitat: prohibited-grazing area, rotational-grazing area and over-grazing area. The degree of spatial synchrony was determined with Pearson correlations on yearly and monthly levels. Here, single population data were compared within habitats according to the principle "each with each". Only for the dominant species Meriones meridianus was strong spatial synchrony detected: here positive relationships emerged within years and months independent of habitat [P <0.05). Additionally, both hamster species Cricetulus barabensis and Phodopus roborovskii showed a continuous spatial synchrony in monthly analyses (P<0.05) but not on the level of yearly data. Finally, the common species Allaclaga sibirica, Dipus sagitta and Spermophilus alaschanicus exhibited only weak spatial synchrony which was concluded on the basis of single significant correlations but no homogeneous behavior on temporal scales or within types of habitat. Our results indicate that disturbance has a larger effect on spatial synchrony of common species than on the dominant species. The population of Meriones meridianus remained nearly unaffected by the degree of disturbance while species with lower population size like Spermophilns alaschanicus and Allactaga sibirica were widely influenced. It was probably a significant ecological tenet that dominant species have strong spatial synchrony while common species have weak spatial synchrony, and it was very important for balance and stability of the animal communities.

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