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Zhang X.,Inner Mongolia Agricultural University | Zhang X.,Key Laboratory of Grassland Resources | Wu X.,Inner Mongolia Agricultural University | Wu X.,Key Laboratory of Grassland Resources | And 6 more authors.
Acta Theriologica Sinica | Year: 2013

This study was conducted in four different habitats of the Alax desert of Inner Mongolia including a grazing-prohibited site, a rotational-grazing site, an over-grazing site and farmland. Rodent communities were sampled using snaptraps for a single day each month during April, July and October from 2002 to 2010, and beta diversity of rodent communities in the different habitats was analyzed. The characteristics of shrub communities also were analyzed to investigate landscape fragmentation under different disturbance conditions. The variation of the four habitats along with gradient were divided into six classes based on the amount of landscape fragmentation. The Jaccard's diversity index, Sorenson's diversity index and Cody diversity index were used to analyze the variation in the beta diversity of the rodent communities. The results showed that the three beta diversity indices differed significantly among all gradients between habitats (P<0.05), and the variance was the most obvious between grazing-prohibited areas and the over-grazing site in the gradient. The Shannon-Wiener index, Simpson index and the species number in the shrub communities were significantly different among studies sites (P<0.01), and showed the following trends: rotational-grazing site>over-grazing site>grazing-prohibited site>farmland. The region was considered a fragmented landscape if the degree of variation for environment conditions and the beta diversity was similar. In addition, the main reason for the landscape fragmentation in the region was the human-caused disturbance, particularly the grazing activities, which drove the heterogeneity of environment significantly. The beta diversity increase along with the increase of environment gradient lead to heterogeneity, which was caused by the increase in difference and variation of the species composition between rodent communities rather than the increase of species in arid desert region.

Bao J.,Inner Mongolia Agricultural University | Bao J.,Inner Mongolia University of Technology | Zhang F.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Wu X.,Inner Mongolia Agricultural University | And 7 more authors.
Acta Theriologica Sinica | Year: 2012

From 2006 to 2008, we used live traps to investigate the rodent community in an area of the Alxa desert in which grazing was prohibited. The plant community also was surveyed using quadrat methods in the study areas. The relationship between the rodent and plant communities was analyzed using de-trended correspondence analysis (DCA) and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). Based on DCA and CCA, there is a correlation between the rodent community and the plant community. The DCA analysis showed that the rodent community structure varied significantly among the three study years. The seasonal characteristics of the rodent community structure were significantly different in 2007 and 2008, and different between two years, but were the same in 2006. The results of CCA demonstrated that Meriones unguiculatus and Merionesmeri dianus were significantly correlated with the vegetation characteristics; Phodopus roborovskii, Allocricetulus eversmanni and Spermophilus alaschanicus were correlated with shrub height and canopy cover; while Mus musculus and Dipus sagitta were not significantly correlated with the vegetation characteristics.

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