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Habitat requirements of the long-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus undulatus) in the southern Altai

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dc.title Habitat requirements of the long-tailed ground squirrel (Spermophilus undulatus) in the southern Altai en
dc.contributor.author Řičánková, Věra
dc.contributor.author Fric, Zdeněk
dc.contributor.author Chlachula, Jiří
dc.contributor.author Šťastná, Pavla
dc.contributor.author Faltýnková, Anna
dc.contributor.author Zemek, František
dc.relation.ispartof Journal of Zoology
dc.identifier.issn 0952-8369 Scopus Sources, Sherpa/RoMEO, JCR
dc.date.issued 2006-09
utb.relation.volume 270
utb.relation.issue 1
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 8
dc.type article
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Blackwell Publishing, Inc. en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00136.x
dc.relation.uri http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7998.2006.00136.x/abstract
dc.subject Spermophilus undulatus en
dc.subject Altai Mountains en
dc.subject habitat selection en
dc.subject predation risk en
dc.subject grazing en
dc.description.abstract The long-tailed ground squirrels Spermophilus undulatus represent the most abundant burrowing herbivorous species in the southern Altai grasslands and are suggested to play an important role in the maintenance of this mountain ecosystem. The aim of this study was to identify the key features that influence their habitat use in the southern part of the Altai Republic (south-west Siberia, Russia). The research area represents a complete sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones from steppe, forest-steppe, forest, sub-alpine and alpine tundra. Our results suggest that S. undulatus prefers short-grass steppes, near the water source and with a thin layer of a chernozem soil containing a large amount of coarse clastics. The species strictly avoids forests and tolerates only a low density of bush cover. Altitude and exposure to sun do not represent significant factors in the habitat choice of S. undulatus. Neither the presence of pikas nor the presence of marmots influences habitat selection of the ground squirrels. Strong preferences for habitats near a water source may limit the distribution of the species to mountain areas. Degree of human disturbance was not a significant factor affecting distribution and the species even displays slight preferences for heavily grazed habitat near human settlements and roads. Intensive grazing prevents shrubs and forest invasion, keeps vegetation low and thus provides appropriate conditions for the ground squirrels, favouring an open habitat where predators can be easily detected by sight. Our results suggest that the habitat selection of ground squirrels may be determined rather by a protection from predators and burrowing conditions than by food availability. en
utb.faculty Faculty of Technology
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10563/1002081
utb.identifier.obdid 43865424
utb.identifier.scopus 2-s2.0-33747368776
utb.identifier.wok 000239778900001
utb.identifier.coden JOZOE
utb.source j-wok
dc.date.accessioned 2011-08-16T15:06:26Z
dc.date.available 2011-08-16T15:06:26Z
utb.contributor.internalauthor Chlachula, Jiří
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