HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Pocket gophers serve as 'ecosystem engineers'

(Portland, Ore.) Love them or hate them, pocket gophers have an important effect on the soil and plants where they live. They serve as small "ecosystem engineers" generating major impacts on the physical environment.

Jim Reichman, director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara, will present findings on North American pocket gophers, entitled "Bioturbation by subterranean mammalian herbivores and its impact on ecosystems," at the annual meeting of the Ecology Society of America in Portland, Ore., the first week in August. Eric Seabloom of NCEAS is a co-author.

Pocket gophers are named for their fur-lined pouches located on the outside of their mouths. They use the pouches to carry food, hence the name. The rodents vary in length from six to 13 inches. As with most burrowing mammals, pocket gophers have poor eyesight. However, they compensate for this with other, well-developed senses, such as large whiskers, which are sensitive to movement and help them in dark tunnels. They have powerful claws and teeth for digging. They are vegetarian, or herbivores, surviving mostly on roots.

"Gophers live below ground so people don't think much about them, but they change the landscape and the nutrient availability of the soil," said Seabloom. "They act like little rototillers, loosening and aerating the soil. They loosen the soil and the speed at which plants decompose, causing higher production of plants, and they may be important to the biodiversity of plants. They definitely have an important effect."

Reichman explained that gophers were part of the natural system historically, a major part of the natural habitat. "Gophers were part of the ecosystem before grazing and before people arrived," he said. He is researching the differential effect that gophers have on native plants versus invasive species. This research is contributing to efforts to restore native habitats.

In his presen
'"/>

Contact: Gail Gallessich
gail.g@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-7220
University of California - Santa Barbara
2-Aug-2004


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Humble Pocket Gophers Shed Light On The Genetic Fortitude Of Cheetahs
2. Patented process preserves transplant tissues/organs
3. UAB creates the first Internet server to search for genetic diversity
4. Unexpected changes in Earths climate observed on the dark side of the moon
5. Expression of Rb2/p130 and VEGF could serve as potential liver cancer prognosticators
6. Surprising ultra-conserved regions discovered in human genome
7. ESAs minature Earth observer put to many uses
8. NASA-inspired technology may help preserve womens future fertility after cancer treatment
9. Gulf marine reserves given new life
10. Crime scene or nature reserve?
11. Warning to preserve unique red squirrel from extinction

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/4/2019)... , ... April 02, 2019 , ... ... and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, today announced that ... takes place at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel, Oxon Hill, Maryland, on April ...
(Date:4/4/2019)... ... April 03, 2019 , ... R3 Stem Cell is now ... Centers of Excellence. R3 wants patients to feel secure when they make a ... from Centers that use inferior regenerative biologics, protocols or amounts, R3 provides a ...
(Date:3/29/2019)... ... March 28, 2019 , ... In the wake of ... entirely dedicated to Chinese biobanks was launched in July 2018, in an agreement ... Biobank Branch, China Medicinal Biotech Association (BBCMBA). The one-year pilot programme offered two ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/9/2019)... ... April 09, 2019 , ... Sonny Bar Lisa, or Sonny ... for approximately two months. After a series of diagnostics, an MRI was performed ... owner, Alison, researched the injury and found that VetStem Regenerative Cell Therapy ...
(Date:4/8/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... April 09, 2019 , ... ... disease, the innovative non-profit research center Chan Zuckerberg Biohub (CZ Biohub) has chosen ... of antibody repertoires is part of CZ Biohub’s efforts to establish new approaches ...
(Date:3/27/2019)... ... March 26, 2019 , ... A leader in the field ... to veterinarians across the United States and Canada since 2004. The primary indications ... tissue injuries in the dog, cat, and horse. Recently, VetStem teamed up ...
(Date:3/23/2019)... ... March 22, 2019 , ... ... LenS3 Multi-Angle Light Scattering (MALS) detector , offering a revolutionary approach for the ... polysaccharides, proteins, and biopolymers. A novel optical design, a unique cell-block assembly, and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: