Acta Theriologica

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 43–51 | Cite as

The impact of plateau zokorMyospalax fontanierii burrows on alpine meadow vegetation on the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) plateau

  • Yanming Zhang
  • Jike Liu
  • Yurong Du


The impact of burrows constructed by plateau zokorsMyospalax fontanierii (Milne-Edwards, 1867) on alpine meadow vegetation on the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) plateau was investigated. Plant samples taken from quadrats directly over active zokor burrows, back-filled burrows, adjacent burrow controls, and random sites from a field, in which no burrows or mounds occurred were compared. The biomass of plants (below- and above-ground) directly over shallow active burrows was significantly lower than on control plots. This reduction in biomass was not significantly different than that between deep active burrows and control plots. There were no significant differences between above- and below-ground plant biomass on areas perpendicular to active burrows when compared to random sites. Back-filling soil in burrows could promote the growth of above-ground monocotyledonous plants. However, the burrowing activities of zokors had a negative effect on biomass of dicotyledonous plants.

Key words

Myospalax fontanierii burrow alpine meadow vegetation 


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Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza, Poland 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwest Plateau Institute of Biologythe Chinese Academy of SciencesXining, Qinghai ProvincePeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Life ScienceZhejiang UniversityHangzhou, Zhejiang ProvincePeople’s Republic of China

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