Russian Journal of Biological Invasions

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 301–312 | Cite as

Synanthropic and agrophilic rodents as invasive alien mammals

Article

Abstract

Taxonomic diversity of synanthropic and agrophilic rodents of Russia is analyzed. It is demonstrated that biological features of these mammals are similar. The history and pathways of their invasion, size of invaded area, and role in ecosystems are characterized. It is shown that synanthropic and agrophilic rodents are a part of a number of dangerous invasive alien mammals, but they take different places in the system of alien mammals. Synanthropic and agrophilic rodents are distinct from other alien species of mammals because their harm to natural ecosystems is not very noticeable; however, they cause serious damage to people in built-up areas and agrocoenoses. Agrophyly and synanthropy of rodents developed as an entire process of agro-synantropic population formation at early stages. Urban expansion and extensive plowing led to formation of independent agrophilic and synanthropic populations of rodents. On Russian territory, the house mice combines agrophyly and synanthropy to a greater extent. Expansion of synanthropic and agrophilic animals is connected with maximal transformation of nature by man: town planning and plowing. The global nature of these processes leads to erasure of zonal borders of biodiversity modification.

Key words

invasions alien species synanthropic and agrophilic rodents 

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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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