The burrowing and trophic activities of four pika (Ochotona) species proved to be reflected in the horizontal structure of the biogeocenotic cover. Zoophytochores ofOchotona daurica andO. pallasi pricei burrows correspond to previously described ameboid zoophytochores. Burrows of pikas provide for the growth of pea shrubs (Caragana bungei, C leucophloea), with the formation of specific plant groups under their crowns and on rubble dug out by pikas. In ecosystems of placers, zoophytochores are formed owing to the presence of pika food stores and lavatories, which are the main substrate for vascular plants first appearing among the stones. General ecological (and successional) series characterizing the overgrowing of placers is as follows: (1) separate spots of vegetation with poor floristic composition at the sites of pika food stores (stacklets); (2) groups of spots and simplest complexes; and (3) complex plant communities of pika colonies. Food stores of pikas in Tuva were analyzed.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 27, 2007
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