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Serengeti IVSustaining biodiversity in a coupled human-natural system$
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Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Kristine L. Metzger, Simon A. R. Mduma, and John M. Fryxell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226195834

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226196336.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 20 October 2021

Small Mammal Diversity and Population Dynamics in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem

Small Mammal Diversity and Population Dynamics in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem

(p.322) (p.323) Twelve Small Mammal Diversity and Population Dynamics in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem
Serengeti IV

Andrea E. Byrom

Wendy A. Ruscoe

Ally K. Nkwabi

Kristine L. Metzger

Guy J. Forrester

Meggan E. Craft

Sarah M. Durant

Stephen Makacha

John Bukombe

John Mchetto

Simon A. R. Mduma

Denne N. Reed

Katie Hampson

Anthony R. E. Sinclair

University of Chicago Press

Summary of over 45 years of data on small mammal diversity and abundance collected in the greater Serengeti ecosystem, quantifying the diversity of small mammals by habitat type and increasing the known number of species recorded in the system to a minimum of 37. Fluctuations were recorded in rodent abundance from 1968 to 2010 and demonstrated for the first time that ‘outbreaks’ in rodent abundance occur in natural ecosystems in Africa, not just in agricultural systems. Short-season rainfall is a major driver of rodent outbreaks and in turn small mammals play a vital role in the food web of the greater Serengeti ecosystem because several species of predators show a strong response to rodent abundance. In addition to the linkages between rainfall, primary productivity, small mammals and predators described in this chapter, there is increasing evidence that small mammals play a wide range of subtle and indirect roles in the function of savanna ecosystems.

Keywords:   habitat factors, small mammals, diversity, Serengeti ecosystem, trophic dynamics

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