Rodent Communities in a Neglected Grassland Landscape: Investigating Species-specific Responses of Grassland Rodents to Habitat Type and Shrub Presence

Aditya Ganesh, Arjun Kannan, T. Ganesh

Journal Of Arid Environments |  April 4, 2024

A new study in Tirunelveli reveals how shrub encroachment impacts rodent communities. Given how essential rodents are to grassland ecosystems, it is important to understand how they respond to emerging threats. Change in vegetation structure, namely, an increase in the density of shrubs has been identified as a potential ecological crisis to grasslands worldwide. Shrub encroachment alters the behaviour of rodents and is known to have species-specific effects on abundance, with some species responding negatively to increasing woody cover and others responding positively. The study found rodents to be equally abundant in different grassland types, with captures positively associated with shrub presence.