Ecosystem engineering through aardvark (Orycteropus afer) burrowing: Mechanisms and effects

  title={Ecosystem engineering through aardvark (Orycteropus afer) burrowing: Mechanisms and effects},
  author={Natalie S. Haussmann and Michelle A. Louw and Simone Lewis and Keegan J.H. Nicol and Stephni van der Merwe and Peter C. le Roux},
  journal={Ecological Engineering},

Figures and Tables from this paper

Burrowing by translocated boodie (Bettongia lesueur) populations alters soils but has limited effects on vegetation
It is found that soil moisture and most soil nutrients were higher, and soil compaction was lower, on warrens in all sites and habitat types, and that translocated boodie populations may be benefiting both native and non‐native flora and fauna.
Testing for consistency in the impacts of a burrowing ecosystem engineer on soil and vegetation characteristics across biomes
The difference in the impacts of burrowing between biomes were not related to rainfall, with burrowing having strong, albeit different, impacts in both the arid scrubland and the mesic grassland, but weaker effects in the semi-arid savannah.
Burrowing Richardson’s ground squirrels affect plant seedling assemblages via environmental but not seed bank changes
The results suggest that Richardson’s ground squirrels act as ecosystem engineers, although future research following succession on ground squirrel mounds is necessary to understand how they influence plant communities past the seedling stage.
Role of Reef-Building, Ecosystem Engineering Polychaetes in Shallow Water Ecosystems
Analysis of how reef-building polychaetes engineer their environment and affect habitat quality, thus regulating community structure, ecosystem functioning, and the provision of ecosystem services in shallow waters finds RBP have positive impacts on diversity and abundance of many species mediated by the structure of the reef.
Biogeomorphological eco-evolutionary feedback between life and geomorphology: a theoretical framework using fossorial mammals.
A new perspective in geomorphology may lead to a better conceptualization and analysis of Earth surface processes and landforms as parts of complex adaptive systems in which Darwinian selection processes at lower landscape levels lead to self-organization of higher-level landforms and landscapes.


Habitat engineering under dry conditions: The impact of pikas (Ochotona pallasi) on vegetation and site conditions in southern Mongolian steppes
Abstract Question: Does ecosystem engineering by small mammals have a significant influence on vegetation patterns in the arid steppe vegetation of southern Mongolia? Location: Gobi Altay Mountains,
Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus L.) impacts on vegetation and soils, and implications for management of wooded rangelands
The work suggests that the higher cover-abundance of weedy species is a result of alterations to the soil surface caused by rabbit disturbances, and that destruction of the warren complex is required to enable native perennials to colonise.
Burrowing by badgers (Meles meles) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes) changes soil conditions and vegetation in a European temperate forest
The results indicate that the badger setts and fox dens differ significantly from the forest matrix in terms of soil and vegetation parameters, and that they contribute to habitat heterogeneity and biological diversity.
Burrow‐dwelling ecosystem engineers provide thermal refugia throughout the landscape
This hypothesis is supported by showing that large burrow-dwelling tortoises, Gopherus polyphemus, likely depend upon burrows for thermoregulation, and implies that environmental temperatures will be above lethal thermal limits more often, highlighting the importance of refugia from extreme conditions.
Biopedturbation by mammals in deserts: a review
Abstract Disturbance-caused patchiness is important for development and maintenance of spatial and temporal heterogeneity in ecosystems. Mammals are important agents of biopedturbation (soil
European rabbits as ecosystem engineers: warrens increase lizard density and diversity
This study shows that European rabbit warrens have a positive influence on lizard density and diversity, and confirms the role of rabbits as ecosystem engineers, and reinforces the need for appropriate conservation measures for rabbits, especially given their threatened status in the Iberian Peninsula.
Foraging animals create fertile patches in an Australian desert shrubland
The results demonstrate the importance of animal-created pits as nutrient sinks and sites for seedling establishment, and suggest that changes in the composition of arid zone vertebrates may have resulted in profound changes to nutrient and soil dynamics in arid Australia.