Site: Jornada Basin LTER

Kangaroo Rat
Credit: John Anderson

Desert rodent biomass depends on an interaction between shrub cover and precipitation – more rodent biomass is associated with grasslands following droughts and with shrublands following wet years. This pattern can be largely explained by the irruption of folivores (which prefer shrubbier vegetation) during wet years and suggests that rodent population dynamics are likely to change following climatic shifts.