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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3217

Title: The Giant Mole Rat, Tachyoryctes macrocephalus (Rüppell,
Authors: ABIYOT, GEMECHU
Advisors: AFEWORK BEKELE (PROF.)
ANOUSKA KINIAHAN(PROF.)
Keywords: ecosystem engineer
giant mole rat
Copyright: Jun-2010
Date Added: 27-Jun-2012
Abstract: Studies on Giant Mole Rats as ecosystem engineers were carried out on Sanetti plateau, Bale Mountains National Park from July 2008 to March 2009 covering both wet and dry seasons. Fifteen 50x50 m2 plots of which five with high giant mole rat density and five with low giant mole rat and five with none-giant mole density were selected for the study on factors that influence density and distributions on of giant mole rat and the impact on the environment. In addition to this, ten 50x50 m2 plots of which five with high density giant mole at and five with low density giant mole rat were selected for population and co-existence studies. An estimate of 48 maximum and 20 minimum individual giant mole rats were found per-hectare in the present study. A total of 75 kg soil samples were taken from studied plots for soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and particle density study and 225 bags samples were taken for soil bulk density test. The soil samples were tested for required parameters in Addis Ababa National Soil Test. Soil properties, vegetation cover, livestock, grazing season, and slope were factors affect the density and distribution of giant mole rats. The soil factors determine the number of mima mound formation and number of fresh open and closed holes. The mean fresh open and closed holes during dry and wet season were significantly different (t = -2.743, df = 9; P = 0.013 < 0.05; t = 4.300, df = 9, P = 0.00 < 0.05), respectively. Density and distribution of mole rats were best indicated by the number of mime mound in a given area. The number of mima mound showed statistically significant compared to fresh open and closed holes, old closed holes and grazing intensity (P = 0.01 < 0.05). Giant mole rats aid soil formation, hence burrowing and mima mound formation mix soil component. It also aerates and enriches soil with nutrients whereas in other hand it enhances soil erosion by exposing soil to erosion factors. The burrowing pattern of giant mole rats affect Soil carbon by releasing carbon dioxide into atmosphere contributes to climate change. The soil carbon content and soil bulk density in giant mol rat showed significantly different compared to none giant mole rat plots (F2, 72 = 19.1; P = 0.00 < 0.05; c2 = 5.699, df = 1; P = 0.017 > 0.005), respectively. Giant mole rat had mutual way of living with the alpine chat and commensalisms with murid rodents The maximum number of giant mole rat observed is statistically positively correlated with number of alpine chat( = 0.05 ; r = 0.287) and total number of giant mole rats observed positively correlated with total raptors( = 0.05; r = 0.303) in the studied plots. Combined effect of giant mole rat and livestock would have caused great impact on the ecosystem. Conservation measure aimed at afroalpine ecosystem of Bale Mountains would take accounts the role of the giant mole rat as ecosystem engineers
Description: A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Science Graduate studies in partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Ecological and Systematic Zoology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3217
Appears in:Thesis - Biology

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