The highly-social plateau pika (Lagomorpha: Ochotona curzoniae) excavates vast burrow complexes in alpine meadows on the Tibetan Plateau. Colonies of over 300 individuals/ha have been reported. As an ecosystem engineer, their burrowing may positively impact ecosystem health by increasing plant species diversity, enhancing soil mixing, and boosting water infiltration. However, pikas are commonly regarded as pests, and are heavily poisoned throughout their range.
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- alpine meadow
- keystone engineer
- Ochotona curzoniae
- plateau pika
- Tibetan Plateau
- Pikas--Behavior--Tibet, Plateau of.
- Pikas--Ecology--Tibet, Plateau of.
- Ecology--Tibet, Plateau of.
- Partial requirement for: Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2010Note typethesis
- Includes bibliographical references (p. 147-174)Note typebibliography
- Field of study: Biology