Download e-book for kindle: Zoogeomorphology: Animals as Geomorphic Agents by David R. Butler

Download e-book for kindle: Zoogeomorphology: Animals as Geomorphic Agents by David R. Butler

By David R. Butler

Zoogeomorphology is the 1st and purely e-book of its type to envision the position animals play in sculpting the Earth's floor, therefore integrating the tips and literature from the fields of geomorphology and natural world ecology. Dr. Butler describes how animals of all kinds--from small bugs to massive mammals comparable to elephants--can act as brokers of abrasion, transportation, and deposition of sediment. He discusses particular strategies linked to the variety of animal affects in geomorphology: burrowing and denning, nesting, lithophagy and geophagy, wallowing and trampling, nutrients caching, excavating for nutrients, and dam construction by means of beavers.

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Sample text

The tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) may subsequently occupy and expand these burrows, apparently for thermal protection and safety from predation (Seely et al. 1989). Many spiders are known to live in small burrows or holes in the ground, but very little information exists regarding the geomorphic efforts of arachnids. Polis, Myers, and Quinlan (1986) described the burrowing biology of desert scorpions, but offered little insight into the geomorphic effects of such burrowing. Formanowicz and Ducey (1991) reported on the burrowing behavior and soil manipulation by tarantulas (Fig.

Geomorphic effects of terrestrial invertebrates 25 Here, the work of primary burrowers is of importance because of its great geomorphic and pedoturbational ramifications. The digging of burrows by crayfish results in the deposition of surface mounds, also known as crayfish "chimneys" or "turrets," across the landscape (Fig. 4). The mounds are surface entry points to a tunnel system frequently over 1 m in depth and chiefly 4-8 cm in diameter (Stone 1993). In some cases the mounds, frequently composed of clay, become hardened by the sun so that they are an impediment to farm machinery.

Rather than simply reiterate those comments here, I focus on his description of the sediment-processing activities of callianassid shrimps. These shrimps are burrowing animals that create funnel-shaped depressions into the benthic sediments with corresponding "volcano-like mounds, up to 30 cm high and reaching densities of 10 mounds m- 2 " (Spencer 1988, pp. 298-9). The depressions beneath these microlandforms may extend to depths of 2 m, although 50-cm depth is more typical. Photographs and diagrams of the shrimp mounds suggest a strong similarity to their nonmarine counterparts, the mounds and subsurface chambers produced by crayfish.

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