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Influences of Porcupine (Hystrix indica) Activity on the Slopes of the Northern Negev Mountains: Germination and Vegetation Renewal in Different Geomorphological Types and Slope Directions

Yitzchak Gutterman and Nir Herr
Oecologia
Vol. 51, No. 3 (1981), pp. 332-334
Published by: Springer in cooperation with International Association for Ecology
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4216546
Page Count: 3
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Influences of Porcupine (Hystrix indica) Activity on the Slopes of the Northern Negev Mountains: Germination and Vegetation Renewal in Different Geomorphological Types and Slope Directions
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Abstract

Preliminary results show that the number and survival of seedlings within the diggings of the Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) is usually higher than in the surrounding area. Species like Erodium hirtum (Willd.) (hemicryptophyte), Helianthemum vesicarium Boiss. (perennial), and Diplotaxis harra (Forssk.) Boiss. are conspicuous by their appearance in the diggings of the porcupine more than between the diggings. In contrast there are plants like Helianthemum ledifolium (L.) Mill. (annual), that appear in high numbers outside the diggings. In the case of Erodium hirtum, it appears that the porcupines help in rejuvenating the population. The porcupines feed on the older underground plant bulbs and the pockets formed by their diggings are convenient habitats for germination and growth of the young seedlings.

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