Chapter

Introduction

James L. Patton, David G. Huckaby and Sergio Ticul Álvarez-Castañeda

in The Evolutionary History and a Systematic Revision of Woodrats of the Neotoma lepida Group

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520098664
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520942592 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520098664.003.0001
Introduction

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This chapter analyzes the distribution, biogeographic history, and sytematics of woodrats of the Neotoma lepida group from the western United States and northwestern Mexico. Woodrats are ubiquitous occupants of dryland habitats from western Arizona to coastal California, and from southern Idaho and Oregon to the cape region of Baja California Sur in Mexico. Their historical record is extensive and temporally deep. These rats are important components of the small mammal fauna throughout their range, as Verts and Carraway detail in their synopsis of the population ecology and behavior of Neotoma lepida. Woodrats build stick nests that serve as refuges for a variety of other taxa, both vertebrate and invertebrate. They serve as important prey for avian and non-avian reptiles as well as other mammals. Finally, woodrats also play a critical role in nutrient cycling and provide with other woodrat species.

Keywords: woodrats; Neotoma lepida; Mexico; Arizona; Carrawy

Chapter.  3594 words. 

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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