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Tropical forests - after lumberjacks coming rats. A harmful

Tropical forests - after lumberjacks coming rats. A harmful When he fells the forest, flying splinters. Folk wisdom has but also fails to mention that in the wake of lumberjacks often move even non-native rodents. Rats general use business as usual routes and roads in the tropics as migration routes between logging camps trash finds its new home. And from these isolated sites gradually penetrate further into degraded forests, where they can threaten native mammals.

Large-scale logging in the forests of the problem they face virtually all countries in tropical and subtropical zone. In addition to the substantial destruction of habitat and disruption of the functioning of the entire ecosystem, however, the resulting bleak situation are others factors that whole thing even more complicated. One of them is the introduction of alien species. For many animals are in fact produced and grubbed forest area an ideal place for a new life. An example for all the black rat, which to exotic coasts of the equator arrived in the holds of sailing ships around 1600.

Rats caused the extinction of a number of flightless birds on the islands and decimated large breeding colony on the coast. Green depths of the forest but they remained far forbidden. Rubber and jungle vegetation rats does not bring any special benefits. In his sparse undergrowth is the lack of adequate shelters and also there is a thick layer of fallen leaves. When the rats start running after him, rustling and draw attention to themselves predators and prey. In degraded forests, the situation is different. The undergrowth is here thanks to regeneration and raids on open scrubland or cleared sites and thicker on the ground there is also plenty of decaying wood, full of tasty insect larvae.

These conditions satisfy the same extent as the main rainforest mammals, and carried by the rats. They after all it can under the circumstances to get more. Such a situation also occurred in Borneo, where the presence of rats in the impenetrable forests and their margins eroded dedicated team of researchers from Imperial College London. Forty-caught rat was fitted with a tracking device, as well as several dozen other forest mammals. Scientists then observed whether the rodents show a significant preference for a given environment. And the result? "Felling trees creates a mosaic of microenvironments that rats love," says Rob Ewers from Imperial College, London.

But the good news for the rats, which have not only inhabiting urban environment is very bad news all around. "Domestic forest species of small mammals are capable of in this competition for food and other resources to succeed. Gradually the locations where rats settle disappear. "The problem is not just that under the pressure of the rats disappear a few species." Along with a small rainforest rodents disappearing from large expanses of forest and they provide ecological services, such as the destruction of insect pests and especially Spreading the seeds of plants. "The forest devoid of small mammals can not naturally zmlazovat and restore its growth. Ewers, along with colleagues now focused on finding answers, what will be the "forest rat" on.

Author: Radomír Dohnal

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