Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Committee Member

Lawrence R. Walker

Number of Pages



The mounds created by many species of Dipodomys (kangaroo rats) are long-term modifications of the the soil chemical and physical environment which have been shown to increase both the diversity and abundance of annuals in the deserts of the Southwestern United States. I characterized shrub distribution and soil parameters on and off rodent mounds in a Coleogyne ramosissima community in Lucky Strike Canyon near Las Vegas, Nevada and performed several experiments to investigate rodent effects on seedlings and seeds of C. ramosissima. Rodent mounds were found to be long-term modifications of the soil physical and chemical environment which support a higher diversity of shrub species than the surrounding environment. Both rodent foraging activities and mound building play a role in maintaining shrub diversity in the C. ramosissima community at Lucky Strike Canyon.


Coleogyne; Coleogyne Ramosissima; Community; Desert; Dipodomys; Effects; Mojave; Ramosissima; Rodent; Shrub; Shrubs

Controlled Subject

Animals--Diseases; Botany; Botany

File Format


File Size

1.86 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.