Predator-prey relationships: rodent-snail interactions in the central Negev Desert of Israel

Z. Abramsky, M. Shachak, A. Subach, S. Brand, H. Alfia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Investigated the effects of increasing Acomys cahirinus and Gerbillus dasyurus predation efficiency on their population density and the population of their prey, the desert snail Trochoidea seetzenii. Rodent predation on snails is limited by the number of shelters for rodents in the area. More shelters are found on the upper than on the lower slope. The authors introduced artificial shelters along the slope, then censused the number of rodents, snails, and of eaten snails for five years. In the presence of artificial shelters the predation efficiency of rodents increased. Number of rodents also increased and the number of snails decreased on experimental relative to control plots. Persistence of the snail-rodent system may thus be due to spatial variation in the relative importance of direct prey-predator relations and the indirect effects of snail immigration to the slope and presence of protective shelters for the rodents. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992


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