Ventilation of multi-entranced rodent burrows by boundary layer Eddies

Inbal Brickner-Braun, Daniel Zucker-Milwerger, Avi Braun, J. Scott Turner, Berry Pinshow, Pedro Berliner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Rodent burrows are often assumed to be environments wherein the air has a high concentration of CO2. Although high burrow [CO2] has been recorded, many studies report burrow [CO2] that differs only slightly from atmospheric concentrations. Here, we advocate that one of the reasons for these differences is the penetration into burrows of air gusts (eddies), which originate in the turbulent boundary layer and prevent build-up of CO2. We have characterized the means by which burrows of Sundevall's jird, which are representative of the burrows of many rodent species with more than one entrance, are ventilated. Our results demonstrate that, even at low wind speeds, the random penetration of eddies into a burrow through its openings is sufficient to keep the burrow [CO2] low enough to be physiologically inconsequential, even in its deep and remote parts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4141-4148
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Burrow ventilation
  • CO concentration
  • Eddy
  • Sundevall's jird
  • Turbulent boundary layer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


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