Differential responses of two species of kangaroo rat (Dipodomys) to heavy rains: A humbling reappraisal

Douglas A. Kelt, James A. Wilson, Eddy S. Konno, Jessica D. Braswell, Douglas Deutschman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Reanalysis of a recently published data set on the responses of 2 species of kangaroo rats to the 1997-1998 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event revealed an error during data manipulation, and underscored the perils associated with electronic data storage, manipulation, and analyses. Renewed analyses revealed that Dipodomys simulans was not catastrophically impacted by the ENSO event. Both species were negatively impacted by 2 separate rainy periods, and both species appeared to recover rapidly. The rate of demographic recovery may be a function of habitat preferences. Dipodomys stephensi occurs in valley bottoms and recovered numerically only after cessation of rains, whereas D. simulans, which occurs on better-drained habitat in adjacent hill slopes, appeared to initiate demographic recovery half way through the rainy period associated with the 1998 ENSO. In contrast, however, D. simulans was not observed to recover for about 5 months after the rainy period in 2000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-254
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Dipodomys simulans
  • Dipodomys stephensi
  • Dulzura kangaroo rat
  • ENSO
  • El Niño Southern Oscillation
  • Stephens' kangaroo rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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