The plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) lives throughout the southern 2/3rds of
Minnesota. The pocket gopher is known for turning up soil and digging extensive
tunnels that can aerate soils. Our study site is located near the north entrance of Itasca State Park in Northern Minnesota. The goal of our study was to determine if there were distinct vegetation patches associated with the gopher mounds and if plant diversity
increased around and on mounds. We used transects to sample the field for vegetation
patches and the locations of old, new, and abandoned gopher mounds. We then ran a
series of test to determine whether or not there was any correlation between gopher
mounds and plant diversity, and then distinct vegetation patches. We determined that patches of vegetation were most likely associated with gopher mounds, and that species diversity increased on and around mounds.
Ihnken, Matthew; Korbmacher, Michelle; Sinton, Christopher.
Geomys bursarius: Vegetation Variation on Gopher Mounds within a Northern Minnesota Vole Field.
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