The plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) is a fossorial rodent that digs an extensive
burrow which creates mounds of dirt on the surface. This study examines the effects of these mounds on the plant diversity of an abandoned agricultural field by a series of different measurements. These include the percentage of distinct vegetation patches associated with mounds, percent of 20 meter transects crossing mounds, and number of plant species on mounds compared to a nearby control area. We found that 14.64 % of the field was covered by gopher mounds. By comparing our mean plant diversity data with the Itasca Biological Station’s similar
previous studies, we found a significant difference in the short term plant diversity of gopher mounds.
Kurpiewski, Andrew; Marklevits, Katrina; Treiber, Erin.
Plains Pocket Gophers (Geomys bursarius) Increase Plant Diversity on Gopher Mounds.
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