In June of 2009, in a dry prairie approximately 2 miles north of Itasca State Park in North-central Minnesota, we found that the building of mounds by Geomys bursarius significantly alters vegetation diversity. We collected our data by setting up a total of 1,200 meters of transects, which gave us an estimation of G. bursarius mounds. Additionally, we counted the species richness on 60 randomly selected mounds in our study area; we compared these to a control that lay within approximately 5 meters from the mound counted. Our data was also compared to data from previous years taken from the same area. Along with these studies we chose areas that exhibited unique vegetation and determined if their presence is linked to a disturbance to the prairie compliments of the G. bursarius. The results we found were statistically significant, proving the Geomys bursarius has great effects on prairie ecosystems.
Dexter, Sarah; Kartak, Jacob; Lindsay, Erik; Sevdy, Kim.
The Effects of Geomys bursarius Mound Building on Vegetation Diversity in Prairies.
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