We explored qualitative and quantitative approaches to evaluate the impact of the plains pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) mounds on the plant community. We hypothesized that plant species richness would be higher on mounds than surrounding areas and that the mounds would create significant impacts on plant diversity. We categorized mounds as ―new,‖ ―abandoned,‖ or ―old,‖ measured the width of the abandoned mounds, and noted the different plant species present on the mounds and the control plots. Our results indicated that species richness is significantly increased on and near gopher mounds, and overall, gopher mounds significantly alter local plant community. This study demonstrates that the impacts of Geomys bursarius activities are just as critical as its role in the trophic web.
Nosal, Amanda; Featherstone, Bryan; Vang, Na.
Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Study the Effects of Plains Pocket Gopher (Geomys bursarius) Mound Building on Vegetation.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.