The plains pocket gopher’s (Geomys bursarius) burrowing activities have a significant influence on the ecosystem. This fossorial mammal can displace large volumes of soil and consequently drastically alter the surface soils chemical composition, which in turn affects the plant diversity. We measured the effects of the plains pocket gopher on a semi-arid short-grass abandoned field plot near Itasca State Park in Minnesota. Relatively few new mounds were found and thus we were unable to adequately address short-term affects. Although past research has shown a loss in overall vegetation in the short term. Long term effects included larger species diversity as a result of slowed successional processes.
Sigler, Holly; Grunzke, Danielle; Rehmann, Andrew.
The Effects of Plains Pocket Gopher (Geomys bursarius) Mounds on Localized Vegetation Diversity.
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