Plains Pocket Gopher (Geomys bursarius) has shown significant effects on soil alteration and plant population by the building of mounds. Typically inhabiting grasslands, prairies, and other open areas, this alteration of the soil is thought to alter the natural state of the vegetation where these gophers are present. Data from Itasca State Park, located in Clearwater County, Minnesota, were taken by; determining if distinct patches of vegetation were associated with gopher mounds, making mound classifications of random 20 meter transects, and specifically looking at differences in vegetation between abandoned mounds and control sites. Results using chi-squared and t-testing showed significant differences (P<.0001), concluding that gopher mounds play a distinct role in the alteration and diversification of vegetation within grassland habitats.
Deets, Lauren; Grun, Hannah; Sievert, Adam.
The impact of Geomys bursarius on prairie vegetation diversity in Minnesota.
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