In this study we examined and quantified the effects plains pocket gophers had on vegetation. We predicted that we would see an increase in vegetation diversity on gopher mounds compared to our controls with no gopher activity. New, abandoned, and old gopher mounds covered 9.8% of our study area. We predicted the correct outcome as there was an average diversity of 3.183 plants on our control plots and more than double that with 6.700 plants on abandoned gopher mounds. This diversity is mainly due to the natural succession of plants with the pocket gophers being a natural disturbance and allowing early succession plants to grow.
Kim, Carol; Thomes, Reggie; Halberg, Amber; Lehman, Justin.
The Influence of Plains Pocket Gophers, Geomys bursarius, On Vegetation Abundance and Diversity.
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