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Effects of Animal Disturbance on Tallgrass Prairie Vegetation
David J. Gibson
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 121, No. 1 (Jan., 1989), pp. 144-154
Published by: The University of Notre Dame
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2425665
Page Count: 11
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Plant species associated with animal disturbances (ant hills, badger mounds, pocket gopher mounds, prairie vole burrow systems and bison wallows) were examined on a tallgrass prairie in northeast Kansas. Vegetation growing on disturbed sites was a function of both the type of disturbance and the surrounding vegetation. Annuals were an important component of the flora on some disturbances, e.g., badger mounds, but on other sites, e.g., pocket gopher mounds and ant hills, common perennial prairie species were more abundant. These effects of animals illustrate the importance of disturbance in maintaining species richness and spatial heterogeneity in tallgrass prairie.
The American Midland Naturalist © 1989 The University of Notre Dame