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Effects of Pocket Gopher Mounds on Plant Production in Shortgrass Prairie Ecosystems
W. E. Grant, N. R. French and L. J. Folse, Jr.
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 25, No. 2 (May 15, 1980), pp. 215-224
Published by: Southwestern Association of Naturalists
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3671243
Page Count: 10
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Soil infiltration, Surface areas, Vegetation, Soil water, Soil water content, Prairie soils, Agricultural soils, Terrestrial ecosystems, Crop production, Ecosystems
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Field measurements are presented which quantify the extent of surface area covered by pocket gopher mounds and the effects of gopher mound microrelief on local plant production and on local rates of infiltration of rainfall and evaporation of soil water. The percentage of total surface area covered was 8% on a heavily grazed grid, 2.5% on a lightly grazed grid, and 6.5% on an ungrazed grid. The relationship between surface area covered in m2 and kg of soil in mounds was linear. Density of above-ground vegetation decreased significantly with increasing distance from the edge of mounds up to a distance of 40 cm. Rates of infiltration of rainfall were significantly higher on mounds than on undisturbed areas, but average volumetric soil water content was not significantly different between mounds and undisturbed areas.
The Southwestern Naturalist © 1980 Southwestern Association of Naturalists