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Journal Article

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
DOI: 10.2307/3671243
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3671243
Page Count: 10
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Effects of Pocket Gopher Mounds on Plant Production in Shortgrass Prairie Ecosystems
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Abstract

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.

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