Oecologia

, Volume 66, Issue 1, pp 111–115

Influence of pocket gopher mounds on a Texas coastal prairie

  • Stephen R. Spencer
  • Guy N. Cameron
  • Bruce D. Eshelman
  • Linda C. Cooper
  • Lawrence R. Williams
Original Papers

DOI: 10.1007/BF00378561

Cite this article as:
Spencer, S.R., Cameron, G.N., Eshelman, B.D. et al. Oecologia (1985) 66: 111. doi:10.1007/BF00378561
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Summary

Effects of pocket gopher (Geomys attwateri) mound-building activity on plant community composition and soil nutrient concentrations were investigated in south Texas on both burned and unburned coastal prairie sites. Pocket gophers deposited large amounts of soil which were lower in nutrient content than randomly-collected samples. Above-ground plant biomass was greater around mounds than in random samples mainly because of increased dicots around mounds on the burned area when compared with random samples on the same area. Pocket gophers may have concentrated their activities (and therefore, mounds) in areas with higher dicot biomass on the burned area since they prefer perennial dicots as food, or the presence of mounds may have ameliorated the apparent negative effect of fire on dicots.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Spencer
    • 1
  • Guy N. Cameron
    • 1
  • Bruce D. Eshelman
    • 1
  • Linda C. Cooper
    • 1
  • Lawrence R. Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in Evolutionary Biology, Department of BiologyUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA