Effects of pocket gopher (Thomomys talpoides) mounds on plant reestablishment processes.

This studydocuments that pocket gophers in the blast zone did survive the May 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, and they did have an effect on early plant re-establishment within the blast zone. One study site is approximately 20 km northeast of the volcano. This site received a layer of pumice and ash to an average depth of 12 cm in 1980. Vegetation on gopher mounds was compared to that on surrounding un-mounded soil surface. Findings show that species composition is different; there are more residual species on mounds, and seedlings on mounds are more likely to survive and contribute to future local population growth.

 

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