Abstract - Effects of Blacktail Prairie Dog Mounds on Shortgrass Vegetation
Gold, Ilyse Karen. 1976. Effects of Blacktail Prairie Dog Mounds on Shortgrass Vegetation. M.S. Thesis. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado. 40 p.
Above grand plant species biomass surrounding blacktail prairie dog vurrows in northeastern Colorado was measured. Significant differences for the influence of prairie dog mounds were observed for aboveground biomass of certainplant species on a native shortgrass prairie dogtown and an adjacent oldfiedl dogtown. The difference in mound construction of dome-shaped and crater shaped mounds contributed to differences in aboveground biomass of certain plant species.
Plant species diversity and total aboveground biomass increased with distance from the vurrows. Some grass species had lower biomass within 10m of the burrows because of the prairie dog mund influence. Plant species probably favored by soil distrubance from the mounds and decreased competition from other plants exhhibited greater amounts of biomass closer to the burrows.
Did You Know?
Fire is an important factor in protecting the prairie. Historically, fires burned across the prairie every 4 to 7 years. Fires burn the small trees that would otherwise march across the prairie and turn the grasslands to forest.