Last updated: September 22, 2014
Yes, pocket gophers (Thomomys sp.) are here to help restore the meadow after a fire. Surviving the initial onslaught of heat and smoke in their burrows and then sustaining themselves on the dried roots of plants that died on the surface, pocket gophers are able to thrive in post fire apocalyptic conditions. As they burrow after the fire, they bring up surviving fungal spores in older soil to add to the top layer of sterile ash. Their mounds and open burrows serve as great places to catch dispersing seeds to facilitate the process of botanical regeneration. As plants move in, so do things that eat plants, and things that eat things that eat plants, and so on.