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Title: Plant compositional change in a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota

Author: Cincotta, Richard P.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Hansen, Richard M.;

Date: 1989

Source: In: Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Hamre, R. H. (tech. coords.) Ninth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop proceedings : April 17-20, 1989, Fort Collins, Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-171. Fort Collins, Colo. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 171-177

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Peak season multi-species cover of vegetation and burrow mound density were estimated for 3 years along a transect that ran from the geometric center of a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony, to its edge. The forb dominated core of the colony expanded 25 m in radius during the study, while plant composition changed dramatically in a small (<0.3 ha) zone midway between the edge and the core. We determined that year to year functional increases in multi-species canopy cover, described by the natural growth function (R2=0.72, P<0.001), occurred only after shortgrasses were reduced below 75% cover. The density of burrow mounds was positively correlated to compositional change (r=0.58; P<0.01). We observed that burrow mounds provided early sites for the establishment of forms. However, after the canopy cover of shortgrasses receded below 75% (in this location, probably from 4 to 7 years after initial inhabitancy by prairie dogs), extensive compositional changes occurred between burrow mounds.

Keywords: Cynomys ludovicianus, habitats, plant composition, canopy cover, South Dakota

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Cincotta, Richard P.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Hansen, Richard M. 1989. Plant compositional change in a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs in South Dakota. In: Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Uresk, Daniel W.; Hamre, R. H. (tech. coords.) Ninth Great Plains Wildlife Damage Control Workshop proceedings : April 17-20, 1989, Fort Collins, Colorado. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-171. Fort Collins, Colo. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 171-177

 


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