Effects of animal disturbance on tallgrass prairie vegetation

TitleEffects of animal disturbance on tallgrass prairie vegetation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1989
AuthorsGibson, DJ
JournalThe American Midland Naturalist
Pagination144 -154
Accession NumberKNZ00226
Keywordstallgrass prairie

Plant species associated with animal disturbances (ant hills, badger mounds, pocket gopher mounds, prairie vole burrow systems and bison wallows) were examined on a tallgrass prairie in northeast Kansas. Vegetation growing on disturbed sites was a function of both the type of disturbance and the surrounding vegetation. Annuals were an important component of the flora on some disturbances, e.g., badger mounds, but on other sites, e.g., pocket gopher mounds and ant hills, common perennial prairie species were more abundant. These effects of animals illustrate the importance of disturbance in maintaining species richness and spatial heterogeneity in tallgrass prairie