a survey of reintroduced gunnison s prairie d og i mpacts on chihuahuan desert grassland
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A Survey of Reintroduced Gunnison’s Prairie D og I mpacts on Chihuahuan Desert Grassland

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A Survey of Reintroduced Gunnison’s Prairie D og I mpacts on Chihuahuan Desert Grassland. Evan Hewitt. Gunnison’s Prairie Dog. Cynomys gunnisoni (GPD) is a graminivorous, social, semi- fossorial mammal related to squirrels

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gunnison s prairie dog
Gunnison’s Prairie Dog
  • Cynomys gunnisoni (GPD) is a graminivorous, social, semi-fossorial mammal related to squirrels
  • Species exterminated across much of it’s native range, recently reintroduced on Sevilleta (2010)
  • Prairie dogs are a keystone species
  • Affect species composition, diversity, height, structure, biomass, and productivity
purpose of research
Purpose of Research
  • Investigate the impact of prairie dogs on vegetation. Across the control and treatment plots, will surveys indicate a significant change in biomass between plots? What about species diversity?
  • Circumstances, behavior and ecology of GPD differs significantly from the more commonly studied black tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus).
results species richness
Results – Species Richness

T-Test

p-value = 0.197692221

No significant difference between treatments on species richness.

slide11

Cover T-Test0.000517437

Significant pvalue

Biomass T-Test0.363673826

Not Significant pvalue

interpretation
Interpretation
  • The data collected for this study does not readily reflect the impact of GPD on vegetation.
  • Temporal scale, methodological
  • Climate, phenology
future
Future
  • Yearly and seasonal data collection
  • Augment quadrat sampling with methods such as transects with a greater spatial extent
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Partnership between NSF, USFWS, UNM that made this opportunity possible.
  • Amaris Swann, Jon Erz, Stephanie Baker
  • Fellow undergraduate researchers
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