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Estimating Gopher Populations and Their Abatement in Forest Plantations

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Indirect sampling methods for pocket gophers (Family: Geomyidae) lack adequate assessment for accuracy and efficiency. During gopher abatement trials in forest clearcuts, our new "burrow index" accounted for 95% of the gophers, while the widely used 24 hr open-hole test accounted for only 68%. Using published data, we found that mound counts and plot occupancy provided precise estimates (R² = 0.76 - 0.99) of gopher density in clearcuts. We recommend the more efficient "burrow index" for sampling gophers, and "effective depopulation" for estimating population change due to abatement, after accounting for natural population dynamics in "control" plots. A modified burrow index on strip transects can be used for measuring association of gophers with ecological variables. For. Sci. 41(2):284-296.
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Keywords: Clearcuts; Geomyidae; damage; management; monitoring; pocket gopher; regeneration

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Environmental Protection Agency, Registration Div. (H7505C), 401 M Street SW, Washington, DC 20460

Publication date: 1995-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.782 (Rank 17/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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