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The objectives of this study were to identify the genesis of Kalsow Prairie Mirna mounds and to compare on-mound and off-mound soil properties. Kalsow Prairie is a 60 ha uncultivated prairie remnant in north-central Iowa. A 4 ha zone near the center of Kalsow Prairie containing 59 mounds was selected for detailed field study. Field methods included mapping the spatial distribution of mounds, measuring mound geometry, and sampling and describing soil profiles associated with both on-mound and off-mound landscape positions. The average height and diameter of the mounds was 0.23 m and 3.7 m, respectively. Twenty-nine of the mounds showed ongoing pocket gopher (Geomys bursarius) burrowing. This, in conjunction with the formation of 40 new mounds since 1969, indicates pocket gopher burrowing is the mode of Mirna mound genesis at Kalsow Prairie. Borrowing has resulted in significant differences between on-mound and off-mound soil morphology. The average mollie epipedon thickness for on-mound and adjacent off-mound soils was 115 em and 78 em, respectively.


Presented at the Annual ASA-SSSA-CSA Meeting, Anaheim, California, October 1997.

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