Geomys pinetis (southeastern pocket gopher) is a fossorial rodent historically associated with Pinus palustris (longleaf pine) communities characteristic of the Coastal Plain physiographic province in southeastern Alabama, southern Georgia, and northern and central Florida (Golley, 1962; Pembleton and Williams, 1978; Wilkins, 1987).
The historic association of the southeastern pocket gopher with the longleaf pine community is well-established (Golley, 1962; Pembleton and Williams, 1978).
The fossorial lifestyle of the southeastern pocket gopher suggests soil characteristics also may be important in defining suitable habitat.
We selected 250 m as the minimum distance based on the farthest known dispersal distance by a southeastern pocket gopher (Hickman and Brown, 1973b).
Using the 11 remaining variables (Table 1), we constructed 15 models testing hypotheses, based on previous literature, regarding the relative importance of understory vegetation structure, soil characteristics, and a combination of vegetation and soil characteristics on predicting southeastern pocket gopher presence or absence.
Our results suggest soil characteristics are more important than understory vegetation structure for predicting southeastern pocket gopher presence on our study area.
Understory vegetation structure was not important for predicting southeastern pocket gopher presence on our study site.