University Studies of the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



University of Nebraska Studies: New Series no. 40


Published by The University at Lincoln


During the short alpine growing season of 1945 the authors had the opportunity of studying conditions and biota on Mount Lincoln, Park County, Colorado, in an attempt to evaluate the ecological conditions and animal communities of the area. Of the large amount of taxonomic and ecological zoology published on the state, most has been in the field of autecology, and, except in the province of aquatic studies, little has appeared bearing on synecological relations, especially among invertebrates. The marked differences between the physiography, climatology, and biology of timberline, alpine, and other stations seemed to offer a field well worthy of investigation. Since the work was done, other factors have been introduced which have greatly altered the nearly primitive conditions encountered at the time of the investigation. One of the areas has been entirely destroyed by the formation of a water storage lake, and others have been affected through heavy summer grazing by bands of sheep.

The material published on the Mount Lincoln area is very limited. Cary (1911) was concerned with similar areas in other parts of the state, but apparently he did not work around the mountains at the head of the South Platte. The most detailed paper on the region is that of Patton and his collaborators (1912) which covers the physiography very completely. There are scattered references to the animal life of the vicinity in Coues (1874), Sclater (1912), Warren (1942), and elsewhere. The most complete published reports on the animal life of the region are those of Brewer (1871) and Allen (1872, 1876a, 1876b); the first of Allen's papers is the source of most of Coues' references to the Mount Lincoln avifauna. None of these papers deals with the invertebrates, save for comments by Brewer on the relative abundance of certain orders of insects.