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Multiple Scale Effects of Overgrazing by White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Eastern Deciduous (Carolinian) Forests

Multiple Scale Effects of Overgrazing by White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Eastern Deciduous (Carolinian) Forests

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Title: Multiple Scale Effects of Overgrazing by White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Eastern Deciduous (Carolinian) Forests
Author: Koh, S.
Bazely, D.R.
Abstract: Large herbivores such as white-tailed deer can have a significant impact on vegetation across multiple biological scales. We examined the relationship between plant community dynamics in several southern Ontario forest sites and ecosystem responses such as productivity, nitrogen dynamics, species diversity and ecosystem structure. Between 1992 and 1998, sites with a history of high deer densities (>50/km2) were compared with deer exclosures and long-term ungrazed sites. Ordination analyses showed older exclosures were similar to ungrazed sites, with higher woody stem densities and dominated by plant functional types relatively high in nitrogen. Both differed from grazed sites, with lower stem densities and dominated by functional types lower in nitrogen. Reductions in deer did not result in the recovery of overgrazed sites because deer mediated changes at the ecosystem level and depletions of desirable native species from seedbanks were the major determinants of successful trajectories. These results present implications for plant species conservation and re-establishment.
Subject: overgrazing
Odocoileus virginianus
herbivory
community dynamics
ecosystem response
deer herd reductions
Type: Other
Rights: http://casiopa.mediamouse.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/PRFO-2001-Proceedings-p437-Koh-and-Bazely-Abstract.pdf
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/10117
Published: Heritage Resources Centre, University of Waterloo
Citation: Koh, S. and Bazely, D.R. 2002. Multiple Scale Effects of Overgrazing by White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Eastern Deciduous (Carolinian) Forests. Proceedings of the 4th Parks Research Forum of Ontario: Protected Areas and Ecological Integrity, 2002. p. 437.
ISBN: 0-9684655-4-4
Date: 2002

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