You are here: Home
/ Publication Information
Title: Pervasive interactions between ungulate browsers and disturbance regimes promote temperate forest herbaceous diversity
Author: Royo, Alejandro A.; Collins, Rachel; Adams, Mary Beth; Kirschbaum, Chad; Carson, Walter P.
Source: Ecology. 91(1): 93-105.
Disruptions to historic disturbance and herbivory regimes have altered plant assemblages in forests worldwide. An emerging consensus suggests that these disruptions often result in impoverished forest biotas. This is particularly true for eastern U.S. deciduous forests where large gaps and understory fires were once relatively common and browsers were far less abundant. Although much research has focused on how disturbance and browsers affect tree diversity, far less attention has been devoted to forest understories where the vast majority (>75%) of the vascular species reside. Here we test the hypothesis that the reintroduction of disturbances resembling historic disturbance regimes and moderate levels of ungulate browsing enhance plant diversity. We explore whether once-common disturbances and their interaction with the top-down influence of browsers can create conditions favorable for the maintenance of a rich herbaceous layer in a region recognized as a temperate biodiversity hotspot in West Virginia, USA.
Keywords: Browsing, canopy gaps, deciduous forest, fire, herbaceous species, Odocoileus virginianus, understory, West Virginia, USA, white-tailed deer
View or Print this Publication (304 KB)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
- This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
Royo, Alejandro A.; Collins, Rachel; Adams, Mary Beth; Kirschbaum, Chad; Carson, Walter P. 2010. Pervasive interactions between ungulate browsers and disturbance regimes promote temperate forest herbaceous diversity. Ecology. 91(1): 93-105.
Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility