Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (909 KB)

Title: Fire drives transcontinental variation in tree birch defense against browsing by snowshoe hares

Author: Bryant, John P.; Clausen, Thomas P.; Swihart, Robert K.; Landhäusser, Simon M.; Stevens, Michael T.; Hawkins, Christopher D. B.; Carrière, Suzanne; Kirilenko, Andrei P.; Veitch, Alasdair M.; Popko, Richard A.; Cleland, David T.; Williams, Joseph H.; Jakubas, Walter J.; Carlson, Michael R.; Lehmkuhl Bodony, Karin; Cebrian, Merben; Paragi, Thomas F.; Picone, Peter M.; Moore, Jeffery E.; Packee, Edmond C.; Malone, Thomas;

Date: 2009

Source: The American Naturalist, vol. 174 (1)

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description:

Fire has been the dominant disturbance in boreal America since the Pleistocene, resulting in a spatial mosaic in which the most fire occurs in the continental northwest. Spatial variation in snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) density reflects the fire mosaic. Because fire initiates secondary forest succession, a fire mosaic creates variation in the abundance of early successional plants that snowshoe hares eat in winter, leading to geographic variation in hare density. We hypothesize that fire is the template for a geographic mosaic of natural selection: where fire is greatest and hares are most abundant, hare browsing has most strongly selected juvenile-phase woody plants for defense. We tested the hypothesis at multiple spatial scales using Alaska birch (Betula neoalaskana) and white birch (Betula papyrifera). We also examined five alternative hypotheses for geographic variation in antibrowsing defense. The fire-hare-defense hypothesis was supported at transcontinental, regional, and local scales; alternative hy-potheses were rejected. Our results link transcontinental variation in species interactions to an abiotic environmental driver, fire. Intakes of defense toxins by Alaskan hares exceed those by Wisconsin hares, suggesting that the proposed selection mosaic may coincide with a geographic mosaic of coevolution.

Keywords: tree birch, snowshoe hare, forest fire, antibrowsing defense, selection mosaic.

Publication Notes:

  • 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.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Bryant, John P.; Clausen, Thomas P.; Swihart, Robert K.; Landhäusser, Simon M.; Stevens, Michael T.; Hawkins, Christopher D. B.; Carrière, Suzanne; Kirilenko, Andrei P.; Veitch, Alasdair M.; Popko, Richard A.; Cleland, David T.; Williams, Joseph H.; Jakubas, Walter J.; Carlson, Michael R.; Lehmkuhl Bodony, Karin; Cebrian, Merben; Paragi, Thomas F.; Picone, Peter M.; Moore, Jeffery E.; Packee, Edmond C.; Malone, Thomas 2009. Fire drives transcontinental variation in tree birch defense against browsing by snowshoe hares. The American Naturalist 174 (1), doi 10.1086/599304

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.